Archive for June 2nd, 2008

Swiss Food Restaurant – Pattaya

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Tel. 038 423504
Soi Diamond 175/29-30, Pattaya, Thailand
Open daily from 4 pm – midnight
Credit Cards: Visa, MC
Prices: Moderate

Dining Room

I do not recommend this restaurant as of October, 2009.

Since shortly after its opening in 1985 I have been dining in this small restaurant hidden on Soi Diamond and it is with great regret that I have had to downgrade this establishment. It is surrounded by all types of bars from girlie go-go bars to lady boy bars. In spite of this small annoyance, it is was in earlier days worth the effort to walk there, and in fact the only way to arrive at the door, since a car cannot drive down the narrow walking street. Being subjected to raucous noise and a carnival-type atmosphere on the way was really a small inconvenience to pay for the good experience that followed in the good-times of this restaurant. Remember, this is Pattaya where there are not a great many establishments serving good-quality food combined with a pleasant atmosphere as they have here.

Inside, you will find a charming dining room and bar with a friendly service staff; the manager/owner is from Switzerland. It is unfortunate that about a year ago after the long-time owner took leave, the European chef disappeared, and I was withholding comment to see if the cooking might improve, over one year later it has, if anything, deteriorated. It is always a mistake to replace a farong chef with a Thai sous-chef and expect that everything will remain the same; as it inevitably will not. I wrote one year ago: The salad bar, offering many varieties of fresh salads and other starters, has survived unscathed, although the rest of my former recommendations that follow after the colon, are mostly “hit and miss” these days: cheese fondue (400 gr.) for 2 persons with mixed salad, Geschnetzeltes “Zürcherart” with rösti, wiener schnitzel with pommes frites, pork fillet with morel cream sauce, beef fondue ( 400 gr. ) for 2 persons with (French fondue bourguignonne) beef imported from Argentina, “steak tartar” (raw beef fillet with combination of spices) prepared at your table. The wine list has been pared down and filled in with less-expensive Chilean and Argentinian wines (this is a fact not a criticism) and the house wines are barely adequate. Presently, in the Autumn of 2009 I am afraid that the salad bar has now deteriorated and all the above suggestions are no longer valid. I do not recommend dining at this restaurant at this time.

Desserts & Liqueurs
Hot cherries with ice cream and whipping cream
Liqueurs and eaux de vie: Grappa, Poire Williams, Kirschwasser, Obstler, Vieille Prune

Settha Palace Hotel, La Belle Epoque Restaurant – Vientiane, Laos

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Settha Palace Hotel,
6 Pang Kham Street, P.O. Box: 1618, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Tel: (856-21) 217581-2.
Fax: (856-21) 217583.

Built at the turn of the century as a private residence and later transformed into a French-colonial style hotel the French architecture is set off with colonial decor and period pieces. In 1999 the Settha Palace Hotel has been restored to its former glory. The pool, which has a pool bar and terrace offering light fare is surrounded by large landscaped gardens, in the center of Vientiane, only a ten minute drive from the airport.
The charming dining room of the La Belle Epoque Restaurant offers excellent French cuisine as well as seasonal Lao food or you may enjoy a drink at the Colonial Bar open throughout the day and evening. There is also a Sidewalk Cafe.

You have the choice of luxurious suites or choose from 29 graciously appointed rooms and suites with separate shower and bath. Each suite features a 4-poster bed, hardwood furniture, marbled bathrooms, It is interesting to point out, that this hotel has all the modern conveniences, satellite color television, electronic in-room safe, mini bar, large writing desk, wireless Internet throughout the hotel and IDD telephone; in a city that has not one glass high rise building!