Succeeds with a Winning Formula

by Mick and Di, The Food Lovers

Transitioning with a noticeably different beat, East Tapas Lounge is confidently back in the capable hands of owner/bon vivant, John.  His many years of residing in Spain have hugely influenced the new gastro-morph at this restaurant resulting in an interesting Hispanic-inspired menu.  From tapas to tacos, patatas bravas to paella plus lots more European favourites, this menu is big on choices and bursting with bravo.

When Mick and I dined there the other week, John succinctly expressed his objective, “I want East Tapas Lounge to be a reliable place, fairly priced and comfortable”.  It is certainly all three.  The interior has been totally remodeled, including opening up the kitchen area into a display concept where the antics of chefs are on full view under the watchful eye of Head Chef Dang.

The interior is classy and elegant.  Stylish black leather seating areas surround the tables and the big al fresco terrace affords taking the night air and of course, people-watching in this animated part of town.  Plus, it is certainly fairly priced; all toasted bread tapas are only B.60 (five for B.250), the four-course set menu B.380, and the extraordinary “all-you-can-eat” tapas/paella/free flow wine buffet is B.690. On a previous visit, Mick and I had enjoyed the tapas platter together with a glass or two of the house wine.   Very tasty (and highly recommended) they were too but on this occasion we were invited to delve into the diverse dishes on the a la carte menu.

We opted to commence with soup:  lobster bisque for me and gazpacho for Mick which was followed with cold starters of beef carpaccio and home marinated salmon carpaccio.  The soup was creamy and robust with generous nuggets of lobster, the gazpacho a true Andalucían and the two carpaccio variations of the finest quality.  The stand out dish for me though was the house salmon; it melted in the mouth with sweetness and succulence and with a price tag of only B.190 a culinary bargain indeed.

All the warm starters are in the B.160 range and include a profusion of imported mussel dishes, rock lobster with cheese cream sauce, fried mushrooms in olive oil and even a chili con carne. Our main courses then arrived – crispy duck breast in orange sauce and cold roast beef slices accompanied by fried potatoes.  Chef Dang’s execution was faultless, the duck breast pink and tender and the orange sauce delightfully tart and sweet.  Mick pronounced his roast beef “wonderful – the best I’ve tasted for a long while”, which made two satisfied customers at our table.

Fish lovers would be well served by the skewered fish fillets or the rock lobster thermidor (B.290) while meat fans could order the pork fillet Lugano, pepper filet steak with roast potatoes or the celebrated rabbit paprika.  Half a dozen Thai dishes complete this section of the menu. We couldn’t leave without trying the famous paella dish, so Chef prepared us a smaller version of this popular item. Three varieties to order here, seafood, pork or chicken.  The serving is for two (hungry) people.

We ordered seafood and it came bursting with flavour generously laden with shrimp, squid and big Australian green-lipped mussels.   A must have dish for all lovers of this Spanish national dish. After this volume of gleeful eating a dessert was beyond us but for all you sweet toothed out there the choices are very tempting indeed. Brandy flamed baked Alaska would have been my choice if I could have managed it or in fact any of the other offerings:   mousse au chocolat,  creme Catalan, vodka lemon sorbet, banana split, apple pie or the cheese plate.

This destination hits the spot in so many ways, from the swanky stylishness of the lounge/restaurant and cocktail bar to the friendly carefree vibes of the exterior terrace.  East Tapas Lounge has now, without doubt, settled into a winning formula.

Come here to enjoy tasty toasty tapas or select from a full a la carte menu at prices that will make your wallet smile.   We gave this restaurant a big tick.

East Tapas Lounge is located in Jomtien Complex.  Open daily from 5.00 pm until about midnight. Tel: 08 900 50012.

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