The Chef’s Saturday Table at Flare


The Pattaya Hilton has added another facet to its already impressive dining experience with an exclusive Saturday promotion at its Flare restaurant.  Called “A Saturday with Flare” it probably represents the ultimate in small intimate gourmet dining evenings.

The venue is within the Flare restaurant, in a section curtained off at the rear of the dining area, which is served by its own kitchen and a dedicated chef.  The table will seat six, and you need to be in a party of six to be able to reserve a seat for this promotion.  Not only that, you need to make your reservation at least two days in advance of your chosen Saturday.  This is an ‘exclusive’ offer with imported items, and the chef has to be fully prepared.

Hilton Lobby.Hilton Lobby.

On our Saturday evening, we gathered in the Hilton Lobby and were escorted to the Flare restaurant, where our guests were seated by the attentive Flare service ladies under the supervision of Maitre d’ Sunny.  We also met our chef for the evening, and already the event was shaping up to be something rather special.

Settling back with a cold champagne we were served an ‘amuse bouche’ with Atlantic salmon, Avruga ‘caviar’ and a herb sauce.  Is there a finer start for the evening?  Probably not!

Hilton chef and Tomahawk steak.Hilton chef and Tomahawk steak.

Our first course comprised freshly shucked Pacific oysters, but there are other choices of starters which can be discussed when booking the Chef’s Table.  These may include beet root marinated whole Atlantic salmon, carved table side or steak tartar.  The oysters were served on ice with cut lemons on a very long glass dish, accompanied by four ‘test-tubes’ of different vinegars and sauces.  Sweet and succulent imported oysters and very difficult to beat.

After finishing our champagne and draining the last of the oysters we were prepared for the next course of one of Flare’s signature dishes being seared Japanese sea scallops with the alternative being black cod bouillabaisse.  The scallops were large and juicy and very tasty.  I could see why it is considered a signature dish.  Perfection once more.

This was a meal not to be hurried, it was a meal to be savored and the main course was to be accompanied by a Wolf Blass Yellow Label, always good drinking, and was the recommendation of Sommelier Sunny.  We let it breathe, even though it hardly needed it.

Our selected main course was the Tomahawk steak, otherwise known as Cowboy steak, and is described as a ‘serious’ steak for the ‘serious’ steak lover.  Tomahawk Steak originated on the cattle drives near the Rio Grande border, and was eaten by the Texas cowboys, who apparently had very healthy appetites.

The slow-roasted steak was brought to our table on a marble-topped trolley, pushed by our chef, who then expertly cut the meat into thick cuts from the very large bone-in piece.  My piece was so large, I thought I might have to ask for a cowboy to come and help me!  However, it was so tender I could have cut it with the fork.

Alternative main courses include triple porterhouse steak from the short loin cut includes both sirloin and fillet on the T-shaped bone.  Or a seafood trolley.

The charge per table of six adults is B. 15,000 net (B. 2,500 per head).  (Wine not included.)  And do remember that you must book at least two days in advance.

Now if all your Saturdays are booked out for the foreseeable future, keep a Friday night free and try the “Let’s Meat on Friday” promotion at Flare.  This features a grain-fed 150 days prime rib roast and comes in two sizes – the Ladies cut (340 gram, B. 999) or the Gentleman’s cut (450 gram, B. 1,111).

Having experienced this offer on a Friday evening, I would rather call the two cuts “Huge” and “Even Larger!”  If you are going for the 450 gram, make sure you have a big appetite.  You have been warned.

Flare Restaurant, 15th floor Hilton Pattaya, above the Central Festival Center, Beach Road.  Open seven days for dinner 6.30 p.m. until 11.30 p.m.  Valet parking from the Welcome Lobby ground floor.  Booking a must for the Saturday promotion 038 825 3000.