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Evil Penevil

Under 300 Baht ... And Mediocre

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17 hours ago, Thai Spice said:

Ok, lets see 

Bolognese sauce 60,000 / 3 servings => 20,000

Pasta 35,000 / 3 servings (at least) => 12,000

Minced beef 30,000 / 3 servings => 10,000

Total 42,000  = 94 Thb. Probably could be lowered 30% or so using the  cheapest products or in big cans / packs at Makro.

Bolognese sauce and spaghetti are imported, so rather expensive. 

Exactly, even though yours is more expensive than mine it's still less than 2/3 of the CMs selling price.  That's why I didn't understand your comment above -  "We often have this at home, and no way I could make it for that price ."

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10 hours ago, Evil Penevil said:

Where can you get ingredients so cheaply?  At Villa Market in The Avenue,  200 grams of local ground beef costs 84 baht.  Even if I took the can of spaghetti sauce, the cost of beef, pasta and sauce would be a few baht over 200.  From Villa Market's Website:

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The stuff I showed was 500g beef mince at £1.49 GBP, 500g jar of sauce at £0.85, and 500g spaghetti at £0.50, all from Aldi in the UK.

Villa Market is laughable with most of their prices, but it would be interesting to know what CM pays for their ingredients.

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35 minutes ago, KWA said:

Exactly, even though yours is more expensive than mine it's still less than 2/3 of the CMs selling price.  That's why I didn't understand your comment above -  "We often have this at home, and no way I could make it for that price ."

Ok, too hasty answer.

Now add to that their overheads for rental, staff, utilities, etc and add 30% margin. 

 

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4 hours ago, KWA said:

The stuff I showed was 500g beef mince at £1.49 GBP, 500g jar of sauce at £0.85, and 500g spaghetti at £0.50, all from Aldi in the UK.

Villa Market is laughable with most of their prices, but it would be interesting to know what CM pays for their ingredients.

£1-49 for 500g of mince, was it reduced as it was going out-of date? That doesn't sound like the regular price, if it was I'd be worried about what was in there.

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18 hours ago, KWA said:

Villa Market is laughable with most of their prices, but it would be interesting to know what CM pays for their ingredients.

Villa Market has a lot of imported stuff that is very expensive, but when it comes to just the three ingredients mentions- dry spaghetti, spaghetti sauce and ground beef, it's almost exactly the same as Big C.  Of course, CM will be buying in quantity from a wholesaler or restaurant supplier, so the prices will be much lower, especially for the beef.  It's a busy restaurant and probably does several hundred covers a day.  That's a lot of food!

Evil

Edited by Evil Penevil

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17 hours ago, Lemondropkid said:

£1-49 for 500g of mince, was it reduced as it was going out-of date? That doesn't sound like the regular price, if it was I'd be worried about what was in there.

Maybe a loss leader, but I think that's a regular price.  Same stuff is £1.75 in Morrisons £1.89 in Asda and £1.95 in Sainsbury's so the price looks OK for Aldi.

http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/asda-compare-prices/Fresh_Meat/ASDA_Butchers_Selection_Beef_Mince_20_Fat_500g.html?TrackingCode=AQEDAAE.j8l8dK6ffEGFBAjNU9Nfdg

 

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On 1/27/2019 at 3:26 PM, KWA said:

The stuff I showed was 500g beef mince at £1.49 GBP, 500g jar of sauce at £0.85, and 500g spaghetti at £0.50, all from Aldi in the UK.

Just been to the shops again and this could be even cheaper than I'd thought.  Mince is the same, Aldi own brand spaghetti £0.20 and the sauce is actually £0.59.

3 meals for £2.24 or 92 baht.  Just over 30 baht per meal, not the 40 baht I calculated before.  You can easily eat for next to nothing in the UK.

Edited by KWA
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1 hour ago, KWA said:

Just been to the shops again and this could be even cheaper than I'd thought.  Mince is the same, Aldi own brand spaghetti £0.20 and the sauce is actually £0.59.

