Wining & Dining at the Top
Late May this year saw the opening of the astonishing Horizon Restaurant and Lounge which floats atop the architectural phenomenon that is Hilton Pattaya. This is a top table dining destination on so many levels. Situated on the 34th floor with jaw dropping views over the bay of Pattaya, it is one extraordinary venue.
Mick and I found ourselves at the Hilton Pattaya recently soaring to the 34th floor to meet the charming marketing communications manager, Dhaninrat (Sunday) Klinhom. When you exit the lift be prepared for the mood lighting to propel you from the quotidian to nocturnal innovatism that is unveiled on entry. Staff wait at the entrance to guide you into this stellar venue. The dining room is sleek, chic and captivating offering the luxury of three floor-to-ceiling glass private dining rooms while the main area seamlessly segues onto the suspended Infinity Bar truly taking al fresco dining to the next level. Yet another architectural singularity is the “Stargazer Lounge which affords spectacular viewing of the stars through the unique circular opening in the overhanging roof.
Once seated we had time to take in more of the amazing décor. A glance upwards and the ceiling resembles a starlit night sky while the huge windows offer some of the best views over Pattaya. On the evening that Mick and I dined the heavens were totally overcast so, unfortunately, no sunset, but instead we were witnesses to the most spectacular storm with lightening streaks across the horizon, torrents of rain and almost typhoon winds. Just as spectacular in its own way as a tequila sunset.
A glass of Champagne in hand we browsed the menu. Executive Sous Chef Shaun Venter has been seconded to bring his special stamp to the menu and combined with the indubitable talents of Executive Chef Supoj Suwanwong we had high culinary expectations. The menu is contemporary fusion with emphasis on world class ingredients with globally-inspired flavours and fused influences. The first dish to be served was a remarkable edamame (green soy beans) veloute containing vanilla cured Atlantic salmon and coconut air (B.550). The coconut soupy emulsion was served separately, releasing a subtle aroma as we slowly poured it’s light-as-air espuma over the salmon. It was delicious; a remarkable dish. This was quickly followed by coconut prawns treated to a tamarind glaze with crispy shallots and golden garlic. Other starters include blackened Hokkaido scallops, Duck confit ravioli served with orange scented lobster bisque and truffled greens, and crab cocktail containing avocado, salmon caviar, coconut, citrus and micro salad.
Our main courses were then served and with these we were drinking an outstanding bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir. The first to be sampled was the Moulard Duck Breast accompanied by a vanilla thyme risotto, baby bok choy and a shitake jus. The Moulard duck is a hybrid domestic duck produced by crossing a female Pekin with a male Muscovy Duck resulting in a much celebrated gastro-duck. It was a memorable plate, the duck having been cooked to perfection and the surrounding accompaniments superb, especially the luscious risotto. This was swiftly followed by a Kurobuta pork tenderloin served with parsnip mash, grain mustard, Medjool dates and sage butter. Kurobuta pork is the most highly prized in Japan and comes from the ancient breed of pig known as Black Berkshire. It is regarded as the highest quality pork in the world. Combine this with the Medjool dates known as the diamond of dates (and were once reserved only for Moroccan royalty) and the dish rises to a royal status.
Main courses also include corn-fed confit chicken leg (B.850), Portobello mushroom “lasagne” with artichokes, avocado, asparagus, confit tomato, truffled leeks and crisp wonton. Also on offer is Australia beef cheek with five spices, celeriac, asparagus, and shrimp “popcorn” plus a magnificent (to share) dish of 48-hour lamb shank with herb falafel, edamame and feta salsa and roast garlic aioli (B.2,200).
For dessert we passed over the likes of honey and thyme brulee, chocolate sphere or even sticky date pudding and plumped for the five cheese platter. These were accompanied by raisons, crystal chickpeas and dried apricots, grapes, crackers and dark bread. Each cheese from the pungent goat variety to Jarlsberg, Appenzeller and Brie were ideal examples of their ilk and appreciatively served at exactly the right temperature. It was an outstanding finale to our exquisite dining experience at Horizon. The uber-swanky Infinity Bar offers bar bites for casual nibbling together with cocktails, wines and spirits plus privileged panoramic views over Pattaya City.
In summing up, dining at Horizon is an experience of luxury overload. Lavishness, extravagance and indulgence are all words that aptly describe the venue and the gourmet menu. It is chic, sleek and glamorous with enough chutzpa to satisfy the zeitgeist which is rapidly becoming the new Pattaya.
Horizon is located on the 34th floor of Hilton Pattaya, Beach Road, Pattaya. Tel: (03) 825 3000. Open daily from 5.00 pm till 1.00 am. Smart dress code applies.