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Evil Penevil

Under 300 Baht ... And Mediocre

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I started the "Under 300 Baht ... And Good!" thread to disprove a particularly silly statement that  claimed  if you spend less than 300 baht on farang food in Pattaya,  you get "garbage." 

It was easy to find dozens of examples of good farang food that cost less than 300 baht in Pattaya.  The "Under 300 Baht..." thread has run more than two years and still has a ways to go. There are so many restaurants in town where you can get good food under 300 baht and it's almost impossible to cover them all.

However, not all the food in I try qualifies as good.  Mediocre dishes also abound under 300 baht, so I decided to start a thread about those meals.

But before we get going, I have to stress "mediocre" is not the same thing as "bad." Mediocre means "average or ordinary in quality; neither very good nor very bad." Generally speaking, a mediocre meal will be adequate, but not more.  One more time, so everyone understands: mediocre does not mean bad.  Another point to stress is that a good restaurant can serve an undistinguished dish while the rest of its menu is much better. One mediocre dish does not a mediocre restaurant make, much less a bad restaurant.

So with the notes of explanation out of the way, feel free to share the details of meals in Pattaya that were notable only for their mediocrity, no matter in which restaurant you had them. It doesn't necessarily have to be farang food.  It can be Thai, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, whatever.   Thanks!

 

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The fixed plate roast chicken dinner at the Robin Hood Tavern for 199 baht rates a "C," with one component on the plate scoring an "A," two failing miserably and the rest average. 

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I give the roast chicken an "A" because it was a generous portion of juicy and tasty chicken.  

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The Yorkshire pudding and bacon-wrapped sausage were inedible, so they get "Fs."  The Robin Hood also has a carvery buffet for 299 baht and I believe the Yorkshire and the sausage had stood on heating trays for a long time and the plate had been rewarmed in a microwave or oven before serving.  The Yorkshire was burnt on the outside, tough as leather inside.  The bacon around the sausage was so hard it couldn't be chewed.  The vegetables and potatoes were OK, but nothing special, the definition of mediocre.

A possible upside for some diners is that there was a lot of food on the plate.  The downside was that except for the chicken, it was mediocre or bad food.  The Robin Hood Tavern is located on the  first upper level of The Avenue on 2nd Road.  

 

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Take Away is an oddly named restaurant on Soi Bukhao, close to the subsoi that connects New Plaza with Bukhao.  It's menu aims it clearly at visitors from the U.K. as it's heavy on what can be considered British comfort food.

 

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Prices aren't exactly cheap, but they are reasonable and every item on the menu is under 300 baht, with most under 200 baht.

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You order at the counter and pay at the counter, but the food is carried to the tables by the waitress.

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I tried the spaghetti Bolognese for 180 baht. Maybe that was a bad choice on my part.  If I eat there again, I'll pick something more British.

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Basically, it was a bland ground beef sauce dumped on top of overcooked pasta.  There was no Italian seasoning and very little tomato in what was supposed to be a Bolognese sauce. Mediocre is the best I can rate it. The garlic bread was actually the tastiest part of the meal.

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Lee's Diner has been operating eight years in the Pattaya restaurant shark pool, which is a longer run than many get. 

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It's located on Soi Diana near the intersection with LK Metro and dishes up Thai and farang food 24/7.

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It's clean and well-lit, which are definitely positive factors in my eyes.  A serious downside factor is that there's no wall between Lee's and the neighboring bar that features a live band blaring the usual numbers at ear-splitting levels. 

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What the band lacks in quality it makes up in volume. There is no way I could ever eat a meal with that deafening racket in the background, but the band knocks off at 2 a.m. and that's when I tried Lee's recently.  I had eaten at Lee's in years past, but hadn't gone back much because I found the food, well, ... mediocre.

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There was nothing about the beef with oyster sauce I had at 160 baht that caused me to change that opinion. 

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It was bland and heavy on the vegetables but light on the beef, also a bit oily.  On the positive side, the ingredients seemed fresh and the beef wasn't tough.  Everything considered, it fit comfortably in the realm of mediocrity.

