Friday, June 22, 2007

Daily Report: Preecha Seafood Restaurant Review


Stan ready to go to Preecha. We
had to fit 3 big fat guys in that
little truck bed as well.
This evening it was over to Stan's house, where Pui and I joined up with Stan and Mem, Mark and his girlfriend Ice, and Joe and his girlfriend Min. We all piled into Mem's new pickup truck (guys in the back, girls in the front) and drove off down the coast to Preecha Seafood — the region's best seafood restaurant, and Stan's favorite restaurant.

Finding Preecha seafood for the first time is really pretty impossible. You turn right at the first traffic light after The Ambassador Hotel, and then keep driving (bearing left at the fork in the road) until you see the place. It's best to just get Stan to take you, if you can manage it.

Anyway, the place is monstrous... about the same size as Vientien Restaurant in Pattaya. Stan always brings a big bottle of cheap red wine and a bottle of vodka, and the waiters are always attentive, keeping glasses full, refuse plates empty, and everybody happy.

I really don't know what food to order, as Stan's wife Mem always does all the ordering. However, there tonight there were steamed mussels, steamed clams, steamed shrimp, a deep fried sea bass, clams in a spicy garlic sauce, miniature clams in a smoky tomato sauce, deep fried rock lobsters, something I call "shrimp doughnuts", some tempura-style vegetables, fried rice, french fries, and various other little dishes. Pretty much all of the seafood you eat at Preecha is alive when you are ordering it. (The place has a massive collection of aquaria where everything to be eaten awaits its fate.)


Stan and Joe
Funny story: During the trip down, Stan was joking around with Joe about the safety of his camera. When the truck drove over some piece of refuse on the road and made a loud crack, causing Joe to jump, Stan said, "Oh, the truck just ran over a camera! Where's your camera bag Joe?" When we got to the restaurant, Stan said, "Oh don't forget your camera! Where's your camera bag Joe?" Then in the restaurant, Stan is looking over the edge of the railing down at the beach, and says, "Oh look! There's a stray dog down there with a camera bag! Where's your camera bag Joe?" We all laughed... until we looked for ourselves and realized that Stan wasn't joking this time.

Joe has one of the coolest jobs on the planet: He is a magician on a cruise ship. His job is to just go around the ship and perform magic tricks for the passengers. (He is apparently very successful at it and well-compensated, based on the mansion he lives in here in Pattaya.)

After dinner, Joe performed a couple of great magic tricks for us. The most entertaining was when he took out a little guillotine and got an extremely reluctant and nervous Ice to stick her finger through it, and then Joe got an even-more-nervous Min to hold her hand under the guillotine to catch whatever might come falling. (Pui and Mem were jittery and on the edge of their seats as well.) Of course, the guillotine came snapping down and Ice's finger was just fine... until Joe dropped a plastic severed finger in Min's hand. Then all four girls screamed, freaked out, and then laughed and laughed.


You can't see it on camera, but these
girls are so filled with karmic power
that their auras are actually glowing.
It started raining while we were at Preecha, and on the way back, the girls all volunteered... insisted, even... to sit in the back of the pickup truck in the rain with their styled hair and makeup. I've noticed this before with Thai people: In a society that keeps score by karma and the actions of "boon" (merit), what seems to be the highest form of self-sacrifice (and therefore karmically the most beneficial) is to go do something in the rain on someone else's behalf. Running out into a rain storm so somebody else doesn't have to is the archetypal example that Thai people use to explain boon. So therefore, while we men were cool and dry in the truck, the four girls giggled and squealed, and held plastic bags over their heads in the rain for the 20 minutes it took to get back to Stan's house. (And yes, we men were more than happy to allow the girls this wonderful opportunity to better themselves in Buddha's opinion.)


Lennies final night before closing.

Eric and Alan.

Bob and Sam.
Anyway, back at Stan's house, it was a quick drink, and then Pui and I headed off to the final night of Lennies on Soi Diamond, and Alan Verstein's birthday party. (Lennies is closing tomorrow, and will reopen on July 4th as "Shooters", a shot bar/ restaurant, with Tex-Mex food on the menu, and pretty girls to keep you company.) We sat with Ray, Bob, Eric, Steve SB2, and Fred. Alan was also using the occasion to launch another magazine. (He publishes 2 real-estate magazines up in Bangkok, and I believe this is his first one in Pattaya, called "Thailand Homes & Condos".

