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Trip Advisor's Top Pattaya Restaurants


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This is a list of Trip Advisor's top 59 restaurants out of 944 in Pattaya as of Jan. 28, 2017. It was supposed to be a list of 60, but Mai Thai Cuisine at #9 fell by the wayside while I was formatting the list. My apologies to Mai Thai. You can find the T A ranking's for Pattaya here, However, T A continuously updates its rankings, so what you read today may differ from the lists below.


List2.jpg


And the top 10 in more detail:


list.jpg


These 60 restaurants were placed highest by Trip Advisor's algorithm for ranking restaurants based on reviews by anonymous posters. It is NOT by any stretch of the imagination a list of the best restaurants in Pattaya as it doesn't feature objective standards for quality. Even if such standards could be established, it would be impossible to apply them to anonymous reviews.


Basically, the list is a mishmash of the most popular Pattaya restaurants according to Trip Advisor's set of rules for calculating rankings. It's a very flawed approach that is wide open to manipulation. Just consider the recent case of the fake restaurant listed as #1 in London: How An Entirely Fake Restaurant Became London's Hottest Reservation.


But even if the ranking algorithm were perfectly fair, there's still an inherent contradiction which can't be overcome. How do you compare a fine dining restaurant to a casual budget restaurant? Or a pizzeria to a seafood restaurant? Or a classic French restaurant to an Indian or Tex Mex restaurant and say which is better? It's impossible.


That said, there's no denying T A is hugely influential and contains some excellent reviews and tips on restaurants. It's a matter of using it carefully and sorting the fake reviews from the genuine. Keep in mind, too, that restaurant reviews are always subjective and reflect personal preferences. Diners have different priorities when it comes to restaurant meals. Some are most concerned with portion size and price; if they get a lot of food for a little money, they are happy. Others are focused on the quality of the food and the total dining experience, which goes beyond the food on the plate.


A few things jump out regarding the list of the top restaurants. It's not surprising to find places like Cafe des Amis, Bruno's, Livv, Moonlight, Horizon and Casa Pascal among the top 10; fine dining restaurants always do well in ranking lists. It's surprising, though, that Five Star J comes in at #3 and absolutely mind-boggling Caravan, a Russian-Uzbek (!!!) restaurant, would place third.


Surprising and mind-bogging, that is, until you take into account how T A compiles its rankings. Both Five Star J and Caravan appeal to limited groups of customers- Five Star to vegans and vegetarians; Caravan to Russian and Chinese tourists. Within those groups there's more uniformity of opinion about the restaurant's food, so it gets a high number of positive ratings. Those who don't like vegetarian or Russian food aren't likely to eat there at all and it therefore doesn't get a lot of low ratings.


It's a bit more complicated that that, but without going into a lot of detail, it's safe to say the high rankings of Five Star J and Caravan are largely quirks of the T A system.


I also found it surprising that Hooters ranked in 32nd place, one notch above Pattaya Beer Garden. Considering how much hatred is expressed on the punter boards over Hooters, I'm astounded it's done so well in the T A reviews. A comment in of one of those reviews made me chuckle: "The biggest Hooters I've ever seen." :P


I found it strange that very popular Thai seafood restaurants like Mum Aroi and Pupen didn't make the top 60, nor did popular Thai chains like MK. But that may simply be due to Thais not writing reviews on T A. Over the years, I've eaten in about 40 of the 60 restaurants.


Anyway, what restaurants do you feel shouldn't be in the top 60 and which are glaring by their omission? Remember, the list is about popularity, not quality.



Evil

:devil

Edited by Evil Penevil
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I am highly surprised by this ranking. I consider this a list of restaurants in Pattaya and not more. I have my own list of favorite places places and Five Star J and Caravan definitely do not appear on this list (but each to their own).

 

It maybe tells you something more about how to evaluate TA rankings.

 

Thanks for finding out and communicate.

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The problem with T A's ranking of restaurants in Pattaya or anywhere else is that it doesn't measure what people think it measures. It's not a listing of restaurants by quality or even popularity in terms of the number of diners. It only measures how the restaurant ranks according to T A's system of ranking restaurants. That system has some inherent flaws and it is also easy to manipulate, so sometimes restaurants get high rankings that reflect neither quality nor the number of diners.



It's a bit like what is sometimes said about certain students- they may not know much about the subject, but they are good at taking tests. The same is true of some restaurant owners. The food they serve may be second-rate, but they have learned how to manipulate the T A ranking system to get a high spot on the list.



I could open a can of very fat and ugly worms with a post on the individuals behind some reviews of Pattaya restaurants, but it's not a good path to go down. Fake reviews aren't a problem on Pattaya Talk itself and haven't been for more than a year. Suffice it to say that the reviews on T A should be taken not just with a grain of salt but a ton of it. Never forget that a high ranking on T A is no guarantee of quality food.



Evil


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I can highly recommend Sandbar By the Sea Jomtien. Call ahead first as sometimes they have live entertainment and you won't be able to get a seat without a reservation.

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Thanks for the list , Little India is missing ,

Joe

PS have you done review on the chocolate factory ?

