You definitely won’t get views like this in Bangkok
A trek through “jungle” paths—lit by 101 torches once night falls—and over swinging faux-rope-bridges delivered us to the Coast Beach Club & Bistro, the beachfront restaurant at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, Pattaya, that specializes in coastal cuisine and handcrafted cocktails.
Once settled at our beachside table we gaze out over exotic-looking small islands and fluorescent-green-lit fishing boats that fill the horizon. Speckled clouds reflect the setting sun in an ecstatic metallic-hued light show of pink, orange, red—and redder—hues. Our meal could wait, as the exclusively blended Sauvignon Blanc (B150/glass) was disappearing as slowly and as pleasurably as the sun.
Being Thursday it was Coast’s ‘Seafood BBQ Buffet’ (B1,299 per person/B1,999 with bottle of wine/half-price for children under 12). As we set sail for the feast, our first port of call were the two salad bars between which a sushi drawer harboured a selection of California, salmon, and crab rolls, plus tuna sashimi, and more. Two soups, including a tasty Tom Yam Kung, lay anchored next to the second salad bar, and led to the six chafing dishes containing various rice and seafood combinations. Tacking beach-wards we cruised by sea-fresh lobster, crabs, mussels, and river and tiger prawns, all arrayed on an island of ice—and all bought and delivered daily.
Sailing onwards, a pasta station appeared on our port bow so we briefly dropped anchor to survey four types of pasta and pizza, and the flotilla of ingredients and toppings to create your personalized pizza or pasta dish. Next, we coasted to the grilling station, which offers pre-cooked and cooked-to-order delights, including chorizo sausage, chicken, pork, beef, corn on the cob, white, more river and tiger prawns, lobster, butter fish (my favourite), and squid.
Back in harbour our numerous plates—festooned with various delectable buffet items—were complemented by Coast’s Signature Mojitos (B270 each). We enjoyed a few refreshing examples, prepared to our personal taste (which for us meant lots of lime and mint).
Eventually a post-supper cruise back to the buffet line led us to a previously hidden treasure; the walk-in sweets room! Packed from floor to ceiling with a cargo of bite-sized decadent desserts, I eventually hooked a chocolate mousse and strawberry cheesecake while somehow managing to ignore the siren call of the pastries and fresh fruits. My partner reluctantly abstained.
Along with the ocean of fabulous food, smiling, helpful staff cater to your every need and there’s entertainment aplenty too. Colourful Hawaiian and Polynesian themed dance shows were interspersed with audience participation limbo dances, and an ensemble of fire dancers provided a sparkling finale.
However, take note… you may have the appetite of a super-tanker but only the capacity of a canoe. But like me I’m sure you’ll leave determined to sail once again in Coast’s exceptional culinary waters as soon as time and tide allow.
By Gary Anthony Rutland
Coast Beach Club & Bistro
Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort
277, Moo 5, Naklua, Pattaya
Open daily: 11am-midnight
Tel: 03 871 4981