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Volare on Soi Bukhao (Soi 15)

pasta Soi Bukhao italian restaurant pizza

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#1 Evil Penevil

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:38 AM

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Volare, a popular Italian restaurant, reopened at the beginning of November after a two-month closure for a major overhaul. It now features an enclosed bar and a totally redone outside dining area. 

 

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It's located at the corner of Soi Bukhao and Soi 15, directly east of The Avenue Shopping Plaza and about 200 hundred meters south of LK Metro.

 

 

Visually, the results are pretty impressive.

 

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And this is a pic of the bar from Volare's Facebook page:

 

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A fish tank has been built into the floor leading into the bar.

 

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The mural on one of the walls is eye-catching.

 

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A detailed view:

 

 

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The two nights I ate at Volare this week, it had quite a few customers; about 25 on the first night and 15 on the second. 

 

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The first night I ate between 9.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. and the second between 23.30 p.m. and midnight.  I was a bit surprised that so many were dining so late.  The customers were a mix of plain vanilla farang with TG companions or male farang in groups as well as Russian and Asian tourists.  That bodes well for Volare.  To succeed in Pattaya's crowded restaurant segment, a restaurant has to attract customers of different nationalities.  A Holiday Inn Express is due to open nearby in 2018 and it should provide Volare with a stream of potential customers. The new trendy but casual decor should help.

 

The brick pizza oven has been rebuilt at one end of the restaurant.

 

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I'm running into Internet hassles again, so I'll save the food reviews for the second installment.  Here's a teaser:

 

Tortellini pomodoro -   IMG_0297.jpg

 

Paccheri al pomodoro, basilico e ricotta - IMG_0315.jpg

 

Pizza with prosciutto ham for takeaway - IMG_0330.jpg

 

Evil

:devil


Edited by Evil Penevil, 12 November 2017 - 12:46 PM.

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#2 Evil Penevil

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:35 PM

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I have positive and negative observations about Volare.  I'll mention the positive first. The Volare is an inviting and attractive restaurant in which to have a meal. The staff is friendly and attentive.  The menu is extensive and includes some Italian dishes not frequently seen in Pattaya.  It also features some Thai standards and international dishes like hamburgers.  

 

Prices for the Italian dishes (salads, appetizers, pasta, pizza, etc) are reasonable for what you get. Some of the non-Italian meat dishes, like steak and lamb chops, get into the 600- to 800-baht range, but I don't go to an Italian restaurant for such dishes.  It's currently open 24/7 and offers an English breakfast at 130 baht, but again, Volare wouldn't be a natural choice for me for any sort of breakfast.

 

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Of the three dishes I have had at Volare,  the first suffered from a miss in the kitchen, while the other two were excellent. 

 

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On my first post-renovation visit, I ordered tortellini pomodoro (tortellini in a tomato sauce).  Tortellini is a filled, ring-shaped pasta also called navel, i.e. belly-button, pasta thanks to its appearance and the legendary story of its origin.  According to popular tradition, tortellini was the result of an Italian innkeeper peeping through a keyhole at a female guest.  He only caught a  glimpse of her navel, but it turned him on so much that instead of whacking off, he ran to the kitchen and invented tortellini.

 

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The filling most often used in tortellini is finely ground pork that's a bit bland by intention to highlight the broth or sauce with which it's served.  The tomato-and-mince-meat sauce that covered the tortellini was fresh and vibrant, no complaints on my part.  However, a couple of the pieces of tortellini were hard and dry on the outside. That's a sign they had been cooked in advance but hadn't been covered properly, so that they dried on top. 

 

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It was a silly mistake, as tortellini only takes about 10 minutes to cook in boiling water.  it certainly detracted from the meal, but not enough to deter me from returning for a second try. If all the pieces of tortellini had been freshly cooked, it would have been a great meal.

 

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I ordered the paccheri al pomodoro, basilico e ricotta (paccheri with tomato, basil and ricotta cheese) on my second visit.  Paccheri is a very large tubular pasta, sort of what macaroni would look like if it could suffer from giantism.

 

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Paccheri occupies a special place in Italian culinary history.  In a groundbreaking cookbook from 1839, a recipe for paccheri al pomodoro is one of the first published Italian recipes to call for a tomato sauce on pasta.  Today we consider tomato-based sauces to be synonymous with Italian cuisine, but they are actually a relatively recent addition, dating back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. The tomato was introduced to Italy in the mid-1500s from Mexico via Spain.  However, it took another 250 years for the tomato to catch on as a widely used ingredient in Italian kitchens.

 

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Paccheri dishes aren't often encountered outside Italy, so I was eager to try Volare's version.  This time, the dish didn't let me down.  Both the sauce and ricotta cheese were excellent and the collapsed tubes of paccheri supported the flavors well.  

 

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This time, everything clicked in terms of flavor and seasoning.  Good job, Volare!    :thumbup

 

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Every main dish at Volare comes with three pieces of nondescript commercial white bread and a tiny bowl of parmesan cheese. The bread is nice touch as it can be used to sop up the extra sauce, but I wish Volare had used better bread.There's also a pepper mill on each table.

 

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That night I decided to try one of Volare's pizzas.  I chose prosciutto (dry-cured ham) as the topping.  It's not a traditional pizza topping in Italy, nor is it customary in the U.S., but I love prosciutto and thought it would taste great on pizza.  I was right.

 

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The pizza was 13 inches (33 centimeters) in diameter, which would put it between medium and large on the U.S. size scale.  It had a thin Neopolitan crust and I would have preferred a bit more char on the bottom of the crust, but that may be a NYC thing. The sauce and cheese hadn't been laid too thickly so the taste of the prosciutto was overwhelmed. It was a good pizza and I wouldn't hesitate to order pizza again from Volare.

