Restaurants throughout Pattaya have struggled with the recent lockdown regulations. Some were open during the Take Away only period, some have only recently reopened and some simply haven’t opened at all.
While many owners wring their hands awaiting the reappearance of the Chinese tour buses and international visitors to Pattaya, there are some who are in it for the long haul. Sugar Hut Resort and Restaurant has been in existence for over 40 years. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that its owner who only introduced us to the resort’s new addition, Sun Sabella, a few months ago, is taking a long view.
You may remember the spectacular opening for Sun Sabella back in February during the good old pre-lockdown days. Since then the beautiful grounds and pavilions have been kept pristine just awaiting our arrival. Unlike a few of its competitors I am delighted to find that Sun Sabella hasn’t forgotten about Pattaya’s residents and the strong expat community here. All are welcome with a vast assortment of Thai food to make the mouth water. So, I took some ladies from the Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC) to enjoy lunch there.
We ate in the open-air Ella Pavilion and although it was a blisteringly hot day, were delighted that there were plenty of fans to keep us cool and green plants around to keep us shaded. We were further delighted to be serenaded by Thomas, with his melodious guitar, gently playing as we dined.
For all of us it was a much needed break, a chance to enjoy an oasis of calm in these turbulent times. There was plenty of room to observe social distancing and the traditionally dressed staff were reassuringly all wearing masks.
Since we dined at the Ella pavilion, the Samak pavilion has now opened. Also comfortably spacious, with its full air conditioning, it’s an even more delightful setting during these extremely hot months.
So what about the food? I hear you ask. Well usually we would have loved to share our selections, but as this was our first opportunity in some time to eat out, we made sure to observe as many of the rules as possible. Therefore we mainly stuck to our own dishes, and of course it was soft drinks only because we are still awaiting the regulations to be lifted regarding consumption of alcohol in restaurants.
Deep fried Chinese spring rolls and vegetable tempura made for an excellent start with crispy batter encasing fresh, crunchy vegetables and sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
This was then followed by some traditional classic Thai dishes that we had been missing during the past few weeks. Certainly one of my favourites: Kra pao moo was an instant choice. I was asked if I liked it spicy and I do, so was pleased to see plenty of fresh chillies as well as plenty of fresh basil on my plate. With the spicy fried shrimp there was again plenty of fresh basil, as this herb is actually grown on the premises in Sun Sabella’s rooftop vegetable garden.
Chicken with cashew nuts was declared another favourite and was presented with a delicate light sauce, not glutinous and cloying as I have eaten elsewhere.
As the really extensive menu covers so many options for vegetarians, the curry with tofu (bean curd) and eggplant green curry was also sampled and as with all the dishes, was beautifully presented and full of flavour.
We have been reliably informed that eating well, with a diet that includes fresh vegetables and “greenery” such as broccoli, kale and basil, is good for us. So during this time of virus, when our immune system really has to be operating at its very best, it is especially important to eat healthily. By consuming vegetables within delicious curry, in crispy batter, oyster sauce or the many other options Sun Sabella has, it isn’t too much of a chore!
After the meal I discovered an additional benefit, which was that rather than feeling overfull and sluggish – ready for a siesta – I was pleasantly satisfied and brimming with verve and vigour. So maybe there is something to this vegetable lark after all?
It was a lovely break, to get out and chat to friends, to socialise on something other than Facebook and enjoy the leafy space of this beautiful location.
Go try the Sun Sabella experience for yourself. Although I’m afraid it may still be a little while before that might include a night cap in the Jazz Pit, there is still much to enjoy.
Enter through the impressive doors on Thappraya road or drive into the entrance to the Sugar Hut resort, by the traffic lights at Pratamnak Hill junction. There is plenty of parking and plenty to explore.
Sun Sabella opens from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. For reservations call us: Tel. 038 251 686 & 038 251 687.