Marco Polo - the dim sum experience:
by Miss Terry Diner
The Marco Polo Chinese restaurant is another of
Pattaya’s icons. Opened in 1987, it is renowned for its high standards, and that
is in turn indicative of the high standards of Khajorn Rangpitakun, the Chinese
chef who has been cooking at Marco Polo for 21 years.
The Dining Out team has been to Marco Polo several times over the years, and the
welcome you get is always like that of an old friend. The restaurant, if you are
unsure, is in the Montien Hotel on Second Road, which is around 100 meters from
the Pattaya Central and Pattaya Second Roads intersection. Enter the lobby and
look to your right and you will see the Marco Polo, adjacent to one of the
Montien’s well known restaurants, La Mer. The restaurant itself is quiet with
carpeted floors, some alcoves and three private dining areas for 10 to 30
diners. Table settings are of high quality and the large starched napkins are
needed for folks like us who are not all that adept with chopsticks. However,
requests for spoons and forks are quickly and happily met.
We went to the Marco Polo to sample the new dim sum offerings, which come with
their own lunchtime menu of 24 items. This menu is also a pictorial one, with
small photos of each item, for those not necessarily au fait with dim sum
choices. Prices range from B. 65 through to B. 95 for each container, which
generally holds two or three of each item.
The dim sum choices cover deep-fried items such as the mashed taro (B. 65),
pan-fried choices as the garlic chives cake (B. 75) and many steamed items
including steamed buns with many different fillings (all B. 65) and even baked
items such as baked pork spare ribs with black bean sauce (B. 70).
There is a wine list, which is not too expensive for a hotel outlet, but being
lunchtime we decided to just have tea, as is the Chinese fashion. There are
three teas available, jasmine, sunflower or green tea, and we chose the hot
jasmine tea, which our serving girl in the maroon cheong sam kept refilled.
We were joined for lunch by the Montien’s energetic and bubbly PR lady,
Pornpimon, and the Marco Polo chef, Khajorn. It is always good to see a chef
heartily enjoying his own food creations (and he did)!
We began with some deep-fried items, with fried delicate bean curd my first
item. A great way to start, followed by the deep-fried taro. The crispy covering
just melts in the mouth, and I have yet to find anyone who does not enjoy this
dish. There was also a container of deep-fried crab ‘arms’ (which we would call
crab ‘legs’) and was slightly spicy, showing the fact that Chinese food is not
always bland. Chef Khajorn is adept at classic Cantonese, and Szechuan and
From there it was wonderful culinary experience with the steamed stuffed lettuce
with crab sticks probably my standout, but they were all excellent.
We finished our dim sum lunch with a spinach soup for Madame, over which she was
still talking about later, whilst I had the Szechuan soup which is a favorite of
mine, with delicate flavors and the little ‘catch’ in the back of the palate.
With the alcoves and private dining areas, Marco Polo’s dim sum lunch is an
excellent venue for business lunches, as well as personal indulgence. I can
honestly say that we have never had a bad experience at the Marco Polo (lunch or
dinner) and can consequently give this restaurant a Highly Recommended rating.
By the way, if you haven’t decided on your venue for a Valentine’s Day dinner,
the Montien has a five course candlelit set dinner in La Mer, complete with
chocolates and a rose and a complimentary glass of Kir Royale for B. 2,708 per
couple. Romance which won’t bust the budget!
Marco Polo Chinese Restaurant, Montien Hotel, Pattaya Second Road, Central
Pattaya, telephone 038 428 155, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.
montien.com, lunch 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. (dinner 6 p.m. till 10 p.m.) and secure
parking within the hotel’s car parks.
Once a year, chefs can let their hair down, and I am
always happy to oblige them with some space in this column. This year it is
Peking Duck, so with your chopper at the ready, and the duck awaiting. Let’s
A couple go for a meal at a Chinese restaurant and order the Chicken Surprise.
After a little while, the waiter brings the meal, served in a lidded cast iron
Just as the wife is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises slightly
and she briefly sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams
“Good grief, did you see that?” she asks her husband. He had not, so she asked
him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises, and he also
sees two beady little eyes looking around before it slams down.
Rather perturbed, he calls the waiter over, explains what is happening, and
demands an explanation.
“Prease sir,” said the waiter, “what you order?”
The husband replied, “Chicken Surprise.”
“Ah! So solly,” said the waiter, “I bling you Peeking Duck!”
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