IN the epicurean world to receive a 17 point rating in the revered Gault Millau Guide is a huge achievement but also to be the beneficiary of a Michelin Star is a stellar accomplishment demonstrating to the world a level of gastronomy worthy of such distinction. Thomas Kammeier is such a chef and Pattaya was in high culinary excitement at his arrival recently. His home kitchen is in the much-awarded restaurant, Hugo’s in Berlin, but for just one week, Mantra Restaurant together with their executive chef Jens Heier proudly hosted his visit. The bon vivant week included cooking classes, set menus and a la carte dinners culminating on Friday 22nd October with his swan song, the final gala dinner. It was to this that Mick and I were invited.
Act III served smoked eel, wasabi risotto and English celery. Now, we have never been great fans of risotto or quite honesty seen the reason for such respect and admiration. However, that was before, this is now. The smoky tranche of eel was superb but the most surprising star (to us) was the wasabi risotto! An emulsion of silky profusion cuddled the rice which was cooked to a point we’d never tasted before – it was so soft and gentle but with an inner bite that defies description. We’ve been totally converted and can now join the ranks of those who worship at the alter of risotto!
To round off a stunning meal the dessert made an atypical statement offering olive-vanilla ice cream accompanied by sweet anis tomato and baked semolina. Not destined to become a favourite, it was nevertheless beautifully executed and a closing talking point.
Our high expectations were more than gratified with Chef Kammeier’s exquisite cooking and lavish ingredients. It was a hit from the word go and led us through a pageant of dishes that were unique and innovative. Mantra always delivers but this particular celebrity chef gala dinner delivered with bells on! As you stumble out into the night after one of these gastronomic events you will not forget an evening at Mantra in a hurry.
Open daily from 6.00 pm till l.00 am. (The bar opens at 5.00 pm). Tel: (038) 429 591 or visit www.mantra-pattaya.com. Sunday brunch from 11.00 am – 3.00 pm. Reservations recommended. Dress code applies. All credit cards accepte
by Mick and Di,
The Food Lovers