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Evil Penevil

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Evil Penevil last won the day on September 22 2013

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About Evil Penevil

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  1. Christmas Dinner Options 2017

    Another expensive option, this time at the Holiday Inn: Santa Penevil
  2. Christmas Dinner Options 2017

    Two in Jomtien: Santa Penevil
  3. Christmas Dinner Options 2017

    Yes, indeed, that was an excellent dinner and I know a lot of hard work went into it. I can't see anything better this year at that sweet spot between price and value for money. Dicey Reilly's may come in second for Christmas Day dinner: Two more options: Santa Penevil Santa Penevil
  4. Christmas Dinner Options 2017

    Yes, it's a very reasonable price considering some fixed plate meals in cramped quarters cost more. It was a very Christmassy atmosphere at the Hard Rock. At the upper end of the Christmas meal scale you have Bruno's ... and at the top, there's the Hilton. The Marque Bar has a Christmas party, but I haven't seen anything about a Christmas meal. Santa Penevil Edited by Evil Penevil, Today, 04:07 AM.
  5. Christmas Dinner Options 2017

    Posted Today, 03:42 AM .... There's no lack of Christmas dinner options in Pattaya. At least 100 restaurants offer some sort of festive holiday meal. The difficulty is finding one that's both good and offers decent value for money. My choice has already been made. I had the Christmas carvery buffet at the Hard Rock Cafe last year and it was excellent. It had everything you could want in a Christmas buffet and then some. A few pics: But it is a bit confusing this year. Apparently Hard Rock has two Christmas options, the Santa Rock buffet ... and a BBQ buffet that's more expensive. Both buffets are held at the same time on Dec. 24th and Dec. 25th in the Starz Diner, so I imagine the BBQ buffet includes more dishes to appeal to non-Western diners. I can do without BBQ skewers, sushi and tiger prawns on Christmas Eve; I just want turkey, stuffing and other fixings, plus Christmas desserts. The Santa Rock buffet is fine for me. I sent HR an email asking for a clarification. Otherwise, the restaurants popular among farang are offering Christmas meals. I read frozen turkeys now cost 600 baht per kilo in Thailand, so it's understandable the meals are quite expensive. If past history is any guide, you need to book a table ASAP. More to come. Santa Penevil
  6. Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    It's been at least eight months since I've eaten at the Robin Hood Tavern in The Avenue Shopping Plaza. I have nothing against the Robin Hood, it's just there are so many options for dining in Pattaya that a restaurant has to be special in some way for me to eat there regularly. The menu at the Robin Hood is understandably focused on U.K. pub food, of which I've grown a bit weary. Last night a friend who'd never tried the RH wanted to give it a whirl and I went along. He had the cottage pie at 290 baht ... while I had the Hunter's Chicken for 260 baht. Neither of us had any complaints, but we both felt the food was a bit overpriced for what you get. There's enormous demand for U.K. food in Pattaya and dozens of pubs and restaurants vie to fill that demand- and the bellies of tourists and resident ex-pats. While the RH is physically a more comfortable restaurant (good A/C, spacious, well-lit) than most of its competitors, the food itself doesn't stand out. I had wanted the daily special, chicken tikka masala with naan and poppadom at 179 baht, but it was already finished at 7.00 p.m. When a special is no longer available, I do think they should take it off the board outside the restaurant. My friend liked his classic British comfort food. The taste was fine and the portion large, but he felt the price was high compared to similar portions of cottage pie at other restaurants. Hunter's Chicken is a ubiquitous dish that comes in many variations depending on the country where it's served. The RH's version was British style, which is very different from Chicken Chasseur (Poulet Sauté Chasseur) or Chicken Cacciatore ((Pollo alla Cacciatora). ] The British version usually consists of a chicken breast wrapped in a couple of rashers of bacon, then topped with BBQ sauce and cheese and baked. It's actually closer to a U.S. southern regional dish called smothered chicken (the BBQ sauce and bacon are the clues) than the French or Italian hunter-style braised chicken dishes. At the RH, the fillet of chicken breast had been pounded thin, breaded and pan-fried. It was topped with BBQ sauce (homemade, according to the menu), mozzarella cheese, two slices of streaky bacon fried crisp and some shreds of cheddar for color more than flavor. It came with a tiny portion of coleslaw, which was watery but good, a dish of ketchup and shoestring fries. The fillet had been nicely fried, although perhaps it had been pounded a bit too thin as the meat was somewhat dry. The BBQ was properly an accent and didn't overwhelm the dish. I could taste the chicken, bacon and mozzarella, not just BBQ sauce. Shoestring fries are a favorite of mine and the RH's version was done well. The super-thin slices of potato require split-second timing in the fryer; otherwise, they lose all flavor and only the crunch remains. Bottom line: The RH-style Hunter's Chicken gets a , although it didn't make my taste buds dance. The shoestring fries are as big an attraction as the dish itself. I can well imagine having it again, but I won't be rushing back. Evil
  7. Volare on Soi Bukhao (Soi 15)