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Edited by Evil Penevil
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Great reviews evil. Thanks a million for this.

I would agree with your review of the take away on buakhao, had a green curry there it was rank.

Whilst not expensive it isn't cheap for Thai food, especially when there is much better grub around for less.

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3 minutes ago, dcfc2007 said:

Great reviews evil. Thanks a million for this.

I would agree with your review of the take away on buakhao, had a green curry there it was rank.

Whilst not expensive it isn't cheap for Thai food, especially when there is much better grub around for less.

Love his reviews as well.

My only constructive criticism is he will eat in an empty restaurant and I wont unless I really know the place. Good and clean food in Asia is about the place being packed with a high turnover of food.

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10 minutes ago, NewAmsterdam said:

Love his reviews as well.

My only constructive criticism is he will eat in an empty restaurant and I wont unless I really know the place. Good and clean food in Asia is about the place being packed with a high turnover of food.

Funny you should say that.

Went for an Indian last night with a pal that we had been told was nice.

Got into the place about 6pm and it was empty. Thought maybe it's still early and it will pick up later.

The food turned out to be rancid.

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Guest Madusa
23 minutes ago, Evil Penevil said:

 

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Is  that a dog turd ?

Edited by Madusa

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Never been one for British food in Thailand, altho steaks and ribs in a few places were good, not really British tho.

Remember the Landmark in Bangkok had a big banner outside during the 'MadCow' era...We Serve British Beef here.

Tony Roma's in Bangkok good for Ribs, Manhattons in Pattaya good for steaks.

Kiss for those soak up the beer times

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18 hours ago, NewAmsterdam said:

Love his reviews as well.

My only constructive criticism is he will eat in an empty restaurant and I wont unless I really know the place. Good and clean food in Asia is about the place being packed with a high turnover of food.

Thats a good call anywhere ,  but at the moment its  very quiet  ..

Like you I  love his  reviews  ,  top notch great input   honest and very helpful ...  But what would you expect  from a grade A gentleman...

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18 hours ago, Madusa said:

Is  that a dog turd ?

I guess you want to go and eat one :071:

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The all-you-can-eat international buffet at the Atlantis Restaurant at the Centara Azure on Soi 15 behind The Avenue falls squarely in the mediocre column.  It runs Monday through Thursday, 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m, and costs  299 baht.  
 
There isn't much variety- about eight main dishes ( four each of Asian and farang food), a measly salad bar and a few side dishes, appetizers and desserts to choose from. It's not a bountiful buffet. The food is undistinguished and dining can be hassle due to Chinese and other tour groups.  We got there at 7.00 p.m. but the serving trays had already been heavily plundered and the staff was slow to refill them.


 
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It's a rather off-putting experience to see Chinese tourists hit a buffet and much worse if you have to compete with them.  I'm not going to say more, but I think you get the idea. 
 
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The best thing about the Atlantis is the decor and huge aquarium. Kids love it, but it's sad when watching fish in a restaurant is more enjoyable than eating fish.

 

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I haven't tried the BBQ buffet and never will, but a friend who did try it thought it was not just mediocre but bad considering the price.

 

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Evil

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Thanks for the report and pics evil.

 

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On 7/29/2018 at 1:08 PM, Parky said:

Thats a good call anywhere ,  but at the moment its  very quiet  ..

Like you I  love his  reviews  ,  top notch great input   honest and very helpful ...  But what would you expect  from a grade A gentleman...

Grade A for sure

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A lot of people favor the Sailor Restaurant on Soi 7, mainly because it is cheap, but I've never had much luck. I've eaten there five times in the past six years  Three meals were bad (one totally inedible), one was good and the most recent (Thursday night) was mediocre.

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I tried one of the more expensive items on the menu, the T-bone steak for 150 baht. It came with a choice of potatoes, boiled vegetables and a smattering of cabbage salad.
I'm fully aware for that price baht you're not going to get imported beef, so my expectations weren't too high.  I asked for the steak to be done medium and that's how it came.

