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Under 300 Baht ... And Good! (updated Dec. 7, 2017)


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#176 Evil Penevil

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:56 PM

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I was pleasantly surprised with the meal I had last night at The Diner's Express, a small cafe in a corner of the Villa Market at The Avenue shopping plaza on 2nd Road.  The meal was cheap, quick and tasty.

 

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The Diner's Express is a mini-version of the Took Lae Dee restaurants attached to Foodland Supermarkets. TDE features an open kitchen like its bigger Foodland cousins. However, TDE only has about 10 tables for three and it's right inside Villa Market. It's open from 7.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.

 

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The menu at TDE is a mixture of farang dishes, mostly of the comfort food variety (hamburgers, sandwiches, pastas, pork chops, etc.) and Thai standards, again much like Took Lae Dee.  From The Diner's Express FB page:

 

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Prices are moderate, especially for the Thai dishes.  However, a few of the farang dishes, such as the pork chop, cost close to 300 baht and for that price, you could be having the daily special at The Bite or dozens of other restaurants.

 

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I chose the tonkatsu with rice (108 baht) and a "Watermelon Blast" to drink (78 baht).  I could have kept the meal under 150 baht if I'd had water or a soft drink.

 

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Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish consisting of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet.  It's usually served with shredded cabbage and a thick sauce that resembles  Worcestershire sauce in taste and consistency.  The cabbage was missing, but the sauce was there.

 

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It tasted fine.  The cutlet had been deep-fried properly;  the breading was golden brown and had the right level of crunch, while the pork wasn't at all dry.  However, the cutlet was very thin and the portion would have been small for a lot of people.

 

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The Watermelon Blast was also good.  Unlike a lot of places, TDE hadn't skimped on the watermelon and the smoothie had a lot of taste.  It's an excellent drink for keeping hydrated in hot and humid weather.

 

Bottom line:  Although my experience is limited with The Diner's Express, I'd say it's not a bad place for a quick bite if you happen to be in Villa Market.  However, I have a hard time imagining that anyone would make a special trip just to eat there.

 

Evil

:devil

 

 


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#177 midlifecrisis

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:32 PM

yes, close to ten dollars for a pork chop, fries and tiny salad seems a bit high but it did look good.

 

Perhaps if I am walking by. It is close to where I am staying and I also want to check out the wine shop in that plaza.

 

Good report.


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#178 Harvey

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:22 AM

Evil --( or anyone else in town).

 

Has anyone been to Leng Kee lately?  Dropping by in a few and I have a weakness for their roast duck (at least the roast duck I remember).  Also, if anyone's been there recently, pig feet still good?  


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#179 Firepole

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 06:22 PM

To follow up on Evil's review of The Diners Express. This pertains to their inexpensive breakfast. This review is from Dec. 2016 so things might've changed.

 

 

THE DINERS EXPRESS at VILLA MARKET - 2nd Road opposite Soi 13 - In the Avenue Shopping Arcade/Mall(where McDonald's is).

 

Villa Market is at the back end of the parking lot(200 feet) and not very easy to see from 2nd Road unless you know where to look. There are a few tables inside the front door. It's clean, A/C is cold, food seems fresh, cooked fast, and, most importantly, after approx. 10-12 meals not a single case of the shits.

 

American breakfast BEFORE 11am is 68bt. After 11am it jumps to 88bt.

2 eggs, bacon or sausage, toast w/butter and jam, juice, and coffee or tea. Bacon was, actually, cooked correctly. Meals are not overly generous but, even as a fat slob, I'm happy. If you're looking to get bloated with food go elsewhere. For me, it's just enough to ward off the hunger without turning me into an uncomfortable, lumbering, beast.

 

The menu is fairly extensive with most items with chicken or pork around or below 100bt. Yes, there are a few items(w/seafood) above 100bt and also some items WELL above 100bt. Cafeteria closes at 9pm but I think the market itself is open until 10.


 


Edited by Firepole, 18 September 2017 - 06:24 PM.

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#180 midlifecrisis

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 06:48 PM

2 bucks for an American breakfast is good.


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#181 Evil Penevil

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 07:58 PM

Evil --( or anyone else in town).

 

Has anyone been to Leng Kee lately?  Dropping by in a few and I have a weakness for their roast duck (at least the roast duck I remember).  Also, if anyone's been there recently, pig feet still good?  

 

I haven't eaten at Leng Kee for a long time now due to a non-food issue, so I can't answer.  However, it's beginning to feel like I should have another meal at Leng Kee and when I do, I'll be sure to check out the pig's feet.

