Located in North Pattaya in front of the Amari hotel right at the start of the Beach Road, Mantra Restaurant & Bar is kind of hard to miss.
I am greeted at the entrance by amicable staff who are more than ready to open the large heavy doors for me, which first leads to the bar area.
Very chic with a high ceiling, dark wooden furniture and lots of unique red decor, this pre/post-dinner lounge boasts a large bar with funky lounge music playing. Hot towels to welcome us; and it gets better as our drinks arrive; a refreshing Mojito, a luscious Strawberry Daiquiri and a sweet scented Bellini. All this served with spiced walnuts and olives.
Next, I make my way into the stunning and stylish restaurant with even higher ceilings. There are various open kitchens and a wood-fired oven, with chefs preparing their cuisine and seated diners looking on, in a manner that seems almost like a well-orchestrated show in a theatre that has well captured it’s audience. Mantra serves up diverse cuisine from all over the globe – Western, Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Seafood, Grills and also Thai.
The drink list is extensive with a wide range of wines and all sorts of specialty cocktails; Sake and Cigars are available too. There a walk-in wine cellar in the restaurant. Sadly, they politely refused my request for permanent residency in there.
On to the food, the first appetizer that arrived was a Thai style Mushroom Salad which was a wide assortment of mushrooms deliciously prepared in a sour and spicy Thai style Yum. I also tried some delicious Nigiri Sushi; Maguro (Tuna) and Sake (Salmon).
From the Chinese kitchen we tried the delectable BBQ combination of duck, pork & crispy pork belly served with a trio of sauces and Deep-fried prawns in a sweet horseradish sauce with sliced apples and celery for the extra crunch.
Along with all this awesome food, I enjoy a glass of smooth and easy to drink New Zealand white wine, a Kookaburra laughing white chardonnay. Maybe “laughing” was later added because it’s a bit of challenge to say Kookaburra without a slight chuckle. And I know you are trying it as you read this.
Next we went for Western; Spaghetti (instead of Angel hair pasta) with grilled vegetables, mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant in spicy tomato sauce. This dish was so delicious and just the right amount of spicy; I really did enjoy it and it almost made a meat-lover like me forget the fact that there was no meat in it.
For dessert we order the Mantra Special for 4, a delightful surprise. Delightful indeed! A palatable platter of sweet treats – Panna Cotta, Passion fruit mousse, Vanilla and Pandan Creme Brulee, Chocolate parfait with fresh berries, Sticky rice with mango and Chocolate mousse. Once again, I am inflicted with a dessert-induced amnesia, where I forget how full I was once I lay eyes upon these little fellows that make life oh so sweet!
I am always impressed when I visit Mantra and this is certainly one of the top restaurants in Pattaya. It is perfect for a date and also an apt choice for a fun night out with friends.
On another recent visit, this time with family, we order a dish we always enjoy sharing, the customized mixed Tandoori platter, with perfectly cooked and spiced lamb chops, chicken, fish and paneer (cottage cheese) tikka. This and the Malbec were an ideal combination. I also get to try the impressive and tasty Peking duck rolls. And we end off another great dinner here with the dessert platter, along with a Bellini and their special cocktail, the Mantratini.