A Culinary Charmer!
by Mick & Di, The Food Lovers
At the nerve centre of this popular restaurant in Jomtien is the eponymous Natan and his partner Christophe who both manage to indefatigably manage the front of house hospitality and also produce the multilingual cuisine that leaves this contemporary kitchen. Combining their individual skills and patriotic penchants, the menu sings with Francophile and Thai dishes with a whole raft of international dishes in between.
The restaurant really is a pleasing space in which to while away some hours. There’s a leafy terrace, a pleasing colour palate and flattering lighting. The bar has a life of its own and was pleasantly buzzing when Mick and I visited recently as was the restaurant area, confirming that Natan’s has surely carved out a special niche for itself.
The restaurant exudes coziness and bonhomie with a tried and tested menu featuring strong influences from Italy and Spain and a prolific listing of everyone’s favourite starters including mussels in wine and cream, home-made soups, avocado and shrimp cocktail, crab and shrimp cocktail, hot goat’s cheese salad (B.250), tiger prawns in garlic butter with a whisky flambé (B.340), cheese plates, charcuterie selections, and vibrant salads. Totally enough to make a tapas style dinner and many diners come here for exactly that culinary experience. The “Specials Board” shines through daily with exciting dishes, the likes of beef Charolais bourguignon (B.370), grouper fish fillet with pink pepper, chicken and scampi fricassee, filet mignon de porc and bacon, entrecote maitre d’hotel and much more to really please all tastes.
The wine list has been personally selected by Christophe with some excellent choices with an eye not only to quality but also to please every pocket. We were drinking a crisp, fresh white gris at B.1,109 from Gerard Bertrand who is a leading winegrower and owner of flagship estates in the terroirs of Languedoc-Roussillon.
Our dinner perfectly commenced with a present from the chef of a creamy, rich foie gras accompanied by a fresh tomato salsa and toast. The signature foie gras terrine was outstanding, rich, silky and meltingly delicious (it is listed on the menu at B.450). The cocktail of crab, prawns and avocado had a moreish opulence with lashings of fresh crab meat, plump sweet prawns jumbled with creamy avocado and dressed with a classic Marie Rose sauce while Mick’s frogs’ legs were chubby, fleshy limbs served with a mixed salad garnish. Excellent dishes both, and from the sounds of the satisfied customers around us, we were all en route to culinary happiness.
The wine list offers some interesting labels from Spain, Australia and France with prices starting at around B.900, or the house carafe for B.330. New wines are being introduced regularly with this month’s promotion highlighting an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon from Minga Creek. Priced at B.790 for one bottle or B.1,390 for two, it’s quite a bargain. There’s also a Champagne Lombard Brut from Epernay on offer for B.1,995.
Mick and I chose our main courses from the “Specials”, fresh sea bass with mustard sauce and chicken and scampi fricassee for Mick. The mustard sauce was ambrosial, buttery with a kick of mustard and complemented the bass perfectly, while the chicken and scampi made good friends in their creamy sauce, making for the original French comfort food.
The Thai cuisine here comes highly recommended. From the deep-fried whole fish smothered in sweet and sour sauce to the fiery jungle curry with chicken or pork through squid fried with salted egg to the ever sought-after tom yam kung they are all here on this menu numbering more than 25 in total.
To finish, diners drool over these desserts. On a previous occasion when we ate at Natan’s a customer told us that the first time he sampled the chocolate mousse he cried tears of joy! Really, he said that! So how can you leave without trying it? It arrives in a pool of strawberry coulis wearing a tiny gold leaf tiara. An intensely erotic experience for all chocolate lovers! Another must try is a French specialty dessert called ‘omelette a la Norvegienne’ (better known to us as baked Alaska). This is flambéed with cognac for the sweetest indulgence. If you love a profiterole you must try them here. They are filled with rich vanilla ice cream and accompanied by an immoral chocolate sauce for a taste of dessert heaven.
Thai-French culinary ‘entente cordiale’ just oozes from this cordial gastrobar/bistro. Memorable morsels abound whether you are ordering from the interesting tapas menu or going for the full 3-course a la carte experience. To sum up, Natan’s offers mouth-watering dishes at wallet-friendly prices. It is the sort of local gem beloved by those in the know. No wonder it is such a favourite of the folk either living or holidaying in Jomtien. Do visit.
Thappraya Road, Jomtien (left-hand side between Jomtien’s new Second Road and the beach)
Open daily from 5 pm till midnight (closed Sundays)
Tel: 038 251 250
No credit cards accepted