 

In case anyone is wondering, the non-food issue had to do with the refusal of the Leng Kee staff to do anything about some young drunk farang customers who began to bother the young lady I'd brought to Leng Kee.  It turned into a very ugly situation but the staff just watched.  I decided not to go back after that   :angry2:   :leaving   , but this was several years ago.  I'm ready to give Leng Kee a chance to redeem itself.   :kissing

 

Evil

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#182 Harvey

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:58 AM

 

I haven't eaten at Leng Kee for a long time now due to a non-food issue, so I can't answer.  However, it's beginning to feel like I should have another meal at Leng Kee and when I do, I'll be sure to check out the pig's feet.

 

In case anyone is wondering, the non-food issue had to do with the refusal of the Leng Kee staff to do anything about some young drunk farang customers who began to bother the young lady I'd brought to Leng Kee.  It turned into a very ugly situation but the staff just watched.  I decided not to go back after that   :ang2:   :leaving   , but this was several years ago.  I'm ready to give Leng Kee a chance to redeem itself.   :kissing

 

Evil

:devil

 

 

Thanks Evil --

 

The wait staff (especially the guys) have always seemed like they're just standing around like they were potted plants and good for nothing.  I've been there where I'm the only guy in the place.  The wait staff outnumber me by like 8:1.  And nobody will move to give me a menu or take my order.  

 

If it weren't for the great roast duck and the pigs feet, I'd boycott the place.  And I surely understand why you'd boycott the place if they wouldn't keep order and let some drunk harass your guest for the night.

 

I'm in town in a couple of weeks, so if you don't have a chance to check it out, no worries.  I'll give it a shot and post some photos and a review.  


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#183 Evil Penevil

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:15 PM

I wrote about  Olala Restaurant on Soi 7 in the OP of this thread. It offers Norwegian and other European dishes (German, Austrian, Italian, etc) as well as Thai food. It became a favorite of mine for its simple yet tasty fare and reasonable prices.  The exact timeline is blurry for me, but it closed for refurbishment and stayed closed for what struck me as a long time.  I figured it had closed for good and stopped thinking about it as a dining option.

 

However, it did reopen quite awhile ago.  Sunday night I was passing by and stopped for a light meal.  I didn't bother to take an outside shot, but the exterior hasn't changed much since 2013.

 

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The interior was pretty much the same, too.

 

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It's an open restaurant with a visible kitchen area. Ceiling-mounted fans keep the dining area cool.

 

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Even the sign advertising the lamb shank was in the same place as 2013.

 

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I wasn't very hungry so I ordered the open-face prawn sandwich for 175 baht. It came with a small portion of a very fresh raw salad. The slice of tomato had plenty of flavor, which is not often the case in Pattaya.  I thought about ordering a tomato salad to go along with the sandwich, but just wasn;t that hungry.

 

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The prawns were plump and had been cooked properly so they retain the right taste and texture.

 

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I was pleased to find another slice of tomato hiding under the prawns.

 

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The only criticism I would make is that the bread hadn't been toasted long enough.  It was more warmed than toasted.

 

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The menu- and prices- were much the same as I recall from the past. The farang part of the menu is mainly European comfort food with an emphasis on Norwegian specialties. German- and Austrian-style schnitzels are also well-represented. The roast chicken dinner (195 baht) hadn't gone up in price since 2013 and the basic schnitzel had only increased five baht to 175 baht.  The Thai menu is extensive, but mostly standard dishes.  The majority of the main dishes are under 300 baht.

 

Bottom line: I;ll go back to try more of the Thai and farang menus.

 

Evil

:devil

 

 

 


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#184 jacko

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:24 AM

My view of Robins Nest is that their Western food is of average quality but their Thai food is excellent.

My favourite non-Thai dish there is the Mexican beef - really tasty.

I wish I had heeded that comment. Have been in there three times in the last 2 months out of sheer laziness and a need for AC, and each time been underwhelmed.

 

Looking round I saw a few guys were on the Thai food.

 

Half roast chicken dinner recently, it had been deep fried not roasted! Dry as a witch's! Other meals I have tried of Western fare have been OK and nothing special. Ten minutes into it I was wishing I had walked down soi Lengkee to 3rd Rd.


Edited by jacko, 07 October 2017 - 12:25 AM.

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#185 Evil Penevil

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 10:15 PM

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This was more of a snack for me than a meal, but the steak pie (from Tinnie's in Jomtien) I had at Le Pub on Soi Diamond was excellent.

 

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I've had Tinnie's pies before and there was really good steak flavor in the one I had at Le Pub. The pastry was excellent, too;  rich and flaky. 

 

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The cost was 150 baht. You can also have them with chips if that's your preference. It's a great bar snack! 

 

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And don't forget the baps!  They are quite filling.

 

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There are some sweetie pies in the bar as well, if that's more to your taste.   

 

 

 

 

Evil

:devil
 


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#186 Evil Penevil

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 09:31 PM

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A brief update on the Spaghetti Bistro  (post #157). 