3 meals for £2.24 or 92 baht.  Just over 30 baht per meal, not the 40 baht I calculated before.  You can easily eat for next to nothing in the UK.

Had a look on French Carrefour on line prices, but there are huge variations depending on brand and quality. 

Will try to work out low / medium / upper ranges tmrw.

 

 

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Portofino is a new Italian restaurant and pizzeria that occupies what had once been half of Jameson's Irish Pub.  It started serving customers on March 1. It has an open kitchen and the interior has been nicely done up.

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The pic below comes from Jameson's  FB.  I was at Portofino on March 4 and there were 12 guests scattered across the restaurant.  It was by no means full, but busier than I had expected.  I ordered a pizza and salad for take away and while I waited, several other people picked up pizzas.

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I ordered the prosciutto crudo pizza (Parma ham, mushrooms. mozzarella)  and a Greek salad for  take away.  The pizza was 295 baht and the salad 195 baht. 

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The pizza had good quality toppings, although the sauce was a bit sweet and lacked seasoning.  Pizza wasn't baked enough for me.  The crust was too soft and chewy. Since there was a decent char on the upper edge of the pizza but almost none on the bottom of the crust, the oven probably wasn't hot enough.

There an old joke, sometimes attributed to Mel Brooks, to the effect that "Pizza is like sex; even when it's bad, it's still pretty good." I've never agreed with that sentiment.  Anyone who believes it has been lucky enough in life to avoid both bad pizza and bad sex.  My personal simile regarding pizza and sex would be "I'm happy as long as I occasionally get a good piece."  It's also easier to find good sex in Pattaya than good pizza.

The pizza I had wasn't bad, just mediocre and certainly not worth 295 baht. The big letdown came from the Greek salad. I'm not going to get into sexual word plays on Greek and salad, but there was nothing Greek about my salad.  It was an abbreviated garden salad, heavy on strips of sweet pepper, with three cubes of feta cheese and a couple of black olives.  No oregano or lemon juice, very few pieces of tomato or cucumber.👎👎👎 

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Bottom line:  I won't be back to Portofino. There are many, many better places in Pattaya.

 In case anyone wants to visit for some strange reason, here's a map of the location:

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and a photo of the food menu:

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Evil

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The Hungry Hippo is the most recent of the "big three" budget restaurants to open on a short stretch of Soi Buakhao, the other two being the Chunky Monkey and Cheap Charlie's. It's also the latest project of an experienced restaurateur who had started and flipped the Chunkey Monkey.

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In fact, he almost replicated the Chunky Monkey (but in smaller premises) a couple of hundred metters down the street from the original.  The Hubgry Hippo uses the same menu and the bargain-priced food tastes the same as it did at the CM. If you liked the CM under Robin's ownership, you won't encounter any surprises at the HH. The opposite is also true.  If you disliked the old CM, the HH won't change your opinion. One significant difference: the surly service has improved from the waning days before the Chunky Monkey changed ownership.  The waitresses at the Hungry Hippo were friendly and attentive.

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Like its simian predecessor, the Hippo is clean and well-lit; the AC keeps the interior cool but not artic cold. The background music is played at a blessedly low volume. Those are all important factors for me and can't be taken for granted in Pattaya.  It's a comfortable place to have a meal.  Unfortunately, the meal I had wasn't very good.

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I tried the Friday daily special for 129 baht: two eggs, ham and a choice of potatoes, British-style chips or bubble and squeak, which is mashed, boiled or roasted potatoes fried with cabbage and other vegetables.  It's basically a tasty way of using leftovers. I took the bubble and squeak.

