As British as Bacon Butties…
The Food Lovers
The British have been responsible for many inventions over the centuries but probably the most imitated worldwide is the good old pub. There’s hardly a country in the world that doesn’t boast an Olde English (or Scottish, Welsh or Irish) pub of some description. Their names have interesting origins, largely in the beginning from the masons and craftsmen involved in church building like The Masons Arms and The Carpenters. However, Pig and Whistle is different as it is said to derive from two words “Piggin” and “Wassail”. A piggin is a vessel (such as a jug) used to carry ale and wassail means a toast as in “Good Health”.
We have two pubs with that name here, one The famous Pig and Whistle, restaurant (and inn) on Soi 7, Pattaya which has been a constant here for almost 20 years through its many renovations and expansions. It is as English as Big Ben and beans on toast and its perennial popularity is attributed to its friendly atmosphere and hearty servings of traditional pub grub at reasonable prices. The other is its sibling in Jomtien on Thappraya Road just as it turns down to Beach Road.
From 8:30 am to midnight this kitchen is in full flight providing the class of dishes that has made the Pig and Whistle famous. Inside the establishment, the décor is a modern, loungy sports bar with three big screens showing the matches of the day, a big comfy bar and banquette seating for friendly get-togethers and sociable events. Local and imported bottled and draft beers are on tap together with a reasonable selection of wines at wallet friendly prices.
The English breakfast menus are legendary and many a trencherman has been defeated by The Pig’s “full Monty” of two eggs, two English sausages, two rashers of Wiltshire bacon, baked beans, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, fried potatoes, fried bread plus toast and marmalade at only B.190. Breakfast meatheads would be well and truly satisfied with the No. 1. Special set: fillet steak (100 grams), two eggs any style, bubble and squeak and mushrooms for B.195. Even those folk who enjoy a kipper for breakfast are kept happy with the No. 2 Special set: kipper, scrambled eggs, bacon and toast for B.195. All the breakfast items, including the bubble and squeak and black pudding can be ordered singly or with any item of your choice.
Mick and I visited the other evening to sample the English victuals and were very impressed with the hearty and the homely “just as mum used to cook” quality of all this pub fayre. Come hungry though, the portions are huge and the staff (especially chef) disappointed if your plate isn’t licked clean before its return to the kitchen.
After much deliberating (it all reads so well), we chose to kick off the proceedings with a portion of their signature chicken liver pate (B.120). Deeply rich in flavour and served with dark brown bread toast and garnish, it was top-drawer and considering the size of the portion would make for a very good lunch or afternoon snack. Other starters include the perennially popular Norwegian prawn cocktail, spring rolls or one of their homemade soups with the pea and ham variety coming highly recommended.
We should mention the sandwiches now before we move on to the main courses. These are wonderful “doorstop” affairs: huge slices of thickly sliced white bread generously packed with the filling of your choice, i.e. hot chicken, roast beef, bacon and egg, sausage and egg and even pork and apple with prices from around B.75.
Half-time by now and Mick and I were wondering where to take our taste buds for a nostalgic trip back to the times when the term “gastro-pub” had never been coined. We chose a traditional Wiltshire gammon steak served with an egg, fresh pineapple, garden peas and chips and the house bangers and mash. Three UK recipe fat chubby sausages were served with caramelised onions, peas, a gravy that shrieked “mmm Bisto” and a mound of buttery mashed potatoes (B.235). Mick meanwhile was tucking in and reminiscing about the last time he had enjoyed a gammon steak so much (decades ago!) and we were both waxing lyrical about this classic, traditional food that had successfully made the long trek from the British Isles to the Land of Smiles. Incidentally, the Thai menu abounds with over 30 items to please the most discerning Thai diner.
No self-respecting pub would be without fish and chips and here it is a house speciality featuring huge fillets of white fish deep-fried in a “light as a feather” batter and served with mushy peas and chef’s individual tartar sauce. So many mouth-watering dishes on this menu – I haven’t even mentioned the famous Pig and Whistle mixed grill yet! Valiant trenchermen only are required to tackle this gourmand’s platter of sirloin steak, pork chop, lamb chop, pork sausage, liver, kidney, fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, fried onions and chips. It will set you back B.500 but then you probably won’t eat again for a week!
We really enjoyed the classic homely dishes here at the Jomtien Pig and Whistle. For a true taste of the best of British it would be hard to beat this most convivial pub with its hearty, nourishing food, friendly staff and welcoming vibe.
The Pig & Whistle Jomtien
Situated at the bottom of Thappraya Hill on the right-hand side going towards Jomtien beach and opposite La Bocca restaurant
Open daily from 8:30 am to midnight
Tel: 038 303 289