Bangkok Post reviews
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: December 20, 2013 at 8:49 am
The lowest-hanging fruit of Hilton Pattaya's high-flying f&b array is pretty much for everyman
Right at the top of the towering Hilton Pattaya there's Horizon where no expense is spared to make every mouthful irresistible. But if the international grill and fine dining restaurant and rooftop schmooze space is for special occasions and romantic liaisons, Edge, the hotel's international all-day diner and buffet outlet is priced at a point that rivals the more upscale outlets in CentralFestival's bay-view food court several symbolic levels below, while offering formidable culinary selections with different themes everyday.
The breathtakingly broad breakfasts are naturally busy because they're packaged in with the rooms, occupancy of which is always at or near full. But it's more of a surprise to see how well represented local expats are at lunch and dinner times and, frankly, also astonishing that such a high proportion of overnighters eat in - until you've tried it yourself, of course.
What's not to like about the long, deluxe buffet line interspersed with live stations and indulging the culinary cultures of every continent, all for B420 net lunch Mon-Thurs, B480 Fri-Sat and B1,200 for the Sunday brunch and B850 dinner? A Wine Buffet accompaniment at B800 nett is also within reach.
It almost seems like they've forgotten to package in a premium for the gorgeous 180o view of Pattaya Bay enjoyed by pretty much all the seating, whether on one of the split levels indoors or breezily al fresco.
With its high ceiling and widescreen glass wall stretching the length of CentralFestival and the hotel, elegant interplay of artistic interpretations of maritime motifs, from teardrop lobster pots to beach hut facias, the splendid vision of paraskiers, island-hopping speedboats and the odd yacht peppering the imminent ocean, plus cuisine prepared with genuine passion and flare, it's a literal feast for all the senses. Nor does it hurt that there's a variety of seating options, from ergonomic chairs at tables to chic cherry red settees for sinking into for a long session.
And when you see the selections, price is any case only a secondary consideration. You can't beat these buffets for either variety or creative culinary values. Monday's "Post Weekend BBQ" features freshly grilled sausages, Korean style pork cuts and chorizo burritos while Tuesday's "Mediterranean Fare" includes Middle Eastern dips and salads, pizza and pasta. On Wednesday, the open kitchens present "Burgers, Salads and Gourmet Sandwiches" where you can create the perfect burger, toss a fresh salad or grab a gourmet sandwich. The tastes of Southeast Asia, India, China and Japan come together for Thursday's "Extended Asia" followed by Friday's "Seafood Pattaya" where the crystal waters offer up fresh local prawns, crabs and lobsters served on ice or grilled. Saturday's "Classics & Confectionaries" presents timeless favourites such as Greek salad, oven-baked whole salmon, green curry and bouillabaisse and margherita pizza. Edge's famous "Sunday Brunch" meanwhile brings together a wide selection from around the globe.
Tuesday lunch time's Mediterranean session is a particular highlight. Mediterranean is used in the broadest sense of the word so you don't just get the obvious selections from France and Italy, but Spain, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and on.
Beef and eggplant moussaka, typical Greek style layers of beef and eggplant served as a casserole, is a particular favourite hot dish, thick and succulent with spot on seasoning. Also from Greece is the toss your own Greek salad station featuring feta cheese. Nearby is a tempting selection from the Middle East, notably humus, the chickpea, garlic, lemon and sesame paste dish, and babaganouch, made with eggplant, classified as a superfood, so you could pretty much live on this stuff. This is accompanied by pita bread, tatziki, the Greek appetizer made with strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and mint. All this goes admirably with the Fattoush, a Levantine bread salad made with toasted pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other veggies.
Tagine, here made with chicken, is a Berber dish from North Africa named after the earthenware pot made of heavy clay in which it is cooked. The cover is designed to promote the return of all the condensation, and therefore flavour, to the mix. The result is insanely delicious.
Another highlight is seafood paella, a dish that originates in Valencia and is erroneously but understandably considered Spain's national dish - they're much too partisan to let any one region get away with that distinction. Here a flat dish, wide as a crusader's shield, is filled with creamy calasparra rice rendered moist by olive oil, subtly seasoned with saffron and studded with assorted seafood, ranging prawns and mussels, squid and fish.
Also in these environs are Ratatouille, the traditional French Provenal stewed vegetable dish. An assemblage of tomatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, garlic, marjoram and basil, it looks simple enough until you remember that the ingredients are all cooked separately in deference to their different cooking times.
A vast range of pizzas and pastas baked and boiled on the spot go without saying. All this plus Italian cold cuts, a Thai corner, a roast, live Asian noodles and a small selection of seafood on ice. Oh and a generous dessert buffet that regularly features a delectable cinnamon-infused crunchy-topped apple crumble besides fresh fruits, a wide assortment of gateaux and sweet layered shooters and homemade ice creams.
A particular favourite with Pattaya's American over-stayers is the Wednesday lunchtime sandwich and burgers feeding frenzy. You can order your own sandwiches based on some excellent breads and rolls but giant sandwiches, like subs on steroids, such as roast beef or Hip's Club, are all set for slicing to order.
The real star of the show is the live burger and hot dog grill where you can order blue cheese, Tex-Mex, classic, pepperoni pizza, chicken and other styles, Tex-Mex and NYC style hot dogs, accompanied by French fries and potato wedges with which a green salad or grilled vegetables go a treat.
Equally delectable off-theme dishes include seared salmon braised cucumber and grainy mustard sauce, pork piccata, spaghetti meatballs, cream of cauliflower soup, Thai dishes, Caesar salad, and so on.
Thus Edge caters to every taste with fine International and Asian favourites. Featuring casual dining by day and transforming into a stylish venue with a seductive vibe by night, the mood is relaxed and welcoming and the price is right. What's not to like?
"Seven Days, Seven Themes": Mon-Sat, 12:00-14:30 hrs, Sun, 12:00-15:30 hrs.
EDGE (Level 14, 06:00-23:30 hrs daily).