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The special also came with a portion of raw salad that was mostly shredded cabbage and carrots topped with a slice of tomato and three slices of cucumber. The salad and fried eggs were OK, but the ham and bubble and squeak plunged the meal into the mediocre category.  The slices of standard wet-cured ham were commendably large and thick. However, they were served not lukewarm or at room temperature, but straight-out-of-the-fridge stone cold.  How much effort could it have taken to have given the ham slices a quick turn on the griddle? The bubble and squeak was in name only; it seemed to consist of chopped leftover fried potatoes or even chopped chips mixed with side vegetables but no cabbage. It lacked the proper flavor and consistency. Much of the flavor in traditional bubble and squeak comes from the fat used for frying, usually meat drippings or bacon fat or duck or goose fat if you want to get fancy. The HH's version had seen none of them.

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I have realistic expectations about the type of farang food you'll get for 129 baht and am fully aware I won't be scaling any culinary heights at that price.  However. cheap dishes should at least be acceptable in terms of taste. This wasn't. 

I took an order of chilli con carne and rice (109 baht) home with me. 

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It wasn't Tex-Mex chilli con carne by any stretch of the imagination.  Remember, despite the name in Spanish, chilli con carne is NOT a Mexican dish. The HH's version lacked any of the spices associated with chilli con carne (cumin, oregano, garlic powder) and seemed to be a mixture of minced beef and chopped onion with a few kidney beans thrown in. It was mouth-blistering spicy do to a heavy dose of cayenne pepper; otherwise, it was flavorless.  I couldn't eat it.  I had to wonder if anyone in Pattaya could enjoy that concoction. Any dish that's inedible isn't worth the price, it's a waste no matter how low the price.

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I don't eat a Western breakfast very often these days, but friends who do tell me the 99-baht breakfat special is OK.  

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There are several other cheap breakfast options on the menu as well ...

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and plenty of specials ...

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Drink prices, especially bottled beer, are low at HH.  Small bottles of beer go for 50 and 55 baht, while large bottles (620 ml) of Singha, Chang and Leo cost 79 baht.  That's very competitive, even for the Soi Buakhao area.

Bottom line:  The Hungry Hippo is a cheap and cheerful place to have a beer and people watch if sitting outdoors. But in terms of food, the only description can be cheap and mediocre or worse.

The location, physical setup and prices for booze give the Hungry Hippo a lot of potential. The massive menu needs to be trimmed and the cooks trained in how to properly prepare a narrower range of farang favorites. Everyone loves a bargain, myself included, but the food has to hold a reasonable standard.

I've included a few excerpts from the Hungry Hippo's 23-page (!) menu.

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Evil

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An unusual set of circumstances put me on Third Road on Monday, so I decided to try Steak Kao Rai once again.  I wish I hadn't;  it was one of the worst meals I've ever been served in Pattaya.  I'm being generous in describing it as mediocre.

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For many years now,  Steak Kao Rai has been filling the bellies of thrifty farang with inexpensive beef, pork, chicken and fish dinners.  There are a few other dishes on the menu,  namely spaghetti and salads,  but most punters go to Steak Kao Rai for the same reason they monger on Beach Road:  cheap meat.

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I had intended to have the ฿139 beefsteak, but changed my mind went I saw another customer's order.  His piece of beef  (it sure wasn't a steak) looked very thin and frazzled. I decided to have the ฿89 pork chop,  as it been an acceptable option in the past when Steak Kao Rai had run out of beef.  Unfortunately, that was a bad choice.

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The pork chop was shockingly thin,  more like a pounded schnitzel than a chop. Even worse, it was mostly fat.

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The whole center section (circled) of the "chop" was fat and there were several other blobs as well.  Yuck!

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When meat is that thin, it fries quickly.  The piece of pork I got probably didn't need more than 30 seconds on each side.  That's hrdly long enough to allow the fat to warm, much less render.  Double yuck!

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I cut all the fat away, which left about two mouthfuls of meat.  If I'd been served meat like that in any farang-owned restaurant in Pattaya, I would have complained strongly.  Meat like that simply isn't acceptable.

