Mantra Restaurant and Bar is a fine-dining restaurant at the Amari Pattaya, a five-star resort hotel located two hours from Bangkok, Thailand. The popular eatery has seven kitchens serving seven distinct styles of food in elegant surroundings.
During my two-night stay at the Amari Pattaya, a five-star resort hotel overlooking the beach in Pattaya, Thailand, I was invited for dinner at the resort’s fine dining restaurant, Mantra Restaurant and Bar.
Serving a mostly pan-Asian and Mediterranean menu, the restaurant is open for dinner from 5 pm to 1 am seven nights a week.
While the restaurant does not open for breakfast or lunch Monday through Saturday, it does open from brunch from 11 am to 3 pm on Sunday.
First, we had cocktails in the outlet’s stylish cocktail lounge. Then we toured the drop–dead gorgeous facilities, making a stop in the walk-in wine cellar and checking out some of the kitchens.
Finally, we were seated in the extravagant dining room, where we enjoyed a mouthwatering dinner in elegant surroundings.
I read somewhere that the restaurant has been rated as one of the best restaurants in TripAdvisor – not just in Pattaya, but in Thailand.
Having had the pleasure of dining there, I can understand why!
The Entrance …
The restaurant is housed in a cavernous free-standing structure on the manicured grounds of the Amari Pattaya.
The signage and massive front doors suggest that this is no run-of-the-mill eatery.
The Cocktail Lounge …
Pre- and after-dinner cocktails and other beverages are served in the outlet’s spacious and gorgeously decorated cocktail lounge.
The Cocktails …
Signature cocktails are served by talented mixologists. The house favourite is the Rose Apple Martini.
The Wine Cellar …
The outlet has an extensive wine list with 160 branded wines including some rare Bordeaux.
The Dining Room …
Dark and mysterious, the dining room is surrounded by seven independent kitchens preparing seven different types of food.
The Food …
Mantra is a fine-dining restaurant featuring Asian and Mediterranean style dishes.
What sets Mantra apart from many restaurants serving a “mixed menu” is the proliferation of kitchens.
There are, in fact, seven independent kitchens, each one offering a distinct menu: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, Seafood, and Charcoal Grilled.
Choices range from appetizers and salads to soups, main courses, side dishes and desserts.
Each one of the kitchens is equipped with the specific kinds of kitchen equipment needed to prepare the type of cuisine it serves.
For example, there is a wood-fired oven to prepare authentic Hong Kong style barbecued meats, a wood-fired oven to prepare Italian style pizzas, and a tandoori oven to prepare Indian style tandoori dishes.
This is, however, one restaurant, and diners are free to mix and match their appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and desserts.
Many of the dishes, in fact, are perfectly suited for sharing as they are served family style.
My dining companion and I shared Japanese and Chinese style appetizers, an East-meets-West salad, two main courses and a yummy dessert.
The Appetizers …
Atlantic Salmon and Avocado Salad – from the Japanese kitchen, the Atlantic Salmon Sashimi and Avocado Salad was served with Keta Caviar and Sesame Dressing. 450 baht.
BBQ Selection – from the Chinese wood-fired oven, the BBQ selection includes barbecue duck, crispy pork belly, and char siu. 360 or 560 baht.
I particularly liked the fact that the bones had been removed from the duck. Most Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong chop through the bones, which I find quite unappetizing.
I prefer the way the roast duck was served at Mantra – with bones removed.
Deep-fried Prawns – from the Chinese kitchen, the Deep-fried Prawns were a mouthwatering salad made with Apple, Celery, and Sweet Horseradish Sauce. 750 baht.
The Main Courses . . .
Tandoori Lamb Rack – from the Indian Kitchen, the Tandoori Lamb Rack was made with yogurt, ginger, garlic, and spices. 950 baht.
Thai Sea Bass Filet – from the Charcoal Grill, the Thai Sea Bass Filet was beautifully prepared. 450 baht.
The Desserts …
Caramel Ice Cream – for dessert, we each had a large scoop of caramel ice cream served with three sauces. I particularly liked the dark chocolate sauce.
The Ambience …
I’ll let my pictures speak for themselves. The opulent interior design of the restaurant was drop-dead gorgeous. It was sultry. It was mysterious. It had character.
There were dark brown woods, deep gray stone floors, rosy red fabrics, and lime green accents with occasional pan-Asian objets-d’art scattered here and there.
There was was an informal outdoor space on the upstairs floor with a large screen television, which usually displays sporting events.
The Dress Code …
This is a fine-dining restaurant, and diners are expected to dress the part. That means don’t wear beachwear.
Men should not wear short pants, tank tops, or sandals. The dress code is relaxed to “smart casual” at brunch on Sunday.
The Verdict …
I was blown away by the dramatic decor. The minute I walked through the doors, I knew this was going to be a memorable experience.
I enjoyed the entire meal, but if I had to choose just one stand-out dish, it would have to be the fried prawn with apple salad.
With its East-Meets-West vibe, the salad proved that Rudyard Kipling was wrong. East and West really can meet – at least in the Chinese kitchen of a Thai hotel.
I give this restaurant and enthusiastic two thumbs up!
Mantra Restaurant and Bar – Amari Pattaya, 240 Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya, Thailand. Tel: +66 384 8418.