New restaurants come and go in Pattaya – it’s real jungle out there. We have known restaurants that have closed before their official grand opening. So here we are with another new restaurant, and judging by the reports we have been getting, this PumPui restaurant has a good future.
We did have a meal there, not long after its opening, and we were impressed then, but it was too early to venture into a full scale review. However, now with two months under its belt, it was time.
PumPui is on the Dark Side, but is very easily found. Go down Siam Country Club Road (from Sukhumvit Road opposite the new Index showroom) for around four km until you can see the traffic lights at the cross-roads (the only set) and PumPui is on your left in a group of shop houses about 30 meters from the lights. The restaurant is on an elevated platform, with decking on the street side and plenty of off-street parking.
PumPui is a family business with the chef Camille in the kitchen and his cousin Romain at front of house, and both are passionate Frenchmen. Camille had been working in a college in Bangkok teaching young chefs after a stint in the Sofitel in the French West Indies, but his own need to be cooking brought him back to restaurant work, and it was always Camille and Romain’s hope to run a ‘family’ business together.
The wine list is not very expansive, but it is also not expensive, with most between B. 980 and B. 1480. Amazingly, the wines were not all French with labels from Australia, Chile, and New Zealand, as well as from La Belle France, and we chose a bottle of the 88th Drop Australian Shiraz. Eminently quaffable at B. 1150. Local beers were B. 60. In the spirits they also stock Ricard, one of my favorite aperitifs, having got the taste for it in France myself.
The menu is not just in the printed menu, but in true Gallic style, there are three blackboards with mainly French items. These are also changed regularly.
The printed menu has Salads (B. 125-165), Entrees (B. 165-285), Appetizers (B. 75-195) with a deep fried Brie (B. 135) looking very interesting.
Those are followed by three pages of Pizzas and Pastas (B. 160-255) and then the Lava stone grill items.
The blackboards had many choices, including grilled beef tenderloin salad with truffle dressing B. 185, French poulet ‘Basquoise’ Provencal style B. 190 and larb salmon Thai style with French fries B. 285, Australian beef carpaccio B. 285, foie gras terrine apple onion chutney B. 490 and gratinated mussels B. 85.
A dessert blackboard offered a French profiterole B. 145 and a Tiramisu B. 125.
Chef Camille follows the dictum of simple ingredients, the right seasoning and a perfect cooking time and (French) butter of course makes a good meal. Slow cooking is the way to keep the nutrition in the ingredients, and maximize the flavor, according to Camille. In addition, PumPui does its own smoking of meats and fish. Camille is a very dedicated chef. Even the Paris ham is made on site, along with other items which are vacuum packed and temperature controlled.
We sampled quite a few dishes and were impressed with the delicate nature of the dishes, as well as beautiful presentation. The ‘tower’ of tomato with mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar was a classic example. It looked so good I didn’t want to break it up. The foie gras terrine that came with an apple onion chutney and bread wafers was another.
PumPui is a great addition to our Pattaya restaurant scene. Predominantly French cuisine sets it apart from the plethora of Euro/Thai/Italian/Indian restaurants, and it will do well. It has already built up a strong customer base and is definitely worth the run down Siam Country Club Road. On the night we were there, one table of four asked to speak to Camille, saying it was the best meal they had had in Pattaya!
PumPui Bar and Grill, 222/9-10 Moo 7 Soi Siam Country Club, open 7 days, 12 noon until 11 p.m., tel 098 369 5060, parking outside the restaurant.