I didn't complain at Steak Kao Rai because it seldom does any good when the restaurant is Thai owned and operated.  It just didn't seem worth the hassle for ฿ 89.  Otherwise, the 10 French fries on the plate were industrial cut, but deep fried better than most fries in Pattaya.  The salad would have been good if it hadn't been slathered with Thousand Island dressing.

Bottom line: It will be a very long time  before I venture back to Steak Kao Rai.  It's much better to pay  ฿ 175 for the pork chop special at Kilkenny and get a quality meal without having to cross Third Road.

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Evil

 

But for those of you who want to try Steak Kao Rai, I've included a map and photos of the menu below.

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Ed

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Every member on this board should line up, shake your hand, and thank you for saving us from a meal like that.  A culinary atrocity, a weapon of mass disgustion.

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44 minutes ago, Evil Penevil said:
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An unusual set of circumstances put me on Third Road on Monday, so I decided to try Steak Kao Rai once again.  I wish I hadn't;  it was one of the worst meals I've ever been served in Pattaya.  I'm being generous in describing it as mediocre.

IMG_0399.jpg

For many years now,  Steak Kao Rai has been filling the bellies of thrifty farang with inexpensive beef, pork, chicken and fish dinners.  There are a few other dishes on the menu,  namely spaghetti and salads,  but most punters go to Steak Kao Rai for the same reason they monger on Beach Road:  cheap meat.

IMG_0394.jpg

I had intended to have the ฿139 beefsteak, but changed my mind went I saw another customer's order.  His piece of beef  (it sure wasn't a steak) looked very thin and frazzled. I decided to have the ฿89 pork chop,  as it been an acceptable option in the past when Steak Kao Rai had run out of beef.  Unfortunately, that was a bad choice.

IMG_0382.jpg

IMG_0386.jpg

The pork chop was shockingly thin,  more like a pounded schnitzel than a chop. Even worse, it was mostly fat.

IMG_0383.jpg

The whole center section (circled) of the "chop" was fat and there were several other blobs as well.  Yuck!

IMG_0392.jpg

When meat is that thin, it fries quickly.  The piece of pork I got probably didn't need more than 30 seconds on each side.  That's hrdly long enough to allow the fat to warm, much less render.  Double yuck!

IMG_0388.jpg

I cut all the fat away, which left about two mouthfuls of meat.  If I'd been served meat like that in any farang-owned restaurant in Pattaya, I would have complained strongly.  Meat like that simply isn't acceptable.

I didn't complain at Steak Kao Rai because it seldom does any good when the restaurant is Thai owned and operated.  It just didn't seem worth the hassle for ฿ 89.  Otherwise, the 10 French fries on the plate were industrial cut, but deep fried better than most fries in Pattaya.  The salad would have been good if it hadn't been slathered with Thousand Island dressing.

Bottom line: It will be a very long time  before I venture back to Steak Kao Rai.  It's much better to pay  ฿ 175 for the pork chop special at Kilkenny and get a quality meal without having to cross Third Road.

post-9139-0-41367500-1516326460.jpg

 

Evil

 

But for those of you who want to try Steak Kao Rai, I've included a map and photos of the menu below.

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Did you dropped them a comment on the Breakfast club, Tripadvisor, Google or similar ?

 

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I think you might have had an off day. Have never had the pork chop, but have had plenty of other meals there that have always been great.

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7 hours ago, Thai Spice said:

Did you dropped them a comment on the Breakfast club, Tripadvisor, Google or similar ?

I'm not a member of the Breakfast Club, but I may do a review on Tripadvisor and Google.

5 hours ago, rhodie said:

I think you might have had an off day. Have never had the pork chop, but have had plenty of other meals there that have always been great.

I hope that is the case.  However, no less than ChangFai (!) agreed with me on Addicts that the quality of the meat served at Steak Kao Rai has gone down.

