Pattaya’s Thai Garden Resort has always changed with the times. The inn began business as the Sport Garden, but transformed itself into an acclaimed four-star hotel. The coronavirus pandemic has forced more changes.
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, the Thai Garden was renowned for its reasonably priced, daily buffets. But with Western tourists and many expats having left Thailand over the past eight months, keeping the buffet open proved impossible.
Managing Director Anselma Niehaus went back to the drawing board, creating a business model catering to weekend and holiday guests from Bangkok and around Thailand.
When the Thai Garden reopened a couple of months ago, Executive Chef Kenneth Goessens joined the team. Together with the management, they transformed the Oasis into a fine dining restaurant comparable to the best in the beach resort. The first proof of its new pedigree came last month with the Oasis’ first wine dinner. More than 60 guests – all socially distanced, of course – filled the restaurant indoors with air-conditioning and outdoors in the fresh evening breeze.
On offer was an eight-course meal and wines from Italasia under the direction of branch manager Thomas Rüegsegger.
The dinner began with canapes and a Prosecco Corte Ciara Dry DOC, followed by a salmon tartare, a mixture of fresh and smoked salmon on dill sauce. It was a huge portion, almost enough to be served as a main dish. The Sauvignon Blanc Livon Collio DOC, a mild wine, emphasized the food’s taste.
Creamy lobster bisque with a lacing of Armagnac and a Chardonnay Livon Collio DOC ended the starter-overture. A mango sorbet cooled the palates before the mains appeared.
The first was a carpaccio from Australian Beed with Balsamico, Permigiano Reggiano and Rucola salad. A Syrah Tarapaca Valle del Maipo Gran Reserva from Chile complemented the dish.
The next course was the beef wellington, a tender Australian beef fillet ensconced in a puff pastry that delighted the diners. The accompanying Bolgheri Mediterra Allegrini Pogglio al Tesoro earned the approval of the guests as being the best wine of the night.
The dessert, a mixture of delicacies, looked tempting with a sweet Moscato Cavicchioli Demi Sec Moscato Spumante complementing the dessert tray.
The guests enjoyed the dinner and sat a long while after the last dish was served.