    I have positive and negative observations about Volare. I'll mention the positive first. The Volare is an inviting and attractive restaurant in which to have a meal. The staff is friendly and attentive. The menu is extensive and includes some Italian dishes not frequently seen in Pattaya. It also features some Thai standards and international dishes like hamburgers. Prices for the Italian dishes (salads, appetizers, pasta, pizza, etc) are reasonable for what you get. Some of the non-Italian meat dishes, like steak and lamb chops, get into the 600- to 800-baht range, but I don't go to an Italian restaurant for such dishes. It's currently open 24/7 and offers an English breakfast at 130 baht, but again, Volare wouldn't be a natural choice for me for any sort of breakfast. Of the three dishes I have had at Volare, the first suffered from a miss in the kitchen, while the other two were excellent. On my first post-renovation visit, I ordered tortellini pomodoro (tortellini in a tomato sauce). Tortellini is a filled, ring-shaped pasta also called navel, i.e. belly-button, pasta thanks to its appearance and the legendary story of its origin. According to popular tradition, tortellini was the result of an Italian innkeeper peeping through a keyhole at a female guest. He only caught a glimpse of her navel, but it turned him on so much that instead of whacking off, he ran to the kitchen and invented tortellini. The filling most often used in tortellini is finely ground pork that's a bit bland by intention to highlight the broth or sauce with which it's served. The tomato-and-mince-meat sauce that covered the tortellini was fresh and vibrant, no complaints on my part. However, a couple of the pieces of tortellini were hard and dry on the outside. That's a sign they had been cooked in advance but hadn't been covered properly, so that they dried on top. It was a silly mistake, as tortellini only takes about 10 minutes to cook in boiling water. it certainly detracted from the meal, but not enough to deter me from returning for a second try. If all the pieces of tortellini had been freshly cooked, it would have been a great meal. I ordered the paccheri al pomodoro, basilico e ricotta (paccheri with tomato, basil and ricotta cheese) on my second visit. Paccheri is a very large tubular pasta, sort of what macaroni would look like if it could suffer from giantism. Paccheri occupies a special place in Italian culinary history. In a groundbreaking cookbook from 1839, a recipe for paccheri al pomodoro is one of the first published Italian recipes to call for a tomato sauce on pasta. Today we consider tomato-based sauces to be synonymous with Italian cuisine, but they are actually a relatively recent addition, dating back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. The tomato was introduced to Italy in the mid-1500s from Mexico via Spain. However, it took another 250 years for the tomato to catch on as a widely used ingredient in Italian kitchens. Paccheri dishes aren't often encountered outside Italy, so I was eager to try Volare's version. This time, the dish didn't let me down. Both the sauce and ricotta cheese were excellent and the collapsed tubes of paccheri supported the flavors well. This time, everything clicked in terms of flavor and seasoning. Good job, Volare! Every main dish at Volare comes with three pieces of nondescript commercial white bread and a tiny bowl of parmesan cheese. The bread is nice touch as it can be used to sop up the extra sauce, but I wish Volare had used better bread.There's also a pepper mill on each table. That night I decided to try one of Volare's pizzas. I chose prosciutto (dry-cured ham) as the topping. It's not a traditional pizza topping in Italy, nor is it customary in the U.S., but I love prosciutto and thought it would taste great on pizza. I was right. The pizza was 13 inches (33 centimeters) in diameter, which would put it between medium and large on the U.S. size scale. It had a thin Neopolitan crust and I would have preferred a bit more char on the bottom of the crust, but that may be a NYC thing. The sauce and cheese hadn't been laid too thickly so the taste of the prosciutto was overwhelmed. It was a good pizza and I wouldn't hesitate to order pizza again from Volare. And now it's time to mention something less favorable. The 10% service charge and the 7% VAT were tacked onto the prices shown on the menu. The paccheri (210 baht), Coke Zero (95 baht) and takeaway pizza (285 baht) added up to 590 baht. However, when I called chek bin, the total price I had to pay was 690 baht because the menu prices weren't net. I couldn't see it specified anywhere on the menu that the prices listed didn't include service and VAT, although it might be there somewhere in very small print. Naughty, naughty, Volare. The other less-than-favorable point is the cost of beverages at Volare. A Coke Zero is 111 baht with service charge and VAT. A SML is 140 baht on the menu, which would be 164 baht. Those are hefty prices. To summarize: Volare looks very fine after its makeover, the ambiance is good and the service friendly. The food is good and some dishes aren't on any other restaurant menu I've seen in Pattaya. However, a miss in execution pulls my overall opinion down, as does the failure to include service and VAT in the menu prices. Bottom line: I'll probably go back, but I'm not in a hurry. Pizza for takeaway might get more frequent business. Evil
  8. Volare on Soi Bukhao (Soi 15)

