The Thai Garden Resort is one of those fixtures in Pattaya’s lifestyle. Good inexpensive buffets, but nothing ‘exciting.’ Well, all that has changed with the recent change of management and the change in the kitchen with Belgian Executive Chef Kenneth Goessens at the salamander.
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The Dining Out team was invited to what new hotel manager Panji Bhatayanond of the Thai Garden Resort called their Seafood Extravaganza. Since Pattaya looks out over the Bay of Siam, to do an “event” featuring seafood makes sense on paper, but would it be as good as the promise?
There must surely be no-one unaware of the location of the Thai Garden Resort, though the weekend tourists from Bangkok may be excused. It is on North Pattaya Road (Pattaya Nua) and opposite both Pattaya City Hall and the new Terminal 21 Center. Thai Garden Resort also has more than adequate parking for the visitors to the venue.
The Seafood Extravaganza is not a weekly fixed event and depends upon the numbers of diners to ensure the freshness of the various seafood. On our night this was Tuna, River Prawns, Lobster and Barramundi (plus other items such as French Apple Tarte), but also showed the inventive nature of Chef Kenneth who had presented the seafood in different ways, such as a Tartare of Tuna with a home-made Wasabi Mayonnaise. All too often have we seen prawns on ice as if they were a main item. This not what you will get at Thai Garden Resort.
Before going into the extravaganza, you are met with canapes including a glass of wine or Prosecco. Being rather partial to the Italian bubbles, we continued with the Prosecco from the wine list into the following five courses.
The wine list is comprehensive, without being expensive, with most bottles of wine around THB 1,100 and local beers 110-150 THB.
The tartare was a good fun item to start the dinner proper, and there was enough wasabi to give us that little kick in the back of the nose for which it is so famous.
The next course was a Grilled River Prawn, which had obviously really wanted to be a lobster, it was so large. It was topped with home-made herb butter and was an excellent dish.
The Lobster did get its moment of glory. After a top up of Prosecco, a Lobster Bisque was brought to the table. Wonderful presentation with the spicy Armagnac additive to the soup brought to the table and the soup body added to make the entire dish. I have always said that food should be fun as well as sustenance.
The main dish was a Barramundi and again Chef Kenneth showed his talent with the fish bagged for steaming before the others were loaded on top of the fillet, being sauté spinach, herb mousseline and pomme chateaux.
Even the dessert showed the Kenneth touch, being a home-made French Apple tarte with ice cream, and not an English apple tart or German Apfel Strudel. I got my knuckles rapped over my error.
Thai Garden Resort is inching its way to new levels and is worth exploring. It cannot remain at the same low price, so I would recommend making a booking and ask if there is an extravaganza on offer.
The Extravaganza was only THB 1,590. A bargain.