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As soon as I had a piece of it in my mouth, I was reminded of the children's story "The Little Engine That Could."  Chew, chew, chew and me telling myself, "I think I can, I think I can."  It wasn't impossibly tough, but tough enough to place it in the mediocre category.  The mashed potatoes tasted weird and the veggies had been boiled way too soft for me, but some people like them that way.

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I knew before I stepped into the Sailor I was entering the heart of Cheap Charlie darkness, where price and portion size are more important than taste.  I figured I'd get a mediocre meal and that's exactly what happened.  But whatever its culinary faults, the Sailor has been in operation for many years and remains popular.  I sat down at the last available table about 8.00 p.m. At least 30 people were dining, including three groups of  eight. It thinned out a bit as I ate my meal, but it still had plenty of customers when I finished.

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 The day the zombie apocalypse comes to Pattaya, the Sailor Bar & Restaurant will be one of the last bastions of Cheap Charliedom to fall before the final stand at New Plaza. I'll visit the Sailor in another 12 months to see if anything has changed for the better or (God forbid) the worse.

Evil

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Cheers Evil. Do you remember the story about the bm Codeslayer from Secrets who stabbed someone with a fork outside Sailor bar a few years ago?  

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Sailor is ok for a drink or two, sometimes you find a nice freelancer.

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4 minutes ago, John M25 said:

Cheers Evil. Do you remember the story about the bm Codeslayer from Secrets who stabbed someone with a fork outside Sailor bar a few years ago?  

No, I don't recall ever hearing that story.  But I remember reading that the old Thai lady who owned the restaurant once pulled a pistol on a troublesome customer and threatened to shoot him.  She even chased him out into the street where he set the world's speed record for running while drunk.  

Apparently there have been some heavy-duty incidents at Sailor in the wee hours after guys have been sitting all night lapping up the cheap booze.

Evil

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11 minutes ago, Evil Penevil said:

No, I don't recall ever hearing that story.  But I remember reading that the old Thai lady who owned the restaurant once pulled a pistol on a troublesome customer and threatened to shoot him.  She even chased him out into the street where he set the world's speed record for running while drunk.  

Apparently there have been some heavy-duty incidents at Sailor in the wee hours after guys have been sitting all night lapping up the cheap booze.

Evil

Keep up the good work,  love your pictorial reports. Please could you do Soi 7& 8 and LK Metro? 

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I wish I could have included the Chunky Monkey's 99-baht spaghetti bolognese special of the day in the "Under 300 Baht ... And Good!" thread, but it just didn't make the grade. 

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What I got was tasteless sauteed ground beef dumped on top of a plate of spaghetti.  There was no real sauce and no seasoning at all, Italian or otherwise.

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 Some pieces of onion and garlic and maybe a spoonful of tomato puree had been added to the beef, but in such a small quantity and cooked for such a short time they didn't add any flavor.  The watery liquid wasn't a sauce.  Even the little dish of grated Parmesan cheese from a package was flavorless.

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If there were an Olympics of Blandness for restaurant food, this would be a gold medal winner. But as standard restaurant fare, it ranks no higher than mediocre.   For 99 baht, I'm not expecting the best spaghetti in town, but it should at least have a proper sauce with an Italian flavor.  

The Chunky Monkey (on Soi Buakhao across from Tree Town) has been open about three weeks and has already established itself as one of the more popular eateries in the area.  I certainly wish it well, but I hope the spaghetti bolognese will improve.  I've only eaten there twice and so far the Chunky Monkey is batting 50-50 with me: one good meal, one mediocre.  You can read about the good meal here (post #144).

Bottom line:  The mediocre spaghetti special won't deter me from returning to the Chunky Monkey.
 

Evil

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That's an absolutely humongous portion for the price, albeit it was crap. I love spaghetti Bolognese but it has to be done right. Got to be bursting with tomato, garlic and a hint of chili to it.

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1 hour ago, Evil Penevil said:

I wish I could have included the Chunky Monkey's 99-baht spaghetti bolognese special of the day in the "Under 300 Baht ... And Good!" thread, but it just didn't make the grade. 

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What I got was tasteless sauteed ground beef dumped on top of a plate of spaghetti.  There was no real sauce and no seasoning at all, Italian or otherwise.