    Volare, a popular Italian restaurant, reopened at the beginning of November after a two-month closure for a major overhaul. It now features an enclosed bar and a totally redone outside dining area. It's located at the corner of Soi Bukhao and Soi 15, directly east of The Avenue Shopping Plaza and about 200 hundred meters south of LK Metro. Visually, the results are pretty impressive. And this is a pic of the bar from Volare's Facebook page: A fish tank has been built into the floor leading into the bar. The mural on one of the walls is eye-catching. A detailed view: The two nights I ate at Volare this week, it had quite a few customers; about 25 on the first night and 15 on the second. The first night I ate between 9.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. and the second between 23.30 p.m. and midnight. I was a bit surprised that so many were dining so late. The customers were a mix of plain vanilla farang with TG companions or male farang in groups as well as Russian and Asian tourists. That bodes well for Volare. To succeed in Pattaya's crowded restaurant segment, a restaurant has to attract customers of different nationalities. A Holiday Inn Express is due to open nearby in 2018 and it should provide Volare with a stream of potential customers. The new trendy but casual decor should also help. The brick pizza oven has been rebuilt at one end of the restaurant. I'm running into Internet hassles again, so I'll save the food reviews for the second installment. Here's a teaser: Tortellini pomodoro - Paccheri al pomodoro, basilico e ricotta - Pizza with prosciutto ham for takeaway - Evil
  9. Dave's Cantina on Soi Regional Land

