Where can you take overseas visitors to give them an idea of our lifestyle, here in a tropical resort tourist city? Somewhere away from the tour busses and crowds? We live by the sea, and seafood is a very favored staple. So where should you go? The answer is Tree@Sea.

This restaurant is in Ban Amphur, far enough away from Pattaya, yet close enough that it is only an easy twenty minute drive south down Sukhumvit. When you get to Ban Amphur, turn right at the (only) traffic lights and follow the road past the slip road on your right to the local temple and then past the big “shed” restaurants used by the tourist busses with touts outside. There are still some original fisherman’s wooden cottages along this road, which will also be of interest to visitors. About 500 meters from the lights look for a large, well signed parking area denoting Tree@Sea on the left with room for around 50 cars. The restaurant is actually opposite on your right (the seaside) with a narrow entrance beside some sailboards and then it opens out with an open area and a bar around the central “tree” with hanging bottle chandeliers, and then on into a covered dining area and then through that to tables and chairs actually on the sand, with a small yacht marina on the left, and the “sea” of the Bay of Siam beyond. Tree@Sea explained!

The “tree”, from which this restaurant gets its name, has a sit-up bar all round it, and drinkers can watch sporting events on the large screen off to one side.

On our review day, it was just a little windy, so we decided upon the covered area that is overlooking the beach and which has large tables and comfortable wicker chairs for the guests.

The menu is very substantial, so take your time to read it all through. Try a Paulaner beer while perusing, as they stock both bottled and draught of this interesting beer. There is also the Dutch Hoegarden, plus the usual range of local beers.

But back to the menu. Prices are very reasonable with several Salads at B. 195; Spaghetti dishes B. 220; Appetizers B. 120-150; Soups (and there are 14 of them) B. 150-200; Curries 200-300; Pan-fried items B. 150-420 (whole sea bass at the top end); N-E dishes B. 120-150; more “Spicy” dishes B. 195; then more spice with Thai Chilli Paste items; then Seafood items generally around B. 350 but with some dishes dependent upon weight and market price; Oysters B. 195; and Stir fries around B. 195 as well. A huge choice, so take your time.

The ambience is excellent with beach dining and the service staff attentive and in uniform and overseen by manageress K. Kae who competently took our order which included Spicy Larb (and it was) at B. 195 and whole deep-fried sea bass (B. 420). The sea bass was filleted very well with no small bones to catch the unwary by the throat! The presentation of the various dishes was also very good.

We were more than happy with our selection and for a restaurant literally on the beach it is difficult to imagine a more pleasant dining place, and is as such that for overseas visitors it would be breathtaking. Try finding a restaurant like this in Blackpool, for example. There are other seafood restaurants along the NaJomtien Soi 28, but none offering true dining on the beach such as Tree@Sea. As written in the introduction, this is an excellent seafood restaurant to impress overseas guests, and even impress the locals. And all at a very reasonable price, and giving the diner live music five days a week.

Tree@Sea, Soi NaJomtien 28, 46/16 Moo 4, tel 038 238 649, and 080 631 2662 (Khun Kae), email treeatsea. [email protected], plenty of off-street parking, open seven days 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., live music 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Wednesday through to Sunday. Well worth the short trip down to Ban Amphur.