Pattaya, as an international resort, has been lifting its game recently, and
we now have some very good restaurants. However, the more casual ‘bakery
café’ style venues had not kept pace to the same extent. A few weeks ago, La
Baguette, in front of the Woodlands Hotel and Resort, had its grand opening
and we were so impressed with the venue we made an appointment to return.
Would the food be as good as the surroundings?
A little about the venue first. Airy, white and relaxed are the adjectives
that immediately sprang to mind. The restaurant has a pavement al-fresco
section with a dozen tables outside, where you can watch the world go by,
while inside behind trendy glass panes there are another eight tables plus
the refrigerated cabinets with colorful pastries, tarts and éclairs. The
ambience is European and the chairs which include sofas and wing-backs,
encourage you to sit back and relax.
Along one wall are the cabinets and then around the corner, the refrigerated
delicacies become the shelves for the complete range of French breads and
pastries, and finally ice creams.
We chose the air-conditioned interior and settled into the very comfy chairs
and cushion environment.
The friendly waitresses will provide you with a menu, but there are also
menu boards above the cabinets. The prices are very reasonable with the
various sandwiches between B. 125-145, salads B. 115-150, and cheese and
cold cuts platters B.180-220 (small) or B. 250-290 (large). There are also
sweet and savory crepes B. 110-140 with again mouthwatering fillings such as
spinach and ricotta with Dijon mustard.
We began with a sandwich each. Madame choosing the bacon, mozzarella cheese
and grilled bell pepper with pesto sauce on a focaccia bread (B. 130), while
I had decided on the tuna with sautéed potatoes and yellow curry sauce over
pita bread (B. 125). We could have created our own sandwiches from the
selection of ingredients on offer, including their five varieties of cheese,
eight sauces, ham, bacon, tuna, salami, chicken and several vegetables, but
the ‘standard’ ones looked so inviting we did not bother.
The sandwiches arrived on large plates accompanied by some garden greens and
the La Baguette “Maison chips” made from very thinly sliced banana, taro and
pumpkin. Crunchy and flavorsome and just so different! The fillings were
warm (and very filling!) and we were both delighted with our choices.
Incidentally, we were joined by two acquaintances Graham and Sue, who were
ex-restaurateurs themselves, who had chosen croissants. Graham said, “This
croissant is the best I’ve tried anywhere in the world!” A spontaneous
Our host was the mercurial resident manager, Olmo Fernandez, who inveigled
us into desserts, including the “Heavenly Strawberries” a creation from
executive chef Yannis Amarantinis. These are strawberries stuffed with
chocolate mousse and then dipped in white or dark chocolate. The taste is
indeed ‘heavenly’ and to hell with the diet and the calorie count!
Being middle of the day, and with further work to be done, we stuck with
coffee and tea, although wines and beers are available. Again the range of
coffee styles is far reaching (15 in all) but the teas deserve their own
mention, with many coming from Chiang Mai and served in special individual
teapots, which sit inside the teacup, while the tea leaves are kept in a
special container inside the pot. A very ‘classy’ touch.
There was no doubt in our minds at all – La Baguette has raised the culinary
bar in Pattaya. It is a wonderful patisserie restaurant which has burst on
to the Pattaya dining scene and lifted this section of the marketplace to
the highest European standards. It is a place to go and relax with friends,
have some coffee or tea, enjoy a sandwich, baguette or croissant, a glass of
wine with dessert and say goodbye to the cares of the world. Was the food as
good as the surroundings? Yes! We will certainly be going back. Highly
La Baguette, in front of Woodlands Hotel and Resort, 164/1 M5,
Pattaya-Naklua Road, North Pattaya, telephone 038 421 707, fax 038 425 663,
email admin @woodland-resort.com. Open seven days, 8 a.m. until midnight.
Secure parking in Woodlands parking lot.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Vietnamese spring rolls are always a favorite, as opposed
to the deep-fried Chinese style. The Vietnamese variety is easy to prepare,
and all ingredients can be found in Asian (super)markets.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Boil rice vermicelli 3 to 5
minutes, or until al dente, and drain.
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the warm water for 1
second to soften. Lay wrapper flat. In a row across the center, place two
prawn halves, a handful of vermicelli, basil, mint, coriander and lettuce,
leaving about 5 cm uncovered on each side. Fold uncovered sides inward, then
tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end with the lettuce. Repeat with
In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and
chili sauce. In another small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce and peanuts. Serve
spring rolls with the fish sauce and hoisin sauce mixtures.
Rice wrappers (20 cm diameter) 8
Large cooked prawn, peeled,
deveined and halved
Thai basil chopped fresh
Mint leaves, chopped, fresh 3 tbspns
Coriander leaf, chopped, fresh 3 tbspns
Lettuce leaves, chopped
Garlic chili sauce
Peanuts, finely chopped 1 tspn