That was the year that was!


I sat at the computer and dialed up the Dining Out columns for 2012, all 52 of them, looking for stand-outs.  And there were some excellent ones.  I had intended disqualifying restaurants in hotels, but finally decided that was being unfair.  However, one of the reasons that had prompted the team into thinking that way is the fact that hotel restaurants will change their promotions or directions at the advice of the F&B managers, so to recommend a Sunday Brunch, for example, runs the risk of them no longer having that promotion.

Let’s deal with the top end hotels first.  Stand-outs here include the Royal Cliff with their deVine Wine dinners and their Maharani restaurant; the Sheraton with their wine dinners; the Hilton with their upmarket Flare restaurant; and the Amari’s Mantra with their special events.  A perennial favorite is the Montien and we enjoyed several themed buffets there.  Make no mistake, these are world class restaurants capable of hosting world class events.

La Ferme French restaurant attached to the Woodlands Resort. La Ferme French restaurant attached to the Woodlands Resort.

We dined at a few “ethnic” restaurants during the year and the ones that impressed were Don Joe (Italian in Walking Street), Maharani (Indian in the Royal Cliff), La Ferme (French attached to the Woodlands Resort), Café des Amis (European) and Pasta Pasta (Italian in the Ambassador City).

Flambé at Casa Pascal on Second Road is always first class. Flambé at Casa Pascal on Second Road is always first class.

We ate in a few pub-restaurants during the year, and these can provide excellent meals and at very inexpensive prices.  Stand-outs here were Jameson’s Irish Pub with Kim Fletcher’s weekly specials almost unbeatable, but the revised and revamped Dicey Reilly’s (Second Road attached to the Marriott Resort) has certainly vaulted up the ladder!  Another pub-style eatery is The Tavern by the Sea (Beach Road, Amari) which has theme nights and the Churrasco is highly recommended.

In the value for money stakes, it is difficult to go past the buffets on offer at the Thai Garden Resort.  How Rene Pisters does it at those prices I do not know.  Go with a group of 10 and you’ll still have change in your wallet!  Another venue that will not rip a hole in the family budget is the Captain’s Corner, these days an icon.

So to stand-alone top end restaurants.  Two venues that will always be at the top of the heap are Mata Hari (Thappraya Road – Louis Noll) and Casa Pascal (Second Road – Pascal Schnyder).  Always first class.  However, now right up there with them is Gian’s Italian restaurant where Guido Vietri has really produced a very fine venue, and next door to him is Bruno’s, which has always been in the list of fine dining in Pattaya.

If your favorite restaurant has not been mentioned, it is probably because we did not go there in the past 12 months.  At one venue a week we cannot cover every restaurant in Pattaya!

A few details:

Royal Cliff Beach Resort, telephone 038 250 421.

Sheraton Pattaya Resort, telephone 038 259 888.

Hilton Pattaya, telephone 038 253 000.

Mantra Restaurant and Bar, telephone 038 429 591.

Montien Hotel, telephone 038 428 155.

Don Joe, telephone 038 710 733.

La Ferme, telephone 038 421 707.

Café des Amis, telephone 038 364 327.

Pasta-Pasta, Ambassador City, telephone 038 255 501.

Jameson’s Irish Pub, telephone 038 381 873.

Dicey Reilly’s, telephone 038 411 771.

Tavern by the Sea, Amari Orchid, telephone 038 418 419.

The Thai Garden Resort, telephone 038 370 614.

The Captain’s Corner, telephone 038 364 318.

Mata Hari Restaurant and Wine Bar, telephone 038 259 799.

Casa Pascal, telephone 038 723 660.

Gian’s Italian restaurant, telephone 038 364 934.

Bruno’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, telephone 038 364 600-1.

Sheraton’s wine dessert is delicious. Sheraton’s wine dessert is delicious.