 

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And now it's time to mention something less favorable.  The 10% service charge and the 7% VAT were tacked onto the prices shown on the menu.  The paccheri (210 baht), Coke Zero (95 baht) and takeaway pizza (285 baht) added up to 590 baht.  However, when I called chek bin, the total price I had to pay was 690 baht because the menu prices weren't net.  I couldn't see it specified anywhere on the menu that the prices listed didn't include service and VAT, although it might be there somewhere in very small print.  Naughty, naughty, Volare.  

 

The other less-than-favorable point is the cost of beverages at Volare.  A Coke Zero is 111 baht with service charge and VAT.  A SML is 140 baht on the menu, which would be 164 baht.  Those are hefty prices.

 

To summarize:  Volare looks very fine after its makeover, the ambiance is good and the service friendly. The food is good and some dishes aren't on any other restaurant menu I've seen in Pattaya. However, a miss in execution pulls my overall opinion down, as does the failure to include service and VAT in the menu prices.

 

Bottom line:  I'll probably go back, but I'm not in a hurry. Pizza for takeaway might get more frequent business.

 

Evil

:devil


Edited by Evil Penevil, 13 November 2017 - 10:04 AM.

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#3 Chester007

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 05:43 PM

 

 

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That night I decided to try one of Volare's pizzas.  I chose prosciutto (dry-cured ham) as the topping.  It's not a traditional pizza topping in Italy, nor is it customary in the U.S., but I love prosciutto and thought it would taste great on pizza.  I was right.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0329.jpg

 

The pizza was 13 inches (33 centimeters) in diameter, which would put it between medium and large on the U.S. size scale.  It had a thin Neopolitan crust and I would have preferred a bit more char on the bottom of the crust, but that may be a NYC thing. The sauce and cheese hadn't been laid too thickly so the taste of the prosciutto was overwhelmed. It was a good pizza and I wouldn't hesitate to order pizza again from Volare.

 

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Pizza for takeaway might get more frequent business.

 

Evil

:devil

 

Thanks. I'll do a take away pizza pie this week.   No, it's not a NYC thing. I ask for extra crispy when I order back home. Best pizza city in Canada.  Windsor.  I'll report back.


Edited by Chester007, 13 November 2017 - 05:47 PM.

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#4 MeGoDanceNow

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 08:43 PM

Thanks. I'll do a take away pizza pie this week.   No, it's not a NYC thing. I ask for extra crispy when I order back home. Best pizza city in Canada.  Windsor.  I'll report back.

 

 

Windsor has better pizza than Montreal? That's welcome news. Pizza in Toronto is generally terrible. Tell me more!


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#5 Chester007

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 02:20 AM

 

 

Windsor has better pizza than Montreal? That's welcome news. Pizza in Toronto is generally terrible. Tell me more!

There's not much Windsor is better at than Montreal. However our Pizza industry is very well known to be the best. When there are competitions we always rate in the top 3.

 

There was an international competition in Las Vegas and we placed 3rd.  Just saying 555555

 

http://windsorstar.c...rld-class-pizza


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#6 MeGoDanceNow

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 12:39 PM

There's not much Windsor is better at than Montreal. However our Pizza industry is very well known to be the best. When there are competitions we always rate in the top 3.

 

There was an international competition in Las Vegas and we placed 3rd.  Just saying 555555

 

http://windsorstar.c...rld-class-pizza

 

 

Haven't been to Windsor in decades. Time to drop in for the pie.


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#7 Chester007

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 06:36 PM

 

 

Haven't been to Windsor in decades. Time to drop in for the pie.

If and when you do, please contact me. I'd be happy to be your Pizza Pie tour guide.  Ironically this just happened today!!!

http://windsorstar.c...reation-complex


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#8 MeGoDanceNow

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 02:06 AM

If and when you do, please contact me. I'd be happy to be your Pizza Pie tour guide.  Ironically this just happened today!!!

http://windsorstar.c...reation-complex

 

 

Thanks! Any decent peeler joints in Windsor?


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#9 Chester007

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 11:26 AM

 

 

Thanks! Any decent peeler joints in Windsor?

 After filling the bellies of fine pizza, I'm sure I can show you some fine pussy at the gentleman's clubs.  Anymore requests, please speak to my agent who arranges all tours for me. 5555555555555


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#10 MeGoDanceNow

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:20 PM

A few nights ago I took Mrs. MGDN for din-dins at Volare. 

 

I had the tagliatelli with mushrooms and cheese sauce, and the missus had the salmon cream sauce spaghetti.

 

Food and service were quite good. Boring mangiacake bread as EP says, but my pasta was tasty. The missus, however, complained that her dish was quite salty. I sampled it and thought the same.

 

When we told the waitress, she apologized and knocked 20% off her bill. Considering that the usual reaction in a Thai-run restaurant would be a nervous laugh and no redress, I was impressed that the waitress had done something to keep us happy. She also assured us she would tell the kitchen about the matter.

 

So no complaints on that front, but a few other cavils:

 

  • Where we sat outside, they had recessed lighting mounted behind ceiling fans. That meant the light had an annoying strobe effect, so we had to move tables to avoid getting a headache.
  • The only comfortable seating is outside. Inside seating is all tall bar stools. So you can have comfortable chairs or aircon but not both. Fortunately it was a cool evening.
  • Considering that it is basically a spaghetti joint with a few twists, Volare is rather pricy. Total bill, for two plates of pasta and water plus service charge, came to over 1000 baht. For what we ate, we should have gotten change back from a purple.
  • As everywhere in downtown Pattaya, parking was an afterthought. Fortunately a restaurant across the street offers parking for 40 baht for one hour.

 

I could see myself eating here again -- I'd like to try the pizza -- but I might go for the spaghetteria down the soi near the Avenue first.


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