    You might be disappointed on the guacamole side. I don't think Dave has it on the menu because of the problems in getting good avocados in Pattaya. Evil
  10. Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    The hours at Taco Taco Tex Mex have shifted a couple of times, but here's what its FB page now says: 3 p.m. to midnight. Evil
  11. Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    I've had several meals at Spaghetti Bistro, a rcently opened small restaurant on Soi 15 behind The Avenue Shopping Plaza. As its name indicates, pasta is its mainstay and it offers a surprisingly large choice for a small restaurant. All the standard pasta dishes on the menu can be done with spaghetti, penne or tagliatelle and there's an option to "design your own" plate of pasta in terms of sauce and ingredients. It also serves other Western dishes (steak, pork chops, chicken, tuna, salmon, salads, appetizers, sandwiches and desserts) and a few Thai dishes. It does have some interesting items on the menu that I am looking forward to trying the. "Oriental Merguez & Harissa" pasta as well as the "Camembert on Toast." The menu clearly has some French and international touches to it. It's mainly Italian, but not strictly so. There are four tables and some bar counter seats under the roof, plus a couple of small tables outside. It has a ceiling-mounted flat-screen TV and free WiFi. I tried the "Triple Cheesy (Parmesan, Emmental, blue cheese) with penne for 220 baht. It was a decent portion with excellent flavor. The chef got the mixture of cheeses just right. The penne was cooked as it should be, al dente. A problem with a lot of the pasta in Pattaya is that it is overcooked. Another day I had the old standard from my school lunches, spaghetti and meatballs, for 185 baht. The Spaghetti Bistrot version added diced fresh tomato. Again, a good portion with great flavor in the sauce and meatballs. Spaghetti Bistrot offers a daily special, such as the "Surf N Turf" announced in the pic below that I took from the restaurant's Facebook page. I've also seen Chicken Parmesan as a special for 240 baht. It also offers bottled beers, wine and spirits. One interesting feature is that it offers both take-away and delivery. It's also open from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 a.m., which are ambitious hours. The menu is extensive and rather sophisticated for a small restaurant. I no idea who owns it, but I've only ever seen Thais working there. The chef must have had a strong background in preparing European farang food. The only American items on the menu are the "Chicken Wings New Orleans" and the Chicken Parm, which was first made by Italian immigrants to the U.S. I certainly hope Spaghetti Bistrot succeeds, but I worry about its location. Soi 15 between 2nd Road and Soi Bukhao has very little foot traffic. Perhaps there are enough farang who live or stay in the immediate area to attract a solid customer base; otherwise it may struggle. The prices are reasonable for the quality of the food, but many enclosed restaurants with air conditioning offer similar dishes in the same price range. I wish them the best and I'm keeping. Second visit- This is what I had for supper: The menu calls it "Oriental merguez & harissa." Merguez is a spicy lamb sausage of North African origin. Harissa is a paste made from chillies and various spices. It's common in Moroccan cooking. That a sophisticated dish for a small outdoor eatery in Pattaya. I had it with tagliatelle and it cost 185 baht. I liked it very much. I enjoy merguez and it's not often you see it on menus in Pattaya. I like the "open kitchen" model. Yesterday a Russian woman was giving the cook a lot of suggestions about preparing her meal. Evil
  12. Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    And a new installment: Taco Taco Tex Mex is a food stall that sells tacos, burritos and margaritas in the Soi Bukhao Night Market (see map below). As you face the Night Market on Soi Bukhao, Taco Taco is in the front row of stalls, second from the left. It has a small folding table and a few plastic stools in front for anyone who wants to eat on site, but most of the business is takeaway. Your choice is limited to different types of tacos and burritos, all cooked to order. It's basically homestyle Tex Mex done by a cook who knows what she's doing in terms of flavor. There are plenty of hot sauces available to add as much heat as you want. She makes everything with just a little bit of bite. Taco Taco has four types of burritos: bean, pork, chicken and beef. They range in price from 80 baht for a bean burrito to 105 baht for the beef burrito in the pic below. The Taco Taco burritos are the large, U.S. variety, stuffed with a meat, potato and cheese mixture. I don't want to get too specific about the burrito style (Mission, California, San Diego, etc.) as that would require a long and complicated discussion. Suffice it to say the burritos I had from Taco Taco tasted great and were quite filling. The tacos can be ordered with either soft wheat tortillas or hard-shell corn tortillas and filled with pork, chicken or beef mixtures. They are based on small tortillas, three or four inches in diameter. That's the size of the original tacos sold as street food both in Mexico and in Mexican neighborhoods in the U.S. The larger U-shaped hard-shell pre-fried corn tortillas were invented in the 1940s by Mexican restauranteurs in the U.S. to speed up preparation in commercial kitchens. The hard-shell tacos were popularized in the 1950s mainly through the franchising operations of Glenn Bell, founder of taco bell. Shredded lettuce, sour cream and guacamole on hard-shell tacos is more Taco Bell than Mexican. The Taco Taco version is closer to the Mexican no-fuss type, but the yellow cheese topping makes it squarely Tex Mex. The tacos are small, so you'll need several if you are hungry. The food in the pics- a beef burrito, two soft pork tacos and two pork tortilla) cost 250 baht. Taco Taco Tex Mex is a great option for a takeaway meal or late-night snack. I simply love the beef burritos and could eat one every day. Of course, if you want a sit-down Mexican meal with more sophisticated flavors and a much wider choice of dishes, then visit Dave's Cantina (review) on Soi Regional Land. A pic and a special from Dave's: Evil For those not familiar with the Soi Bukhao area, here's a map. The Night Market is almost on a straight line due east of Central Festival Mall. The Night Market is a few hundred meters north of LK Metro. Jolly's and The Great American Sandwich Company are close to it.
  13. Dave's Cantina on Soi Regional Land

