Pattaya has more than its fair share of hotels, but I thought I knew most of the better players, so when I met a gentleman at a Joint Chambers of Commerce networking who told me he was the hotel manager of a property next to the Hard Rock I immediately thought of the Montien. But no, I had forgotten that the Montien used to be the Regent of Pattaya, before it became the Montien and then metamorphosed into the Imperial. But wait, the Hard Rock used to be the Merlin. The hotel business is very active and confusing at times.
Turns out that the hotel in question is a new 80 bed property under the management of Sukhumnanda Sukadom (nickname Est) called The Mera Mare and was a family orientated boutique resort. Curiosity then took over with Est informing us of their restaurants, being the October Sky: an extensive and contemporary all-day-dining restaurant serving global cuisine; the Lobby Bar: an exclusive lounge bar which served a wide range of international beverages and signature cocktails; and finally Pastry Addiction: for pastries, cakes, chocolates and the best English high tea in town.
That was enough for the Dining Out team to find Mera Mare with one ‘senior’ taster and two ‘junior’ tasters.
Finding this new hotel (open eight months) is easy. Come along Beach Road until almost at the Hard Rock Café and Mera Mare is on your left with easy car access controlled by security.
Enter the building and you walk past the Pastry Addiction, and on into October Sky and further into the Lobby Bar.
The staff are all in bib and braces uniform, though seemed a trifle reluctant to initiate contact with the guests, but with arrival of Est we were soon shown to our reserved table in the Pastry Addiction, surrounded by glass and a direct view of Pattaya Bay and sunset. We were also introduced to the young French chef Fredi, who oversees the open plan kitchen.
The menu is quite comprehensive and is gloriously photographic. Well done Mera Mare.
Wines are reasonably priced with most around B. 1450, red and white including labels like Hugo Casanova, and slightly more expensive, the Australian Katnook (B. 1900). House wine by the glass (B. 260) is the Chilean Signus, which was a very clean white and can be recommended. Juniors had a blueberry soda and a cookie and cream shake taken while perusing the menu.
Being part of a hotel, the kitchen opens at 9 a.m. and finishes at 11 p.m. with breakfasts around B. 200 and up, depending on choice.
Soups and curries are next (B. 250-450) followed by appetizers roughly B. 250-300.
Sandwiches are around B. 300, but there is a premium lobster roll at B. 930.
Pasta dishes (B. 250-350).
Mains are generally under B. 500 but at the top is snow fish at B. 650.
Yes there are Thai items generally around B. 200.
I chose the snow fish (B. 650) and it came on an anthracite stone platter, all very art nouveau. The presentation was almost a tableau and the snow fish excellent (but then snow fish always is)!
Junior 1, who normally enjoys carbonara pasta, was delighted with the version from Fredi’s kitchen, complete with a soft centered egg and a strip of bacon.
Junior 2 plumped for the spare ribs which arrived with a BBQ sauce and a serving of ‘green’ looking all the world like wasabi, making the diner rather timorous! Turned out that it was mashed green pea, and quite “safe”.
Complete consensus in the Dining Out team as to the excellence of the dishes which tend towards nouvelle cuisine in portion size.
Mera Mare is certainly a swish looking establishment, and the food on offer puts it up amongst the top properties in Pattaya, including its Thai menu items. The location is hard to beat and the outside dining area makes for relaxing views of the sunset over Pattaya Bay.
Mera Mare, 420/200, Moo 9 Beach Road, Pattaya City, tel 038 111 800, mob 184 599 3766, fax 038 195 690, www.meramarehotel.com, secure parking.