The restaurant business is one of the most hotly contested areas in Pattaya. With the hotels pushing their own outlets to their guests, the more pro-active ones are trying to attract the Pattaya residents as well.
Starting from scratch 18 months ago, the Hilton Pattaya has shown itself to be more than capable of carving its own niche, including some imaginative lunches in their Edge restaurant, accessed from the 15th floor. The Hilton Pattaya is above the Central Festival shopping Center which runs between Pattaya Second Road and Pattaya Beach Road.
Views across Pattaya Bay.
Edge runs the width of the Hilton building, with views across all of Pattaya Bay. Seating can be outside on the balcony area, or inside and air-conditioned behind glass, so the views are still there to be enjoyed. Around two walls are the buffet tables, with cold items separate from the hot items and the a la minute stations. Service personnel are abundant, but not overbearing in any way and there appeared to be a squadron of chefs refilling the hot dishes as soon as they were empty.
The lunch buffets are themed with a Monday After Weekend BBQ, Tuesday Pizza and Pasta, Wednesday is Sandwiches and Burgers, Thursday is Extended Asia, Friday is Seafood and Saturday features Signature dishes and Desserts.
The prices are B. 350 net for all, except the seafood on Fridays which is B. 400. Being all you can eat deals, with two and a half hours to do it in from noon each day, this is not expensive fare.
We went on a Thursday to sample and review the Extended Asia buffet. Previously this had been more of a Thai buffet, but as the F&B manager Simon Bender enthusiastically explained, they had extended the range of the items to include many other Asian cuisines including Indian, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Japanese, though dessert items such as Caramel Apple Gateaux de Creame with Chocolate Silk would be difficult to place in an Asian context (but never mind, it was delicious).
We settled in with a cold glass of Prosecco (naturally, not in the net price) and then walked around to see just what was on offer, and I can assure you, you will still miss something (in my case it was some guacamole).
Madame began with the ‘toss it yourself’ Caesar salad with bacon, garlic croutons and Parmesan cheese and chicken. Having worked in the kitchens of five star hotels, this was a breeze for her, though I would be reticent.
Something much simpler for me as a starter, selecting poached white shrimps (on ice) with BBQ sauce and lemon, though spicy sauces were also on offer.
One Asian dish which I find totally addictive is Khao Soy, the Burmese curry, which you can get in Chiang Mai, but precious few places south from there. With egg noodle in the curry and fried noodle on top, I defy anyone to eat it without splashing on your shirt. (I even managed to get some on my sleeve, but it was worth it!)
Madame has as her favorite, Khanom Jin featuring fermented rice vermicelli noodles with chicken green curry sauce, accompanied with a variety of local fresh green and pickled vegetables. A two platesful favorite!
And so we went on, a little Indian with Nan bread for me, and a Yum Woonsen with spicy glass noodles with minced pork and shrimps for Madame. Choices, choices, choices!
The numerous combinations were such that we ate for almost two hours and no two dishes coincided. This is ideal for couples where one may be Thai and the other western. So often there are problems where one diner has to sacrifice his or her tastes in the more limited buffets. This was definitely not the case with the Edge’s Extended Asia buffet. The Thursday lunch buffet would be a good place to take overseas visitors. A very pleasant venue, good food and lots of choices for the novices to try. Very highly recommended.
The Edge restaurant, 15th floor Hilton Pattaya, 333/101 M9, above Central Festival, Second Road and Beach Road entrances with secure parking, telephone 038 253 000. Valet parking too, which is a boon.