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Pattaya Daily News

24 October 2009 :: 23:10:34 pm 2467

Alois Restaurant Wine Bar: Quality + Quantity

The Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar is Pattaya's newest fine-dining venue serving gourmet Western and Thai cuisine at affordable prices.
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The restaurant takes its name from the late Alois X. Fassbind, erstwhile Executive Vice-President of The Royal Cliff Beach Resort, who with his close friend, Mr. Bruno Forrer, former GM of the Royal Cliff, opened Pattaya’s first and premier fine dining restaurant, where a large number of the present staff of The Alois Restaurant’s were employed. In commemoration of both gentlemen, Mr. Vichai Priyatrakulruji, mine host of The Alois Restaurant, has done his level best to honour these two gourmets by creating an atmosphere of sedate elegance, in soft tones of beige and muted gold, reminiscent of Europe’s fine-dining venues where, in the words of the Alois website, “The heavy gathered drapes at the windows, crisp white tablecloths, quality tableware and floral centrepieces, all conspire to invoke the ambiance of a more relaxed, bygone era that both Messrs. Alois Fassbind and Bruno Forrer would have felt perfectly at home in.”

The restaurant, equally ideal for private functions, and birthday parties, as well as intimate dining, will comfortably seat 100 diners, with a select dining area towards the rear, from where the palate-stimulating contents of the walk-in wine cellar can easily be seen. For the convenience of smokers and those who appreciate an alfresco atmosphere, there are several tables and chairs outside, adjacent to the restaurant.

The culinary delights on offer at Alois reflect the international legacy that Chef Luk Youcharoen’s apprenticeship at the Royal Cliff gave him a flair for, namely a combination of French, Italian and Swiss gourmet dishes, not forgetting a wide generous selection of Thai dishes for those whose culinary fancies tend towards the piquant. Alois Restaurant is now also pleased to be able to offer a comprehensive vegetarian menu, and being vegetarian myself, I trust I shall soon have the pleasure of reviewing that selection also.

We had the gratification of combining our food review of Alois with a birthday celebration for my wife, who was most pleasantly surprised by a ‘khao neo ma mueng’- mango on a bed of rice – topped with a candle, served to the accompaniment of a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ sung by the staff!

As an aperitif, both of us chose the restaurant’s excellent Margaritas (Bt160). To start, I opted for Minestrone (Bt120), which was thick and flavoursome, with the distinct taste of the different ingredients easily distinguishable by the palate. One feature of interest in the selection of soups on offer at Alois is the variety of extras that accompany the traditional choices; for example, the Cream of Tomato Soup with Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions, Green Asparagus Soup with Shrimps and Clear French Soup with Seafood and Vegetable Julienne. My wife decided on Chicken Liver Parfait (Bt170), served with rose tomatoes, papaya, mangos and grapes in a yogurt sauce, with carrot sprinkles, which she found simply delicious.

For the first amuse bouche, we had a mushroom tart and the second was a pineapple sorbet. Alois’ chefs most definitely know how to stimulate and cleanse the palate to prepare it for the culinary delights to follow.

For my main course, I chose the succulent Onion Quiche Lorraine, topped with cheese (Bt250), made with feuillet pastry, which literally melted in the mouth. My wife favours fish, for the sake of her figure, so she plumped for the 160gm Skin Roasted Norwegian Salmon Steak (Bt. 290) on Tomato Compote, Boiled Potato and Pesto Sauce, with an accompaniment of sweet corn and broccoli. This, apparently, was so delicate, tender, juicy, and tasty that I began to regret having turned vegetarian, especially as when I did eat fish, salmon was always one of my firm favourites.

The desserts at Alois Restaurant are something to see (and obviously to taste) to believe. A word of caution, they are incredibly moorish and will play havoc wuth your waistline if you are on a strict diet, but they are soooo tempting! My wife went for a Ricotta Cheese Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream (Bt180). This delicious concoction of sheer sensual gratification is a speciality of the house and the delectable aftertaste remains for a considerable amount of time; just as an added bonus, you understand. For my pièce de résistance, I chose the ever-favourite Crepe Anonyme (Bt180); that is delicate French pancake with a cream cheese centre – a truly scrumptious forbidden delight. We both had to follow the Chinese advice of a few brisk runs round the block after that pure indulgence

With our meal, we savoured a couple of glasses of Chilean Merlot at the very reasonable price of Bt180 per glass, which was full-bodied and flavoursome. To once again quote the website material: “The wine collection currently consists of the produce of over 100 different quality vineyards, with more on the way. At the moment, the fine wines include those from France, Italy, California, South Africa, Chile, the Argentine, Australia and New Zealand. The wines are kept in a temperature-controlled climate to preserve their quality, balance and taste. Every effort has been made to keep the prices moderate, whilst maintaining variety and consistent standards of quality.”

I have no hesitation, whatsoever, in heartily recommending the excellent fare of The Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar, but there is no substitute for personal experience, so go along and try the culinary delights for yourselves.

Lunch: 12:00 to 2:30 pm. Dinner: 6 pm to midnight.

The Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar
191/4 Moo 10 Thappraya Road
Pattaya, Chonburi 20150
Tel 038-267-191 Fax 038-267-190
Email: alois.pattaya@gmail.com
Website: www.aloispattaya.com

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Eating

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