25 June 2006

Bruno's, Pattaya, Thailand

Name: Bruno's
City: Pattaya, Thailand
Address: 306/63 Chateau Dale Plaza, Thappraya Road, Pattaya,

Website: http://www.brunos-pattaya.com/ (Includes a full menu with prices.)

Cuisine: Western, European, Steaks, Seafood

Critique: This is one of the fanciest places I have ever eaten. Outrageous prices by Thai standards; exceptional prices by US and HK standards. The steaks are the stars and they "shine bright". The quality of beef is exceptional and exceedingly tender. Chef Freddi oversees his staff in a top notch way. I have never had a bad meal there and I have eaten there a dozen or so times.

The desserts can be a little "high brow". What I mean by that is that they look good, but have a little too much liqueur for my preferences. (Just make sure you use a spoon!) Most of the desserts are very, very good.

Presentation is important to Chef Freddi and the meals are presented with flair. Each dish, from the complementary hors d'oeuvres, to the complementary palate cleansing sorbet, to the dessert demonstration at the end of the meal, is a sight (and taste) to behold.

The waiters are extremely attentive. My daughter accidentally dropped her butter knife and we were just going to "let it go", but the waiter in the next room noticed, and brought one within 10 seconds. When the main dish is presented at the table, something uncommon in Thailand happens; everyone gets their meal at the same time. If you have a party of 8, then 4 or 5 waiters will bring the plates, covered in a silver lid. At once, they will all uncover the plates to expose the awaited flavors. It is the small touches like that which make Bruno's special.

The downside is that it is in Pattaya. Seldom that I have been in there where there weren't older men with lady (or lady-boy) companions. That really distracts from the family atmosphere and consequently is the single reason that it doesn't earn 5 fries. If it was the same restaurant in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, it would have earned the coveted rating.

Comments/Recommendations: I highly recommend this restaurant. If you can overlook the other patrons, it is an incredible dining experience. The wait staff are incredible; the food is even better. I recommend the French onion soup, the Caesar salad, the pan fried snow fish, any of the imported beef steaks, and the apple fritters a la mode. My wife really enjoys the chocolate mousse and my kids like the grilled pork chop. Also, if you go on a week night, it is necessary to make reservations, otherwise you may not have a table.

Rating: 4 Fries

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