January 08, 2017 01:00 By Paisal Chuenprasaeng The Sunday Nation
Coco & Rum is the inviting name of one of Pattaya’s most relaxing resort restaurants
GUESTS OF THE Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien and other hotels in Pattaya’s Na Jomtien area inevitably find their way to Coco & Rum, a restaurant-bar with a terrific chill-out ambience. And then they keep coming back for more.
Coco & Rum is part of the Maris Resort, overlooking the languidly meandering swimming pool. The sighing sound of the pool’s artificial waterfall adds to the welcoming calm in an open dining area cooled by the sea breeze.
A wonderful spot to enjoy frosty cocktails and beer before and during dinner, the restaurant is beautifully lit at night. You can dine by the pool too, if you choose, which has its own romantic lighting.
Coco & Rum offers a-la-carte Thai and international fare that its chefs prepared using classic home-cooking techniques. The seafood is the best, of course, but there are also chops, steaks and burgers, along with most Thai favourites.
If the prices seem steep for a three-star hotel, that’s because the dishes are all made with the same premium ingredients used in the Centara chain’s four-star properties. Coco & Rum has its more affordable a-la-carte menu at any rate, so even tourists on a budget can dive in with relish.
On weekend evenings there’s a tapas buffet for Bt385 (Bt285 if a main dish is also ordered) and a musical trio performing live.
Up on the roof is the Reflection Bar, served cocktails and other drinks on weekend nights.
The a-la-carte offerings are indeed not too expensive, the ingredients are fresh and the dishes are genuinely delicious.
Phad Thai Poo Nim
I tried Phad Thai Poo Nim (Bt245). The Thai-style fried noodles with soft-shell crab seemed a bit too sweet for Thai tastes, but the dish is a likely winner with foreigners. Vinegar and ground chillies give it a nice spicy kick, and the crab itself was very tasty. I wasn’t surprised when the waiter said this is the restaurant’s signature entree.
Another marvellous dish is Samurai Salmon (Bt385). The fish is coated in wheat flour and fried and then served with French fries along with broccoli and carrot in lemon sauce or, if you prefer, seafood sauce. The salmon arrives crisp on the outside and soft inside – and truly fresh.
Phad Kie Moul Thalay
Phad Kie Moul Thalay (Bt285) is spicy spaghetti with seafood, quite spicy thanks to the chillies. In the mix are squid, shrimp and New Zealand green mussels, all of which tasted amazingly fresh and went well with the tangy spaghetti.
Khao Ob Mor Din Nua
Khao Ob Mor Din Nua (Bt245) is a fantastic rice and beef concoction served in a pot, a signature dish for the Reflection Bar upstairs. The rice is tinged yellow with spices, the beef and a boiled egg are added, and the bowl is accompanied by sliced cucumber and tomato. It tasted much like khao mok nua – the Muslim-style spicy rice with beef.
Fire in the Hole
Another must-try item is Fire in the Hole (Bt255), a spicy soup with shrimp, squid and more of those New Zealand green mussels. It’s served along with two pieces of bread and chilli paste.
Off to the side I nursed an Herbal Margarita (Bt195), a refreshing and tasty mingling of orange juice, lemon juice and – well, you know what goes in a margarita. Champion bartending there!
TAPAS TO TEMPT YOU
Coco & Rum is at the Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien in Pattaya.
It’s open daily from 11 to 11.
Book a visit at (038) 103 333, extension 7205 or www.CentaraHotelsResorts.com/th/centra/cmj.