The Chocolate Factory is a large tourist trap located near the Cosy Beach Hotel in the Pratumnak area. It's clientele appears to be mainly 'Hi-So' Thais down from Bangkok for the weekend.

 

There are two fairly large outdoor seating areas with great views over to Koh Larn.

 

I guess that their speciality is desserts but they also serve main courses. I've only been in once just after it opened and IIRC prices were relatively high but not extortionate.

 

Inside the main building there is some more seating but a large area is used for selling souvenir chocolates, cakes and other confectionary. At 30 baht for an individual chocolate it would be easy to build up a large bill for souvenirs.

 

Personally I prefer the Sky Gallery next door which has a far more relaxed feel to it.

 

There are a couple of other touristy places along that stretch of road, Cliff Seaview Restaurant and Liquid Pool Club. I have some pictures I could post if there is some demand but feel that this area is a bit out of the way for most BMs.

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One or two places will get their noses out of joint over that list. Those that think they should be higher and those that feel they should be on the list.

 

Interesting that not a single Retox venue made the list. Is that because they are not considered restaurants? They are very popular with those who use them, they might not be the type who vote on Trip Advisor.

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One or two places will get their noses out of joint over that list. Those that think they should be higher and those that feel they should be on the list.

 

Interesting that not a single Retox venue made the list. Is that because they are not considered restaurants? They are very popular with those who use them, they might not be the type who vote on Trip Advisor.

Retox and Retox Game On nos 55 and 56 respectively.
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I noticed two 'Royal Cliff' restaurants on the list.......Apparently there are eleven on the hotel site.

 

But The 'Royal Grill' missed out so a quick plug for the best empty restaurant in Thailand. ......I joined the Wine Club at RC, purely because by doing so my Fitz gym membership is discounted. Added to Wine Club card discounts at all the RC restaurants comes a voucher for two worth about 2,000 baht. Food free then just pay for drinks.

 

But who to take?

 

My current on/off squeeze, the Orgasmotron.......is covered in tattoos and bless her however modest her dress she can't adopt any persona other than her winning mainstay.....that of, 'horny tart'.

 

That's perfect for me but I didn't think she would be a good fit for the Royal Grill......They can be a bit sniffy there and sommeliers look down their noses at me at the best of times. Of the girls I know that could easily carry it off and would enjoy a good 'swank'.

 

One's in Germany most of the year.

Another is married to a wealthy European and she wouldn't want to get spotted. Shame because I've seen her, wither a waiter with look over her reading glasses.

Same goes for the last one she's married to an American sponsor....And the Royal Grill might not have the dark corners she prefers.

 

So I kept my vouchers and saved them to use when my 18 year old son was over.

 

My French stopped at, 'Amuse Bouch' so with all the command an ex barrow boy from Lisson Grove can muster I ordered the 'set meal for two mate.'

 

Not counting the bread basket with 5 types of bread one like a big crisp with seeds, (my son told me what it was but I've since forgotten).....or the excellent coffee and devine chocolates..The set meal was 5 courses. In order of scoffing the courses were in turn .....Tart.....(should have brought the Orgasmotron after all)......Ambrosial........ Gustatory.......Piquant and Nectarous.........All in all a meal that was saporous.

 

My son loved every course and kept up with me on the wine blast him. Still I was driving.

 

It was one of the more memorable meals of my life...And doing the reckoning later even without my vouchers we'd have seen change out of 4000 baht.

 

My son's only slight criticism was that, 'the pianist wasn't exactly amazing'

 

Royal Grill........Worth a try. I liked it much more than Caprice.

Edited by atlas2
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I am a fan of Trip Advisor and I use this website to select hotels and restaurants all the time. I've written 170 reviews on their site too which makes me a top level contributor (level 6). One thing I have found with this site though over the years is that their site can sometimes be misleading and as Evil says, their ranking system is open to manipulation and has many flaws. Many times I have eaten in a so called "top" restaurant and it turns out to be a disappointment. Some restaurants or hotels seem to gather a huge following and feature high up on the list of the best when it seems totally unjustified. Once you're experienced with using the site you learn how to filter though the reviews and which ones you should take notice of which allows you to make a better judgement when you select hotels and restaurants. I've eaten in some on this list and the only one I'd disagree with is Retox. This is a great place to drink and watch sporting events but I don't rate their food. The ones that I have eaten in and would rate highly are Cabbages and Condoms, Pattaya Beer Garden and Surf Kitchen in Jomtien which is probably my favourite.

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I am a fan of Trip Advisor and I use this website to select hotels and restaurants all the time. I've written 170 reviews on their site too which makes me a top level contributor (level 6). One thing I have found with this site though over the years is that their site can sometimes be misleading and as Evil says, their ranking system is open to manipulation and has many flaws. Many times I have eaten in a so called "top" restaurant and it turns out to be a disappointment. Some restaurants or hotels seem to gather a huge following and feature high up on the list of the best when it seems totally unjustified. Once you're experienced with using the site you learn how to filter though the reviews and which ones you should take notice of which allows you to make a better judgement when you select hotels and restaurants. I've eaten in some on this list and the only one I'd disagree with is Retox. This is a great place to drink and watch sporting events but I don't rate their food. The ones that I have eaten in and would rate highly are Cabbages and Condoms, Pattaya Beer Garden and Surf Kitchen in Jomtien which is probably my favourite.

