AKVAVIT GRILL & BAR

Jomtien’s Swedish Kitchen

by Mick and Di,

The Food Lovers

thefoodloverspattayatoday@msn.com

Swedish chef Pelle Pettersson is the hands-on proprietor of this most convivial Jomtien restaurant and bar.  His international chefery is evident from the eclectic a la carte menu   which has been recently embellished to the daily changing set menus.  He is the Skandinavian light in this kitchen ensuring that all dishes receive his Swedish touch but he also finds time to happily appear restaurant-side to chat with his guests and make informed recommendations.

The striking frontage is eye catching with a contemporary lit bar lighting the restaurant’s façade and a white canopy ceiling the ground floor with a further two levels of zone serving offering al fresco or an air conditioned dining room.

Chef Pelle’s homeland sparkles through the menu with a nod to this healthy, interesting cuisine and a wink to international fare that makes regulars and new comers seek out these tables.

Mick and I were invited recently to sample the new menu and were once more impressed, not only with the up-to-the minute stylish bar, but also the well planned layout of this comfortable bar-cum restaurant. For those who prefer a cooler air conditioned setting the restaurant at the top would hit the spot but we chose the upper terrace where we could enjoy the vibes and overlook the hurly burly of this lively part of Jomtien beach.

Rest assured, all the previous starter favourites are still here, the toast skagen (shrimps in dill mayonnaise at B.190) and two kinds of marinated herring served with sour cream, onion and boiled potatoes but also with some new additions which shine through with their Scandinavian heritage.   We chose two new menu additions, the pink pepper marinated salmon roll and the smoked red snapper (B.210).  The luscious salmon was silky and smooth with just the right measure of “pink pepper”.  These are not true “peppercorns” but similar tasting berries from the Baies Rose plant which add an elegant touch.   The red snapper was delicious, it cut softly and tasted sweet but full bodied from the invigorating smoking.

Burgers have always been a popular choice, especially the house Akvavit burger which comes with coleslaw, dressing, aioli, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, bacon, cheese, jalapeno chilies and French fries.  The planked steaks and fish seemed another popular choice.  We noted many a laden wooden board heading across the restaurant but we were here to try the new dishes so I opted for tiger prawns flambéed in Pernod and accompanied by a creamy white wine sauce with fresh herbs.  Mick chose the grilled pork fillet served with a Chanterelle mushroom sauce (B.390).  Both dishes more than came up to expectations, the big juicy prawns were soft, chunky and tasty with the added benefit of the aniseed flambé and the generous pork plate, tasty and appetizing.

Salmon of course is a star of Skandinavian cuisine and here it is served grilled with duchesse potatoes, hollandaise sauce and fresh vegetables.  Skewers are another house speciality and come in huge portions in the meat of your choice, either chicken, pork, beef or lamb fillets (from B.420).  Swedish meatballs served in a creamy gravy with mashed potatoes and lingon berries is a classic dish as is  “elephant ear” which is a very large and very thin beef slice flavoured with butter and accompanied by a  light Merlot sauce and French fries.  Along with all this, the Australian steaks come highly recommended:  the classic Chateau Briand Provencale for two people to share at B.930 or  Schnitzel Skandinavian style served with anchovies and capers with a red wine sauce and French fries.   The Thai menu offers 18 dishes from tom yum soup to whole fried sea bass with garlic and pepper.

Recommended desserts include a wonderful basil marinated strawberries in black pepper escorted by an ice cream scoop or a whipped cream layered creation incorporating meringue, ice cream and chocolate plus their  latest addition, deep fried Brie with fried parsley and cloudberry sauce.

Serving Swedish cuisine with a twist Akvavit successfully gives us a peep into this interesting cuisine.  Pelle is always on hand to help and recommend before darting back into the kitchen to direct his chefs.  Their weekend  buffet is also proving a great success.  From 12 noon to 4.00 pm for only B.245 you can take your fill of Swedish meatballs in cream sauce, chicken fajitas, roast beef, pastas, Pytt Bellman (a sort of Swedish hash), grilled honey ham, BBQ ribs and much more.    Here’s a beach-side restaurant where you can enjoy the drink of your choice or snack on their scrumptious shrimp baguettes.   The “After Beach” menu (15.00 to 18.00) offers bargains on beers,  mixed drinks, sandwiches and burgers.  So many reasons to visit this new gastro-bar restaurant – come here for a taste of international cuisine with a Swedish twist.

Akvavit is located on Jomtien Beach Road, the corner of Soi 3.  Open from 11.00 am  till late.  Tel:  (038) 233672 or visit www.akvavitjomtien.com. Catering service available.

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