Evil

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8 hours ago, rhodie said:

I think you might have had an off day. Have never had the pork chop, but have had plenty of other meals there that have always been great.

Same same.

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The view as you approach Steak Kao Rai from the north:

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Several replies on other boards have said the meals at Steak Kao Rai still hold a good standard and my pork chop must have been a one-off about which I should have complained.  Others agree the quality has gone down.  Opinions are sharply mixed.

Be aware that this sign is outdated in terms of prices:

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The cheapest option for beef steak is ฿ 139.  Pork, chicken and fish are on the menu at ฿ 89.

Evil

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The restaurant at the Gulf Siam Hotel on Pattaya North Road just west of the intersection with 3rd Road has an interesting sign,  at least for steak lovers:

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Who can resist a ฿ 89 steak?   I can't, but I was sure it wouldn't be anything like the pic.  The restaurant itself carries a rather curious name,  Gulf Sixty-Eighty,  but is also known as the Gulf Cafe & Coffee Shop.

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Gulf Sixty-Eighty plays up the steak angle pretty heavily, but also pushes its breakfast buffet and cocktail promotion.

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Inside, it's quite comfortable and attractive.

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And a photo from the hotel's Web site:

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Gulf Sixty-Eighty even has a separate "Steak Menu," but it's not very long.

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I had the "beef steak with black pepper sauce" for ฿ 109.  The ฿ 89 steak on the sign is a "chicken breast steak."

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Well, ToTo, I don't think we're in a Kansas City steakhouse anymore- or even Sizzler.  That has to be the smallest piece of beef steak I've seen served that wasn't authentic Kobe.

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Of course, of course, I know you're not going to get 300 grams of USDA Prime or imported Australian beef for ฿ 109.  If the mini-steak had been good,  it  still would have been value for money.  Unfortunately, it was a locomotive steak- chew, chew. chew,  chew.  Tough and sinewy, without much flavor.  The flavor it did have came from the seasoning used, not the meat itself.

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I asked for medium rare, but got medium.  😒

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The small portion of French fries was Pattaya standard.  The mixed veggies and salad were good, very fresh and tasty.  The one outstanding feature of the meal was the black pepper sauce, excellent taste, better than I've had in many much more expensive places.  I just wish I'd had more of it to pour over mashed potatoes.

On the whole, however, it's the steak that should have been the star and it wasn't.  Tough and bland, it wasn't even a good character actor in a supporting role.  I can't rate the meal as more than mediocre, possibly mediocre plus. Maybe if I had taken advantage of the cocktail promotion, the steak would have tasted better.     😀 😀 😀

 

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Bottom line:  I haven't given up entirely on Gulf Sixty-Eighty.  I plan on trying a few of the other inexpensive dishes on its menu. It's a nice place to eat and the pepper sauce made me think they might have a decent chef who simply had poor quality beef with which to work.   Maybe I would have been better off with the "mince beef streak with gravy sauce."   Mincing or finely chopping beef has been a counter-measure against toughness for centuries.

In the U.S.,  "Salisbury Steak," named for 19-century physician James H. Salisbury,  has been part of Amerrican cuisine for nearly 150 years.  Salisbury advocated a diet high in protein from lean meat and low on vegetables, fruits, starches and fats. He urged people to eat a patty of chopped beef three times a day and drink large amounts of water to flush out the system.  So in Dr. Salisbury's memory, I might order the  "mince beef steak."  Or in direct defiance, I could have the spaghetti.  🤣

The service was friendly and attentive, but considering I was the only customer, that shouldn't be surprising.

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The pic below shows the set-up for the breakfast buffet.  I have no idea what the quality is like, but  ฿ 159 for an all-you-can-eat buffet isn't a bad price.

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Evil

Edited by Evil Penevil
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Thanks for taken the time to visit this place and another cracking report Robb 👍

I'll remember that one "Unfortunately, it was a locomotive steak" lol 

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