Pattaya is justly famous for its range of high quality restaurants serving European cuisine. A Taste of Norway, situated strategically at the bottom of Jomtien’s Thappraya Road near the DHL courier mail office, is certainly the favourite meeting point of Norwegian expats and tourists in the resort. Yet the tempting and diverse menu means it is increasingly popular with the international crowd too.
Co-owner and manager Hans Grumheten first visited Thailand as a tourist in 1998. Like many before him, he fell in love with the place. A well-travelled guy with 28 countries under his belt, Hans became manager of a restaurant in Soi Yamato, Pattaya, three years ago, but transferred to A Taste of Norway after the previous owner sold up and bowed out. “Actually we were busy from day one,” says Hans, “as I already had a customer base on the internet and was well-known here.”
Hans made it a point to revamp the menu, reduce the prices and highlight some impressive choices in the daily specials. “It’s important to offer fresh food and organize regular trips to the markets early mornings as a principal key to business success,” he points out. During the pandemic, A Taste of Norway has seen home delivery meals too rocket in number, not only in the city but also to outlay areas such as Bang Saray and Laem Chabang. Rather than relying on delivery platform brands, the orders are speedily sent by the restaurant’s own transport facilities. “In that way, we get feedback from customers which simply doesn’t happen if you rely on outside companies.”
Lovers of Norwegian food will recognize many of the favorites from the Scandinavian fjords such as herring plate, Norwegian hot dog with shrimp salad, smoked and marinated salmon and even potato dumpling salad. But there’s plenty of international choices too, such as Australian tenderloin beef and tiger prawns, known colloquially as surf and turf, and a range of pasta dishes amongst others. There are lots of choices for breakfasts from around the world, a selection of awesome desserts and many authentic Thai dishes. Once tried and never forgotten, as they say.
Very public spirited, Hans has organized one of the largest charitable meals services to poor and hungry Thais who have been hard hit by the pandemic. To date, more than 17,000 meals have been delivered throughout the greater Pattaya area and Hans personally supervises the mammoth task on a daily basis. He makes it a point to ensure that the quality of the free meals is equal to the high standards in the restaurant itself. Whilst we were there, 270 hot meals were being prepared with 30 kilos of fresh chicken. A Taste of Norway certainly occupies a unique place in the catalogue of Pattaya restaurants. Not only a popular high class eatery but a community center as well.