 

It's expanded its operation! I hope the reason is business picking up. Pizza has also been added to the menu.

 

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What had been a small bar next door has become SB's kitchen.  The former open kitchen area has been replaced with bar counters and stools.   They have added a rather garish sign to the roof as well.

 

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The other night I had spaghetti with blue cheese and bacon for 240 baht.  That's not an inexpensive bowl of pasta, but there was a lot of blue cheese in the dish and it's not cheap in Thailand.

 

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In any case, it was very good.

 

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Evil

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#187 Evil Penevil

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:13 AM

It's been at least eight months since I've eaten at the Robin Hood Tavern in The Avenue Shopping Plaza.  I have nothing against the Robin Hood, it's just there are so many options for dining in Pattaya that a restaurant has to be special in some way for me to eat there regularly.  The menu at the Robin Hood is understandably focused on U.K. pub food,  of which I've grown a bit weary.

 

Last night a friend who'd never tried the RH wanted to give it a whirl and I went along.  He had the cottage pie at 290 baht ...

 

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while I had the Hunter's Chicken for 260 baht.

 

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Neither of us had any complaints, but we both felt the food was a bit overpriced for what you get.  There's enormous demand for U.K. food in Pattaya and dozens of pubs and restaurants vie to fill that demand.  While the RH is physically a more comfortable restaurant (good A/C, spacious, well-lit) than most of its competitors, the food itself doesn't stand out.

 

I had wanted the daily special, chicken tikka masala with naan and poppadom at 179 baht,  but it was already finished at 7.00 p.m.  When a special is no longer available, I do think they should take it off the board outside the restaurant.

 

My friend liked his classic British comfort food.  The taste was fine and the portion large, but he felt the price was high compared to similar portions of cottage pie at other restaurants.

 

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Hunter's Chicken is a ubiquitous dish that comes in many variations depending on the country where it's served.  The RH's version was British style, which is very different from Chicken Chasseur (Poulet Sauté Chasseur) or Chicken Cacciatore ((Pollo alla Cacciatora).

 

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The British version usually consists of a chicken breast wrapped in a couple of rashers of bacon, then topped with BBQ sauce and cheese and baked.  It's actually closer to a U.S. southern regional dish called smothered chicken (the BBQ sauce and bacon are the clues) than the French or Italian hunter-style braised chicken dishes.

 

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At the RH, the fillet of chicken breast had been pounded thin, breaded and pan-fried. It was topped with BBQ sauce (homemade, according to the menu), mozzarella cheese, two slices of streaky bacon fried crisp and some shreds of cheddar for color more than flavor.

 

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It came with a tiny portion coleslaw, which was watery but good, a dish of ketchup and shoestring fries.

 

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The fillet had been nicely fried, although perhaps it had been pounded a bit too thin as the meat was somewhat dry.  The BBQ was properly an accent and didn't overwhelm the dish.  I could taste the chicken, bacon and mozzarella, not just BBQ sauce. 

 

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Shoestring fries are a favorite of mine and the RH's version was done well.  The super-thin slices of potato require split-second timing in the fryer; otherwise, they lose all flavor and only the crispiness remains.

 

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Bottom line:  The RH-style Hunter's Chicken gets a thumbup.gif . although it didn't make my taste buds dance. The shoestring fries are as big an attraction as the dish itself.  I can well imagine having it again, but I won't be rushing back.  

 

Evil

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#188 nkped

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:53 AM

It wasn't recent, but I had the hunter's chicken once. It was way too dry for my taste.
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#189 Evil Penevil

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:42 PM

It wasn't recent, but I had the hunter's chicken once. It was way too dry for my taste.

 

That can easily happen when they pound the fillet too thin or fry it too long.

 

Evil

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#190 jacko

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:41 PM

A bit of a coincidence as only Tuesday I was in the vicinity talking with a friend and The Robin Hood came up.

We both were wondering how it was doing, although judging by the lunchtime attendance I would have thought not too well.

Lunch isn't  good weathervane though as many get up very late and a big breakfast suffices, or may well skip lunch as their pockets are filled with the hotel's breakfast buffet.

Can anyone report on evening attendance.

Are they offering a Christmas dinner?


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#191 MeGoDanceNow

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 12:02 PM

Update on White Pine on soi 15 Walking Street:

 

It's still good.

 

Unable to get a burger at a burger joint (see other thread), I had a bolognese sandwich at White Pine. This is two pieces of crispy crusty bread smothered in mozzarella cheese and beef bolognese sauce, with fries and tartar sauce on the side. This and a bottle of Heineken came to 254 baht which is not bad.

 

Messy but tasty. Sorry I didn't snap a picture.


Edited by MeGoDanceNow, 10 December 2017 - 12:03 PM.

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