Au Bon Coin Pattaya is a cosy, cottage-style French restaurant in Phratamnak. The jolly French proprietor and chef Jose Cohen turns out extremely high quality cuisine to a limited number of tables in the beautiful two-storey house-cum-eatery, perfectly set in tropical gardens in a quiet part of town. With its excellent reputation for providing a first-class dining experience, pre-booking is all but essential.
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It is surprisingly easy to drive straight past Au Bon Coin Pattaya, even if you know where it is. The entrance on Romanasia Soi 9 (which runs between Phratamnak Sois 5 and 6) is extremely subtle, with little more than a hand-painted sign, half concealed by bougainvillea, to show which gate leads the way down a sandy path to the rustic-styled building. The rustic theme continues within – rustic French rather than rustic Thai. The décor and cuisine are both that of Auvergne, which is noted for its very rural, ‘peasant’ style.
The peasants of the Central France region must have a pretty good life, if the menu at Au Bon Coin Pattaya is anything to go by. Although short – just a couple of pages – it contains an assortment of rich and fine foods, including starters like Rillettes pate (120 baht) and shrimps sautéed in Pastis (250 baht) and main courses like tenderloin with mushroom sauce (390 baht) and rabbit stew (370 baht). The ingredients in use are so fresh that, for example, the seafood menu might be determined by what was available at the market that day. There is also a small selection of Thai dishes, produced by Chef Jose’s partner Khun Orathai and priced at 150 baht each.
The restaurant’s focus is clearly on quality significantly over quantity. Between the small room with limited, well-spaced seats and the short menu and even the two days in the middle of the week when they are entirely closed, the quantity of diners is kept down while the experience of those who booked ahead is significantly improved. Nowhere is this more self-evident than with the food. The duck leg in red wine, for example, is so tender that it the meat falls from the bone at the slightest touch.
Being a French bistro, the wine naturally gets its own menu and includes some very good vintages. It is served by the glass for 140 baht or by the carafe at 320 or 460 baht. The wines can also be purchased from the attached delicatessen, along with French cheeses, homemade pates and other speciality ingredients not commonly available in Pattaya.
The dimly-lit, cosy, romantic and refined atmosphere does come at a cost and there is no denying that the prices at Au Bon Coin Pattaya are higher than the average for the city. However, its exclusivity and the escapism afforded by the very European setting makes it a great place to eat if you want your evening to be extra special.
Au Bon Coin Pattaya
- Opening Hours: Thurs - Mon 18:30 - 22:00
- Location: 352/104 Moo 12, Romanasia Soi 9, Phratamnak
- Tel: +66 (0)3 836 4542