It has been a couple of years since we attended the BBQ at the Mercure Hotel in Pattaya. This was not because we had forgotten about the experience (which was very positive), but because there are so many other dining out venues for us to cover.
The Mercure is a little hidden away on Soi 15, so you can be excused if you are unsure of the location. Many diners do not even realize this Accor hotel is there. However, with all the surrounding building finished with the new condominiums like City Garden on Soi 15, the Mercure precinct is much busier than it used to be. And with the access to the Mercure and Soi 15 from Second Road through The Avenue, it means the Mercure is actually very central.
Before descending upon the buffet, we sat back with a glass of house wine and just took in the ambience of the Mercure venue around their pool. We may live here, but overlooking the Mercure pool instantly made us feel as if we were tourists too, relaxing on our tropical holiday.
I will also admit that GM Alex Chakrabarti reserved a table for us right next to the pool, very nice. Best seats in the house! Thank you, Alex.
The wine list is predominately French (after all, the Mercure is part of the French Accor group, and we even had a French trainee looking after our table) and also inexpensive, with bottles ranging in price between B. 850-1500.
The buffet items are arranged outside (but covered), plus an area for cold cuts, cheeses and desserts inside.
Taking the interior items first, there is a cold cuts platter with bologna, salami and coppa, plus Asian salads such as the spicy pork yam moo. Salad items include potato salad with bacon, Mexican salad with bologna and bell peppers and a Caesar salad.
There are three cheeses, emmental, brie and Gouda with dried fruit accompaniment. There is also a correct cheese knife – a small thing but so often missing at other buffets we have been to.
Outside in chafing dishes we found roast potatoes, a Thai style pork with ginger and garlic, corn on the cob, sautéed mixed vegetables, Jasmine rice and fried rice.
Next to these there were two hot kettles with tom yum talay (spicy seafood) and a pumpkin cream soup.
On the other side from the chafing dishes there was a carvery with marinated chickens, a grill with pork ribs, chicken steaks and beef steaks, veal and pork sausages.
Also in this area was a crepe station and ice cream, great finishes for any buffet.
However, in one corner, there is a Mongolian noodle which is easy to miss, but it is in the far corner. Here you select your noodles and meats and stir-fry vegetables and the young chef quickly stir-fries as you watch, adding splashes of different sauces as he tosses the noodles.
After our glass of house wine, we toured the buffet. This is something I always recommend – have a good look around first before selecting something just to later find an even more favorite item!
I began with some roast potatoes and small pork steaks from the grill, while Madame began with the marinated chicken. Good starters from us both, remembering to keep room for more items.
We followed those dishes with fried rice for Madame and Jasmine rice with the Thai stir-fried pork for me.
After a suitable breather and a second glass of well chilled house white I approached the Mongolian noodle area. Some chicken fillet pieces, the noodles and some vegetables, stir-fried and flamed and this was my dish of the night. Great taste. Madame went with ice cream!
When looking at a buffet of this style, price becomes a major factor in comparisons and the Mercure Friday BBQ Buffet is only B. 300, with children between 5 and 12 half price (under 5 is free). This makes it a very inexpensive evening, and take my tip – the stir-fried Mongolian noodles were wonderful, and I ate more than one plateful!
Mercure Hotel, Soi 15 Pattaya Second Road, telephone 038 425 050, fax 038 425 080, email [email protected] mercurepattaya.com. Secure parking in hotel car park.