The Pizzeria at Hard Rock Hotel

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The Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya has built up an excellent reputation for its food over the past few years.  Both for the hotel itself and for the Hard Rock Cafe on Beach Road.  We were invited to come and review the revamped Pizzeria in the main hotel, a cool spot overlooking the Hard Rock’s free form pool.

For newbies who are unsure of the location, the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya is on Second Road (Sai Song), about 100 meters along on your left from the Central Pattaya Road/Second Road intersection.  The car park is within the grounds and is secure.

Surapat suggested we try his calzone, which was served on a black slate plate and had ricotta, prosciutto ham, pecorino cheese and spinach as the filling.Surapat suggested we try his calzone, which was served on a black slate plate and had ricotta, prosciutto ham, pecorino cheese and spinach as the filling.

Hard Rock Hotels pride themselves on their staff being hip and helpful, and the Pattaya property is no different.  Look even vaguely lost and you will be escorted to your destination, with a smile.  The Pizzeria is past the elevators and out into the area heading towards the pool.  The staff will make sure you don’t miss it.

The central feature of the Pizzeria is naturally the pizza oven, an ‘almost’ traditional one, but gas-fired!  This is situated on the deck outside the Starz Diner, and is in the center of a sit-up bar, where diners around the outside can watch their food being prepared.  The rest of the updated Pizzeria restaurant has views over the pool, or towards the cabanas.  Despite the ‘out-doorsy’ ambience, the tables are covered with white linen and the napery and glassware excellent.

The menu shows that the Pizzeria is more than a pizza shop, but in fact is offering a good range of Italian dishes, plus others prepared in Italian style.  It is not a large menu with four antipasti (B. 295-650), one soup (B. 410), three pastas (B. 530-880), 10 pizzas (B. 410-645), four mains (seafood and meat) (B. 410-1150) and five desserts (B. 210-385).  The menu then continues into cocktails, aperitifs, liqueurs, grappa, cognac, coffees, beers and mineral waters.

Now one thing I have noted over the years and countless dinner plates is that Italian chefs tend to be passionate about their creations, and after meeting the Hard Rock’s Pizzeria chef, it must be something to do with the food!  The chef Surapat Pongkratoog is Thai, but is as passionate about his food as any Italian.

Spaghetti Pizzeria - the spaghetti being the base for tiger prawns wrapped in smoked bacon.Spaghetti Pizzeria – the spaghetti being the base for tiger prawns wrapped in smoked bacon.

I have to say he was very excited to have us dining at the Pizzeria, and waxed eloquent about his cappuccino of porcini mushroom, complete with its black truffle paste.  We could not refuse!  Honestly, this was a very superior soup, enjoyed immensely by Madame and myself.

His next batch of enthusiasm was over the Spaghetti Pizzeria, the spaghetti being the base for tiger prawns wrapped in smoked bacon.  In Thai fashion, the prawn heads were served as well (but the prawn had been decapitated first)!  Madame, who is Thai, ate mine.  Great taste to this dish.

Rather than just another pizza, Surapat suggested we try his calzone, which was served on a black slate plate and had ricotta, prosciutto ham, pecorino cheese and spinach as the filling.  A huge calzone, and also very filling.

Parts of the updated Pizzeria restaurant have views towards the cabanas.Parts of the updated Pizzeria restaurant have views towards the cabanas.

Our main (and we shared) was the pan-seared snow fish fillet, on potato slices, pine nuts and a slightly spicy Sicilian sauce.  This was another dish worth waiting for!

Finally we indulged in a Panna Cotta desert and a grappa, totally full!

As the Hard Rock says, “The new Pizzeria serves up a selection of finely flavored and simply stylish continental dishes.  This a-la-carte menu is designed for those that are a touch more discerning, so grab a table overlooking the pool.”  We are in complete agreement.  It is for the discerning diner, the food is of a very high standard (cooked with passion), but like with all things, you will pay for the best.  We were particularly impressed with the porcini mushroom soup, which had retained the mushroom flavor, without killing it with spices or herbs.  The snow fish fillet, flaked on just touching it and literally melted in the mouth!

The Pizzeria is open from 12 noon until 10.00 p.m.

Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya, 429 Moo 9, Beach Road, Pattaya, telephone 038 428 755, email [email protected] hardrockhotels.net.  Secure parking within the hotel grounds.