Alan's wife, Kaeo, was there as well, and Pui chatted with her for a while. Kaeo is really such a pleasant lady, and Pui just adores her.

Sam, Bob's restaurant partner, stopped by with more samples of his guacamole, which was a huge hit. Then, he unloaded "diablo shrimp" on us, which was shrimp sauteed in a spicy butter sauce. I can say without hesitation that it was simply the best shrimp dish I have ever eaten. Even Pui, who (as a Thai person) isn't one to go nuts over new tastes, closed her eyes in passionate enjoyment as she chewed it. It was so good, that everybody gave Sam a round of applause for having made something so amazing.

Did I mention Bob will be opening a new restaurant at Carrefour on July 1st? A diablo shrimp burrito will be on sale there... along with guacamole.

At about 11:00, Pui and I headed home. I drove the motorcycle, while Pui sat behind me chattering in my ear about all of our friends, and how much she likes each person, and how much fun she had. Overall, a fantastic night.

5 comments:

Brunty said...

Hey Jil. Great post. I did sound like a really great night.

It sounds like your friend does have a great job crusing the seas and creating magic. Hope it gets to go to all those really beautiful islands through out the world.

Man my job sucks. Oh well I do have some plans for the future and we will see what happens over the next few years.

Sounds like you have some really great mates there in Pattaya and they are hard to find here in Thailand.

Brunty.

Franky said...

That looks like fun.
Hey, do you want me to bring you some more 'do rags' for your head, when I come?
They are easy to get here and I know you like to wear them...let me know; send me a post ok?

Jil In Pattaya said...

Brunty:

(a) You've got a great job because you're doing it in Thailand... you've just stopped reminding yourself where you are, and how lucky you are to be living such an interesting life. Remember, there are people who slave for years at really miserable jobs just so that they can save enough to take the 3-week vacation of a lifetime. And where do they go? Thailand.

(b) I disagree that great mates are hard to find here in Thailand. Pattaya is filled with thousands of interesting people, and although all of us have our problems, the social scene is so active and extant that the term "going out" is synonomous with "meeting people". Granted, you always meet people you decide aren't the kind of people you'd choose to meet up with on a regular basis, but at least I find most people are somebody you can be friends with... and a good portion of those folks make just fine "great mates."

Franky:

Sure, buddy. Solid colors only if you please. I'm actually on my way back to the U.S. tonight for 2 weeks (catch a plane up to New York if you want, and I'll buy you a beer) for my mother's wedding, and I was going to look for some myself while there... but anything you can find would be greatly appreciated as well... as I may have no luck. (Phoenix, Arizona is not little Hickville, New York.)

Brunty said...

Hey Jil. In Pattaya there are a lot of expats and I am sure they are more than happy to chat to other expats.

Here in Isaan you see a lot of expat guys spot the other expat farang and seem to put their head down like they are ashamed of something and don't want to make eye contact with you.

I have a very good English friend here and a couple of the teachers from work who I trust 100% but most the expats I have met in Isaan have been less than fantastic people and some have made me feel sad that I actually met them after a few hours of bad story after another.

But like you said I am lucky as I am working here in Thailand and not slaving away in Australia just to make a living. And the majority of Isaan people are fantastic. You do over look how good you have it sometimes.

I hope you trip back to USA goes well my friend and will look forward to updates from there.

I read your comment about the "Harris" guy he sounds like a real dirtbag I am glad I never had the pleasure of knowing him.

Sounds like he has pissed many people off in Pattaya.

Again have a great trip. Brunty

lela said...

Thanks for your nice review on Preecha our favorit restaurant. We have another great restaurant among the many here in BAn Amphur you might like to try here. Seanuan with live oldies western on screen outdoor concert music on the beach at the fishing harbour same food as Preecha straight from the market. We live in Ban Amphur village and rent out rooms at Somphong condotel in case any one would like to stay overnight after a visit there and not drive home. give me a call 0869849700 Take care Lela