Sorry cannot agree on cabbages and condoms one of the worst meals we have had very disappointed

 

Sent from my SM-G610F using Tapatalk

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I noticed two 'Royal Cliff' restaurants on the list.......Apparently there are eleven on the hotel site.

 

But The 'Royal Grill' missed out so a quick plug for the best empty restaurant in Thailand. ......

The Royal Grill Room & Wine Cellar is on the list at #46. The other two Royal Cliff restaurants among the top 60 are Caprice and Rossini.

 

RC Grill.JPG

 

It is a one of the, if not THE, most classic Western restaurants in Pattaya. A pic from the management:

 

royal-cliff.jpg

 

In a resort area like Pattaya, it's a bit overwhelming for most tourists and residents, plus it's very expensive by Pattaya standards. And as you say, most bar girls wouldn't like it at all. It's understandable it wouldn't rank high on a popularity list. But in terms of a fine dining experience, it is a top-range option.

 

PS have you done review on the chocolate factory ?

No, I haven't. I've been there once, but only for dessert. I didn't have my camera along, so I didn't write it up. I seldom do reviews if I don't have pics to go with it.

 

What, The Sea Side Restaurant didn't get a mention?

It is #404 in the rankings. Kiss on 2nd Road is #61 and the Sailor on Soi 8 is #198. The strange thing is that several favorites among the more budget-minded ex-pats and tourists are missing from T A's list.

 

Evil

:devil

Edited by Evil Penevil
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Sorry missed it.......(@#45 by-the-way).......Three'che

 

I shall try some of the other mentions........But not 'Indian by nature' biggest let down since my first walking street starfish.

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Reviews are strange things. If you read the reviews for the Beer Garden, even just the first two pages you may think that the Beer Garden

 

is too expensive, while being very reasonable

the food is great but average

the staff are fantastic but ignore you

its as good as it ever was but going down hill

service is very friendly but rude

food is served very quickly but takes forever

 

It gets confusing to say the least. I try to follow up bad reviews with the managers to find out what actually happened. Sometimes we just did a bad job, sometimes the customer was unreasonable and sometimes nobody remembers what is painted as a major incident. The biggest problem I think is managing expectations. Looking for a fine dining experience and looking for a cheap bite to stave off hunger are very different requirements. Your reaction to a place is probably as much about your expectations as anything else.

 

The Shed at Dulwitch became the No 1 restaurant in London without ever serving a meal. Here is the fascinating story of how that happened -

 

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Sorry cannot agree on cabbages and condoms one of the worst meals we have had very disappointed

 

Sent from my SM-G610F using Tapatalk

 

 

Hi,

 

Cabbages and Condoms seemed insipid when I was there. Maybe watered down to cater for Western tourists tastes ?

 

I was warned about the service there and I also think "Cabbages and Condoms" has to be one of the most inappropriate and off putting names for a restaurant but despite this our experience was a good one. We went there with another couple that rated the place and I was pleasantly surprised. We only ate Thai food and what we ate was good although the service wasn't great. This illustrates exactly what I'm saying about Trip Advisor - a restaurant that is considered a "top" restaurant can be disliked by just as many people that like it, yet it's all about the reviews it gets on the website. I am disinclined to go to fine dining establishments in Pattaya because they always falls short when it comes to service, generally speaking restaurants in Thailand are so far behind the Western world in that respect. Bangkok isn't much better. For that reason I often prefer to eat in nondescript places as they often seem to have the tastiest food. Many of these places don't even feature on Trip Advisor. There is a place in a Soi off of Phratamnak Soi 4 (if you're coming from the hill road it's the second left after the 7-Eleven and then the restaurant is on the right, opposite Star Beach Condotel) that is absolutely brilliant and as far as I'm aware they're not on Trip Advisor. I really like Surf Kitchen in Jomtien, I think that place is great. I also like the Pattaya Beer Garden because they're so consistent - I went there probably thirty times during my last stay and never had a bad meal. One of the best places in Pattaya to sit during sunset. I also like a place called the Flying Boat which is also very simple, yet their food is excellent. The last time I was in Bangkok I took my missus, her sister and a friend to eat in the Blue Elephant which is supposed to be one of the best in Bangkok and has the Trip Advisor "certificate of excellence." It was awful, and at £235 hideously overpriced. Not far from there is the excellent Nahm which is one of the best restaurants I've ever eaten in and I highly recommend it. The head chef is that Ozzie guy David Thompson - an absolute connoisseur and expert when it comes to Thai food.

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not being a fine diner i have no problem with the places i eat at in pattaya......i dont mind paying say 600 baht fo a meal but ive paid 150 baht and still enjoyed that meal just as much ... ps the best brecky for me has been irovers in lk

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