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Evil Penevil

Under 300 Baht ... And Good! (updated Feb.17, 2019)

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10 hours ago, jacko said:

Jameson's  has some memories for me as in my early days I often stayed at the adjacent Nova Park. Very similar to the Residence Garden, suite type, 2 rooms and the place a bit out of the way! I had some good meals delivered to my room from there, I recall the ribs well. The pub interior was indeed gloomy but the weekend roast carvery often got me in there. Too far off the beaten track to be a contender, walking back down a dark soi SaiSong 4 very late was a little concerning but mostly I was on a M/C taxi being followed by another. 

A pizza shop next door is a fair fit for the hotel, but I wonder how Jameson's survived. 

Have stayed at Nova Gold myself so Jameson's was convenient at times.  Forget the props name but he was Irish (with Thai ancestory 😏) and a good bloke.  He gave me history as to how he aquired the place, etc.  But recall one afternoon he opened his arms indicating the whole place in a questioning manner.  This was a few years ago, but I was honest and said that Irish bars were dying out in the West and farangs don't travel all that way to see another one.  Ok, pizza bar now also, hmmm....maybe....but limited farang walkbys...generally only from close hotels...the place IS in the bloody sticks...Good luck to him though, as he was a good and sincere host...if not on the golf course 😊

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Big Kahuna is an American restaurant on Thappraya Road in Jomtien, about 100 meters north of the intersection with Thepprasit Road.  The name, decor and some of the dishes on the menu are Hawaii-inspired, but Big Kahuna mostly offers U.S.-style finger food like burgers, sandwiches and pizza.  It also serves U.S.-style breakfasts, with pancakes a notable item. It occupies the former premises of the defunct Pastrami on Rye and the menu at Big Kahuna reminds of PoR's.


There's a big kahuna painting on one wall, but the interior isn't dripping with kitschy tiki symbols. 


In fact. the main dining area is pretty much free of them.  It's a relaxing atmosphere in which to have a meal.


In the Hawaiian language, "kahuna" can refer to a traditional priest, sorcerer or healer, but also to an "expert" of any sort.  The term "big kahuna" was applied to Hawaii's top surfer and was made popular by a character with that name (played by Cliff Robertson) in the 1959 movie Gidget with Sandra Dee in the title roll.  Today it points to the leading expert or most influential person in any field.  I made me think about who might be Pattaya's "big kahuna."   SmileySignroflmaosmall.gif.6c38330b3e8c3055f6aa80ceed0ba2be.gif



The other day I had the Small Pancake Special at 98 baht.  It featured a single buttermilk pancake with syrup and butter; an in-house-made sausage patty; fried or scrambled egg; and your choice or coffee, tea or orange or pineapple juice. Considering the pancake was one of the best I'd had in Pattaya, it was certainly value for money at the price.


The pancake was light and fluffy, exactly how a North American pancake should be.  The egg was fired nicely and the sausage patty was OK, if a bit bland.  It was pancake and not real maple syrup, but you can't expect too much for 98 baht.  


It wasn't a healthy breakfast unless you're running a marathon directly after, but it sure tasted good.  I wouldn't eat it every day or even every month due to the jolt the syrup  gives your blood sugar levels and I just can't have pancakes without some sort of syrup.


It was a fair-sized glass of pineapple juice, not the thimble full you get in some restaurants.


Big Kahuna has some of the best American food in Pattaya, but it's a bit of a trek to go all the way to Jomtien for a burger or sandwich.  Fortunately they have delivery as well for 50 baht extra.  I ordered the Cuban sandwich for lunch yesterday.  It was a bit of a hassle as I've moved out of my condo and am living temporarily in a hotel.  First the girl taking orders  thought I had said, "Reuben sandwich," instead of "Cuban sandwich,"  but I caught that due to the disparity in price she named for the order.  It also took some time to make clear my new address.  I had anticipated that might happen. so I gave her the phone number to the hotel so she could call and get the directions in Thai.  

Forty-five minutes later my order arrived, which was fairly quick given the distance involved.  Big Kahuna didn't use a moto driver for delivery, but the same pretty young waitress who'd served me my pancake breakfast the day before brought me the sandwich.  It consisted of ham, pulled pork. Swiss cheese and slices of dill pickle between the halves of a baguette that had been spread with butter and mustard, then toasted in a sandwich press.  It came with a choice of one side dish and a soft drink and I had picked coleslaw and Coke Zero.  It cost 285 baht plus 50 baht for delivery.


Some foods don't photograph attractively and a Cuban sandwich is one of them.  I did indeed taste better than it looked and nevertheless was a fair approximation of the Cuban sandwiches you get in Florida or a big city like New York.  


Cuban sandwiches should be made with Cuban bread, the recipe for which  includes lard as a shortening. This helps give the final loaf an exceptionally crisp crust and and airy. light interior compared to its French and Italian counterparts.  In NYC, I lived close to one of the best Cuban bakeries in the city, so getting Cuban sandwiches with the authentic bread wasn't a problem.  It would almost be an impossibility to find Cuban bread in Thailand and the Big Kahuna's substitution of a French baguette is the only option short of baking Cuban bread itself.


In the pic above, I've  opened the  sandwich and included the coleslaw, Coke and slice of dill pickle that came with the order.  Both the ham and pulled pork held a high standard.  You can't make a good cuban sandwich from a sow's ear.  I would have liked more mustard on the bread, but that's just personal preference.   -funny-facebook-smile-facesmall.jpg.5d242a5aaf7f0da4e8358441c4301f2b.jpg on the sandwich overall.   The coleslaw was very good, with freshly grated cabbage and carrots.  It wasn't swimming in dressing and celery seeds had been added for flavor.   

Bottom line;  I won't hesitate to return to Big Kahuna to satisfy my infrequent longing for certain types of U.S. food, but I'm more likely to use the delivery option.

The restaurant has numerous specials on food and drink.




I'll post some menu pages from Big Kahuna's Facebook page as well.  Writing this review has made me think about a Reuben for lunch!







Edited by Evil Penevil

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I don't write often about fast-food chain restaurants in Pattaya, mostly because I don't eat in them except on very rare occasions. On an impulse, I tried Texas Chicken at Central Marina.  I was pleasantly surprised; the chicken I got was better than I had expected and it qualified as good.  


Texas Chicken is the name Church's Chicken operates under outside North America.  It's the fourth largest U.S. fried chicken chain in both number of outlets and revenue, but I can't recall ever having tried it in the U.S. as it doesn't have stores in the eastern states.


I ordered the three-piece combination for take-away.  It cost 159 baht and came with a small order of French fries.  one biscuit and a "bottomless" cup of soft drink. I also got some mashed potatoes with gravy for 15 baht.  I drank my ice tea in the restaurant; I didn't want to lug it to my hotel.

Here's what I got in my take-away box:


The three pieces of chicken were all white meat, not thighs and legs.  They had been battered and deep-fried properly, crisp on the outside, the meat juicy and full of real chicken flavor.  It was far superior to  greasy KFC chicken with its soggy batter and tasteless meat.


The sides were less impressive.  The French fries were industrial-style and the mashed potatoes had started out as flakes from a package. The biscuit had been topped with a honey-like sweetener and had a strange texture. It wasn't bad, but reminded me more of a dough-nut hole than a traditional biscuit.

Bottom line:  I don't often get a hankering for U.S.-style fried chicken, but the next time I do, I wouldn't hesitate to make a return visit to Texas Chicken.  The restaurant has plenty of special offers. In that sense, it lives up to its U.S. reputation as the "poor man's KFC."




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