Somsakdi’s the amazing family restaurant

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The very active Somsak has made a restaurant that has been 30 years in the same soi, and 40 years with the same chef – Somsak himself.
The very active Somsak has made a restaurant that has been 30 years in the same soi, and 40 years with the same chef – Somsak himself.

After dining at Somsak restaurant, it became obvious that this was a restaurant like no other in Pattaya. Not too many restaurants in Pattaya have lasted 40 years (some close before their grand opening) and still being run by the original owner. That should be “owners” as the entire family is involved. Somsak in the kitchen and front of house with his wife, and their son Somkiat in the kitchen with his father (when needed).

Somkiet, the home grown chef.
Somkiet, the home grown chef.

The very active Somsak (AKA Somsakdi) and now 80 years old, has made a restaurant that has even been 30 years in the same soi, and 40 years with the same chef – Somsak himself. An amazing family enterprise.

Somsak was once a delivery boy for Pepsi, for a monthly salary of 450 baht. At that time he also decided that, “One day I have to be boss, not just a worker.” A turning point was to come in his life after just a few months of pushing Pepsi wheel barrows. He met famous restaurateur Dolf Riks, who advised him that if he were to achieve his aim, he should go to the kitchens, cooking being a portable skill. He followed his advice and traveled the world in sea-going galleys, bringing back not postcards, but recipes from different parts of the world. He worked with famous chefs such as Moogens Bay Esbensen, at the renowned Two Vikings Restaurant in Bangkok. Finally he came to Pattaya and worked with Dolf Riks, his mentor from so many years before, finally opening his own restaurant, simply called “Somsak’s” to be later called “Somsakdi’s”.

The menu is probably the largest menu in Pattaya, with I believe 374 individual items. The restaurant is like the menu – very large, with seating for at least 200. Very high ceilings and fans everywhere, not that we felt too hot (that comes later).

Each dish is in Thai with an English explanation underneath.

This is not a haute cuisine wine restaurant, so don’t expect a choice of champagnes. Small beers (Heineken) are B. 60.

Starting with the Appetizers, these range between B. 170-200 and include the famous Mee Grob.

Thai salads are B. 170-250 and spicy soups are B. 170-200. Spicy salads are B. 170-250 and includes Larb Gai.

There are many European dishes on offer under the heading ‘specials’ at B. 250-350 with Filet Mignon an example.

Seafood dishes are on offer around B.170-350.

Pork and beef items (and there are 25 of them), or chicken and duck are around B. 170.

There are more pages, but you get the idea, this is not an expensive restaurant, and when you see the quality and quantity it would be difficult to beat Somsak’s.

Masaman, a signature dish.
Masaman, a signature dish.

An amazing family indeed with their amazing restaurant. With 374 items, you will find something you have never tried before. Somsak is happy to explain his dishes to the diners. You will not be disappointed. We all enjoyed a chicken masaman, and the hot dish is a whole chicken flambé at the table and is sheer theatre as well as being an enjoyable dish. Incidentally, Somsak told us that the Chinese tourists all love his flambé chicken and every table orders one! We had lots more including a grilled fish and the entire team enjoyed every dish.

If you haven’t been to Somsak’s before, take the family to Soi 1 Pattaya and have a wonderful evening.

Somsak’s famous flambé chicken.
Somsak’s famous flambé chicken.

Somsak’s Restaurant, Pattaya Soi 1 (one way up from Beach Road to Second Road), tel: 038 428 987, 038 423 284, 038 429 869, limited parking but plenty of on-street parking in the soi. Hours 11 a.m. until 11p.m., seven days.

The restaurant is very large, with seating for at least 200.
The restaurant is very large, with seating for at least 200.