Stonefish Wines at La Ferme

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About one year ago I called the La Ferme restaurant “the most outstanding new restaurant in Pattaya.”  Since then, it has settled and found its feet and place in the Pattaya society.  As part of this maturing, Stephane Bringer, the GM of all the Woodlands properties, held a wine dinner in May, featuring the Australian Stonefish label.

In the absence of the Stonefish guru Peter Papanikitas, Sarawut Jansangiam, the GM of the Wine Dee Dee was on hand to ensure there were no problems at this wine dinner.

La Ferme is in front of the Woodlands Resort on the Pattaya-Naklua Road and adjacent to their La Baguette Bakery.  Around 100 meters from the Dolphin Roundabout, it is very easy to find, and there is adequate parking for diners in front of the Woodlands Resort.

The restaurant ambience is very avant-garde with items such as the world’s largest striped sofa along one wall (true – wait till you see it)!  There are chandeliers made from cut-down whisky bottles and the main area has much wood and black and white checkered tile floors reminiscent of 16th century Dutch paintings and the service staff are in uniforms of decidedly European influence.

There is also a second area adjacent to the pavement, but behind glassed panels and featuring natural wood flooring and two large trees growing through the roof.

As opposed to the very formal style of Wine Dinners, chosen by some hotel properties, this was a very relaxed affair.  Guests ate and drank at their own pace, a concept that has much going for it.

There were six wines on offer, even though the menu had five!  This was because the Wine Dee Dee people put on an extra Stonefish Sauvignon Blanc for the guests to try before the meal.  This was the typical Stonefish Sauvignon Blanc, a real palate cleanser and universally liked.

So to the wine dinner itself, with the food prepared by the new La Ferme chef a very talented young Thai.  (Incidentally, I have noticed that the Thai chefs are coming into their own recently.)

The first course was a Terrine of Foie Gras with French white asparagus and whole wheat toast, all served on a wooden platter.  This was an excellent starter and was taken with the Stonefish Hunter Valley Brut Cuvee.  This was not a sweet wine and was very refreshing.

Next on the menu was a Mini Vol au Vent stuffed with organic chicken and wild mushrooms.  Delicate flavors here and the Stonefish Merlot 2010 (McLaren Vale) a very smooth wine, good nose and great finish.

The next dish was a home made goat cheese ravioli with ink linguini and Canadian lobster.  This very filling dish was accompanied by the Margaret River Stonefish Chardonnay, 2011 and they went well together.

Main course was a veal tenderloin saltimbocca with saffron risotto and roasted potatoes, taken with the Stonefish Reserve Shiraz, 2008.  The veal literally fell apart and it was a brilliant wine accompaniment!

It was now time for the desserts, a ‘Sweet dream’ chocolate mousse with wild berries, a sweet finish taken with the Stonefish Flying Finix 2008, a wine that has an amazing association with Pattaya, as the label was designed by Chitra Chandrasiri (ex-Royal Cliff and now in Sri Lanka).  Even the name has a story to go with the wine.  Originally going to be called Flying Phoenix, it was found there was another wine of that name and spelling.  Hence the final name for this outstanding wine became Flying Finix!

The price for this different wine dinner was B. 1,888 and that made it a real bargain.  The duality of performance versus price was certainly upheld here.  I spoke to some of the 50 diners who had booked for the event, and everyone was more than complimentary.  Well done, La Ferme.

If you have not dined there as yet, I do suggest La Ferme should be on your list!

La Ferme, Woodlands Resort, 164/1 M5 Pattaya-Naklua Road, tel 038 421 707, open seven days 11 a.m. until 11.30 p.m., email [email protected], web www.lafermepattaya.com