    Dave's Cantina opened eight months ago and has created quite a stir among Pattaya residents and visitors who enjoy Mexico-inspired food. It is ranked on TripAdvisor in 21st place among 901 Pattaya restaurants, which is a significant accomplishment for such a new place. I wrote this review in April, but have updated it. Dave's is still the top choice in Pattaya for those who want U.S. style Mexican food. I'll join the chorus of those singing praise for Dave's Cantina: it serves the best Mexican-style food currently available in any restaurant in Pattaya. I said Mexican-style because it's difficult to pin an all-encompassing label on the items served at Dave's. The menu is a mix of modern Mexican, California Mexican and Tex Mex standards, sprinkled liberally with Dave's own ideas and recipes, then whipped to a peak by meticulous preparation. Dave knows contemporary Mexican cooking and has put a lot of thought into the Cantina's menu. But it doesn't really matter how you categorize the food at Dave's; it's the taste that counts. Dave's gets full marks on that score. Dave's Cantina has only been open a couple of months and the menu is still relatively limited. That's a good idea, as it's much better to offer 10 great dishes than 20 mediocre ones. So far he has tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and chimichangas on offer, plus two kinds of soup (chile con carne y frijoles and tortilla) and dessert (apple chimichanga with ice cream and deep-fried ice cream). Pico de gallo (aka salsa fresca) and freshly dried tortilla chips are on the menu as a starter, while red rice, refried beans and pinto beans are the sides The tortilla soup is something of Dave's signature dish. Tortilla soup in it's original version is a clear chicken broth flavored with epazote, a Mexican herb, and topped with strips of fried tortilla. The soup served at Dave's is much thicker and filling, with a spicy kick. It has plenty of flavor and not just heat. It's better than a lot of the tortilla soup you find in North America. If you're going to taste one dish on Dave's menu, tortilla soup would be it. A cup is great as a starter and a full bowl would be meal in itself. I followed up with two soft corn tortillas filled with shredded pork, pico de gallo and cilantro. Again, there was plenty of flavor and just enough heat to keep it interesting. For those who want more burn, there are several types of chili sauce on the table. The sides were red (Mexican) rice and refried beans In and of themselves, they are pretty unassuming sides, available on combo plates in thousands of Mexican restaurants across the U.S. They function in part to function as belly-fillers, in part to balance the spiciness of the main dishes. They tend to be very bland, but not at Dave's. A lack of heat in the sides doesn't mean a lack of flavor and the rice and beans add real accents to the meal. This goes back to Dave's passion for finding the right flavor profile. then using the best ingredients available and preparing them properly. That's what elevates his food above the majority of Mexican-style restaurants you find outside Mexico. I rounded out my meal with a dessert that is as Mexican as an apple chimichanga. A rich apple filling, heavy on the cinnamon, was wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep-fried. It came with two scoops of ice cream. It was delicious and the flour tortilla is a great "container" for a fruit pie filling. The dessert is actually Dave's own invention and I say, "well done!" Total damage for the meal was about 500 baht, including a Coke Zero, which is a bargain for the quantity and quality of the food. I also ordered two burritos- one beef, one pork- for takeaway so I wouldn't have to brave the Songkran water-tossing for lunch the following day. I chose the 8" burritos for 150 baht because they warm up well in a microwave. Very tasty and strong on flavor but light on heat, exactly as I like them. I didn't take pics of the day-after burritos and have lifted the two pics above from Dave's Cantina's Facebook page. I like the decoration at Dave's, simplicity itself but colorful and attractive. I didn't have occasion to sample the bar, but it looked well stocked. I'm very pleased there weren't any sombreros, guitars or Day-of-the-Dead masks on the walls. The air conditioning works very well and there' are outdoor tables if that's your preference. This pic is from the Facebook page of Dave's Cantina. Dave's Cantina punches above its weight when comes to the food and in just two months has gone to the top of the list of Mexican-style restaurants in Pattaya. I just hope its location on Soi Regional Land won't prove too much of a hinder in attracting customers. The restaurant s not hard to find, but a pain in the butt to get to if you don't have your own wheels. Of course, it's just a short haul by moto from Tuk Com, but otherwise, customers face a long walk or taking a taxi to get to Dave's. Bottom line: Dave's is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys the type of Mexican food found in restaurants outside Mexico. It's hours are 1.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. Evil Some more pics from Dave's FB page, just to give you a better idea of the types of dishes that are served.
  14. Marquee Bar's 100-Baht Sunday Roast

    The Sunday roast at the Marquee could have several purposes, all of which function in the bar's favor. It could be a hook for new customers; a "reward" for steady customers; and even have niche appeal to those who only want a modest portion of food because of stomach problems or limiting calorie intake. However, such special offers sometimes backfire if they only attract people who buy the special and nothing else, then only visit the bar when the special is available. It becomes extra work for the bar but no extra revenue. Evil
  15. Marquee Bar's 100-Baht Sunday Roast

    Me three. I think my dubiosity along those lines was the main reason I waited so long to try it. But they seem to be pulling it off. They've run the Sunday roast special for nearly 1.5 years and it's quite popular. I've seen it suggested that the special could be a loss leader, a means of attracting customers to the bar. With its scooter and Mod theme, the Marquee was already a busy bar with a loyal customer base. I guess the Sunday roast special could be an attempt to broaden its customer appeal. My bottle of SML cost 65 baht, which isn't at all expensive. Evil
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