Where the Sixties were alive and well for one night only while Chef Alberto cooked up a storm

by Mick & Di Barker

There’s always something happening at Silverlake Wine & Grill.  The owners, Surachai and Supansa, had a vision way back in 2002 to bring together their trio of passions, good wine, good food and good music.  Through the dint of their enthusiasm today this truly extraordinary destination, which covers over 480 acres of cultivated land, oozes with breathtaking scenery.  The vineyard bears both wine and table grape varieties and boasts the latest wine making and juicing technology from Italy to promote Thailand as a new-latitude wine region. Plus, it  has gained a reputation as a venue for exceptional live music performances.  The eclecticism and diversity of the musical genres is legendary, bringing to Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard the very best of local and international artistes.

It was “Yesterday” recently at the restaurant as the sounds of the Sixties reverberated to the roof with memories of the beat movement from 50 years ago and the rabid fandom that pursued.   Pattaya’s very own tribute band were the chosen genre to entertain us with the sounds of the iconic groups, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. Executive Chef Alberto Bruni had orchestrated a 4-course gourmet dinner in his own inimitable style to complement the proceedings.

After aperitifs on the terrace, the evening was launched with a baby spinach leaf salad with sea scallop enfolded in bacon as the first appetiser.  Extremely tasty with the salty wrapping of the scallop providing the on-trend umami factor, it made an ideal dinner companion to  the first Beach Boys number, “Good Vibrations” that was being performed by Barry Upton and friends on the stage.  The first pouring of the evening was a refreshing unwooded Chardonnay, straw coloured with an abundance of fruity flavours, it provided the perfect aperitif and also the ideal partner for the first appetiser.

Barry and the boys were now deep into their renditions of the celebrated 60’s Californian band with “Surfing USA” and “Ba Ba Ba Ba Barbara Ann” resonating to the delight of all present.  Toes were tapping, arms were flaying as the 60’s were being relived for the night.  The second appetiser was a delightful saffron scented cream soup of Blue Fin crab.  We love bisque and this one was rich, creamy and delicious;  the bottom of the bowl appearing far too quickly.    A rousing version of  “Help Me Rhonda” brought the set to a close and Mick and I were asked our choice of main course.  Our options were braised slow cooked lamb shank, home style Angus Intercostal beef stew or the fish alternative, grilled salmon fillet.

My penchant for fish is well known so that was definitely winking at me while Mick chose the 12-hour beef stew.  The salmon was simply cooked allowing the taste of fish to speak for itself, the interior was soft, sweet and iridescent while the peas,carrots and sharp, piquant capers provided a pleasing accompaniment.   Meanwhile, across the table Mick was enjoying his hearty beef stew escorted by creamy mashed potatoes.  The wine pairing was the award-winning Silverlake Cabernet Sauvignon  .  Deep garnet in colour with a nose of dark fruits and herbs, it was the ideal cohort for the richness of the beef.

The band now returned and were kitted out in Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club costumes to perform a selection of numbers from this legendary album released in 1967 plus many more.    The title song initiated the set which sent the assembled diners into raptures of recall, the younger set wondering just who were the Beatles.   ”Yesterday”, “Hey Jude” and “Yellow Submarine” followed, proving to be the greatest favourites of the evening and communal singing filled the rafters.

Dessert then arrived.  Italian baba cake with berries provided the sweetest of accompaniments to another successful musical evening reviving the sounds of those iconically famous Sixties.

Silverlake Wine and Grill is truly unique.  The surrounding countryside is spectacular and the pleasure of just being in this beautiful location is immense.  Come here to escape the hurly burly of Pattaya and to relax in an idyllic setting plus, of course, to enjoy a glass of wine or two.

Silverlake Wine & Grill is located on Soi Khao Chi Chan, Bang Saray. Open daily Sunday, Monday – Thursday from 11.00 am to 9.00 pm and Friday and Saturday 11.00 am to 10.00 pm.  Tel:  (089 896 5166) or visit their facebook page for the next musical evening.    The restaurant has capacity for 200 people including a private Chef’s Room that seats up to 40 people.

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