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 Some pieces of onion and garlic and maybe a spoonful of tomato puree had been added to the beef, but in such a small quantity and cooked for such a short time they didn't add any flavor.  The watery liquid wasn't a sauce.  Even the little dish of grated Parmesan cheese from a package was flavorless.

IMG_0098.jpg

If there were an Olympics of Blandness for restaurant food, this would be a gold medal winner. But as standard restaurant fare, it ranks no higher than mediocre.   For 99 baht, I'm not expecting the best spaghetti in town, but it should at least have a proper sauce with an Italian flavor.  

The Chunky Monkey (on Soi Buakhao across from Tree Town) has been open about three weeks and has already established itself as one of the more popular eateries in the area.  I certainly wish it well, but I hope the spaghetti bolognese will improve.  I've only eaten there twice and so far the Chunky Monkey is batting 50-50 with me: one good meal, one mediocre.  You can read about the good meal here (post #144).

Bottom line:  The mediocre spaghetti special won't deter me from returning to the Chunky Monkey.
 

Evil

At 99 Baht it may eve get the chasers to buy some food there :)  It will make the 199 Lasanga  scroungers very happy ... 

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I haven't had much luck at the Chunky Monkey.  I tried the 99-baht daily special yesterday- chicken rissoles with onion gravy and mashed potatoes- and it was as bland as, well, unseasoned chicken.

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 The only flavor came from the thick, glutenous package gravy to which a few bits of onion had been added.  The chicken patty itself was totally lacking in any sort of seasoning and consequently, no taste either.

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On the plus side, the mash was good and the patty had been cooked properly.  It wasn't dry inside, but it had an extremely smooth texture, though, which gave it a weird mouth feel.  The rissoles would have been much helped by the addition of diced onion, garlic, carrot, green pepper, whatever, but most of all it needed herbs or spices.  There are dozens of variations to Australian-style rissoles.  There's no one right recipe, but there is a wrong way.  I scraped off the icky gravy and gave the rissoles a few splashes of HP Sauce from the condiment basket.  That improved them, but it didn't make them good.

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Bottom line: The Chunky Monkey now has two strikes against it in my book.  In the near future, I'll try either the Sunday roast or the meatloaf dinner.  A third strike will put it out for me as a dining option for quite awhile.

That's unfortunate,  as it has a convenient location and an enclosed air-conditioned dining area. It's well-lit, clean and spacious, with the background music played at a blessedly low volume and friendly service. Not many budget restaurants in Pattaya tick all those boxes. 

The prices for bottled beer are very low (55 baht for Leo and Chang, 65 baht for SML) and big bottles cost 79 baht. Those are New Plaza prices, but in more comfortable surroundings.  Perhaps that will be enough to attract customers who aren't concerned about bland food. However, the cocktail van across the street could give it a run for the money for the budget-conscious drinkers.

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Nice report Evil. Not quite sure what you would expect for 99 baht to be fair, that’s not even the price of a 6” sub from Subway. Less than a hamburger from McDonalds.

I would expect tasteless shit for that price but again that’s just my opinion. You’d be as well buying a ready meal from 7/11.

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Great pics evil.

As MM says 99b isnt going to get you great quality.

But I'm sure for guys struggling financially getting western grub at 99b is fantastic.

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20 minutes ago, dcfc2007 said:

Great pics evil.

As MM says 99b isnt going to get you great quality.

But I'm sure for guys struggling financially getting western grub at 99b is fantastic.

I hope it's halal 

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2 hours ago, dcfc2007 said:

Great pics evil.

As MM says 99b isnt going to get you great quality.

But I'm sure for guys struggling financially getting western grub at 99b is fantastic.

Yes will certainly help the 199 top spot boys and Soi Buckfast spitters , the smokers can sit in the out door section evangelising how smoking is not harmful...

Its got promise...

 

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Useful review. Chunky Munky doesn’t quite seem to be hitting that spot. You’ve been generous returning but there does appear to be a reoccurring theme of poor  quality food coming out of the kitchen, albeit at a budget price, but at the cost of flavour. 

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