Mediterranean Tapas at the Top
The Food Lovers
This penthouse restaurant is spectacularly located on the 23rd floor of Pattaya Hill Resort. The panoramic views from its culinary eerie are simply stunning. From 3.00 pm when the heat of the day slowly gives way to a magnificent sunset encompassing the night skyscape of both Pattaya and Jomtien Bays, this is the place to be. The wrap-around terrace affords a 360 degree vista and the rustic interior offers a cool, laid back area from which to gaze out over the landscape below. The new owners of this lofty eatery are Peter Garwood and Ewan Macglasham of the popular Eat Me Bistro.
Chef Joel (hailing from Sydney, Australia) has an impressive gastro-background having worked in a host of acclaimed restaurants, rubbed shoulders with such luminary master chefs as Heston Blumenthal, Albert Roux and Raymond Le Blanc and has been involved with many very swanky events companies in London. These included two famous names such as Mustard and Rhubarb where he had the opportunity to cook in the exalted kitchens of Buckingham Palace.
The restaurant serves extremely tasty tapas from across the Mediterranean at seriously friendly prices in an ambiance of a Spanish bodega. The house wine is Spanish and keenly priced at B.120 per glass. From the cold menu we decided to launch our dinner with the antipasto board (B.240). Everything here, where possible, has been cooked, cured, marinated or baked by chef himself making each item stand out with fresh, punchy flavours. The salmon gravlax glowed with shimmering pinkness and literally melted in the mouth the way only salmon can; the house terrine was a perfect example of a wedge of classic French terrine; the chorizo had been impeccably sourced for its authentic taste; the balsamic mushrooms were addictively good especially when enjoyed with the house Forcaccia. All the items on the board can be ordered individually, for example the gravlax is only B.125 with cream cheese and bread while that delicious chorizo comes with potatoes and a salsa verde for B.110.
Chef then prepared us a selection of the dishes from the hot menu. First up was the spicy meatballs with mint yoghurt. The kick of hot paprika in the zesty tomato sauce shone through while the balls themselves were ideal spheres of minced pork sunk deeply into the sauce. I loved the blue cheese Arancini. Tasty rice balls had been coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried to golden goodness. The twist here though was that the rice had been flavoured with a tangy blue cheese to bring a hit of salty savoury to the palate. These golden globes were my stand out dish but Mick favoured our next offering, potatoes and chorizo with salsa verde (B.110). Crisp, sautéed potatoes had been tossed with the aforementioned piquant Spanish salami to produce a plate of extreme tastiness. Two more dishes followed, duck breast with lime and pomegranate, and Chicken Ballotine with crispy onions (B.115). Both moreish substantial dishes to finish our pageant of dishes.
We would have loved to have tucked into a slice of the Pina Colada cake (B.95) courtesy of The Sweet Spot, Pattaya’s popular patisserie, but we’d enjoyed too many tapas by that stage and had to sadly forgo that treat.
23@Pattaya Hill is a welcome addition to Pattaya’s growing collection of eclectic establishments. It serves approachable food at very accessible prices and with its neighbourhood vibe, stunning penthouse location, and Chef Joel’s passion to make it succeed – it surely will.
Open daily from 3.00 pm till 11.00 pm except Tuesdays. Situated in the Pattaya Hill Resort, Soi 2, Pratamnak Road. Get the lift to the 22nd floor and walk the final flight to the restaurant. Tel: (038) 250 329. Ample undercover parking.