by Mick & Di, The Food Lovers
Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya is the only themed hotel in Thailand. It’s a jungle, it’s a Lost World, it’s an award winning 5-star resort that houses eight diverse restaurants designed to meet all the food cravings of its guests. The hotel is created as two soaring 18-storey towers connected by sky bridges and set on the fine sands of Wongamat Beach. The exterior boasts its own jungle, water park, river, waterfalls, water sports, boating, fishing and kayaking while the interior décor is a dwarfing experience of towering wooden columns, rock clad walls and colossal contemporary works of art.
From Centara’s coterie of restaurants and bars we had been invited to dine at their signature Asian restaurant, Ginger & Lime. Decorated in sleek pavilion style, al fresco dining is the attraction (a private dining room offers an air-conditioned ambiance). From June 1 the restaurant is offering a Daily Asian and Thai Seafood Buffet Dinner (B.888++ or B.1,045 net) featuring the skills of their chefs cooking to order. It was to this new promotion that Mick and I had been invited to taste the extravaganza of pan-Asian cuisine.
This modern Asian food court is a great location presenting a pan-Asian kitchen featuring every conceivable cuisine from Korean chicken soup to their four teppanyaki stations. It was rich pickings all round but we first headed out to the Sashimi Station. Here two huge, glistening, bright-eyed salmon sat waiting to be cut into sashimi pieces, maki rolls are prepared individually and all the requisite condiments are waiting to be picked. It was then over to the Wok Fry Station. Here, chef was at the ready to prepare fish with sweet chilli sauce, or chilli and lime or her signature dish, roasted fish with Thai herbs. Beef lovers would be well served by the combination with garlic and pepper or hot basil leaves plus lots more gastro-groupings. There are also many vegetarian options featuring tofu, Chinese cabbage, vermicelli with delicious condiments the likes of sesame oil and dried chilli.
The Noodle Station was a popular choice with deep-fried pork belly or barbeque plus stewed duck on offer. Som tam fans are well catered for on the Salad Station before moving on to the unmistakable aromas coming from the Teppanyaki Station No.2. Here large chubby shrimp await nestling next to rock lobster and chilli fried mussels Thai style (hoi tod) accompanied by garlic fried and steamed rice. Steamed vegetables (pumpkin and sweet potatoes accompany the lamb, chicken and pork in Japanese sauce at Teppanyaki Station No.3.
Desserts are as delicious as they are diverse. There’s the classic crepe suzette, deep-fried bananas Thai style, ice cream, jelly in a shot glass and the resort’s in-house patisserie providing the mouth-watering array of tarts, cakes and confectionary.
This is all pan-Asian cooking at its very best with the finest ingredients and a welcoming ambiance provided by the chefs wanting to give us the best Ginger & Lime experience.
This is not the only buffet available at Centara Grand Mirage there are special theme night buffets at all their restaurants. Monday is The Original Cowboy Night at Flames, Tuesday and Wednesday an all-you-can-eat salad bar and desserts at Flames. While Thursday night at The Beach is a Seafood BBQ buffet plus a spectacular Hawaiian and Polynesian fire dance show. Coast provides the entertainment on Friday nights with a Churrasco BBQ buffet with a live samba show. Head down to Oasis on Saturday nights for a Seafood Bonanza with the added attraction of a live circus show and Sunday nights for their Roast Sundays at Coast.
We were staying overnight so after our Asian experience we made our way to the 12th Club Mirage floor. The bed was so, so comfy and the bedding luxurious, we even had a pillow menu. We awoke to stupendous views out over the bay from our splendid balcony and had time to take in lavish furnishings keeping the jungle theme throughout, although with a very luxurious stamp. Breakfast on the Club Lounge was a delight with exceptional service and an excellent selection of breakfast items. Our Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya experience had been truly amazing. This is one unique destination and if you haven’t visited you owe it to yourself to get down there soon – there’s absolutely nowhere like it.