The Sugar Hut Restaurant, off Jomtien’s Thappraya Road, is the hotel eatery for the Sugar Hut Resort, but is open to anyone looking for a traditional Thai meal in pleasant surroundings. It therefore benefits from the resort’s unique location, making it a little oasis of peace in the middle of the frenetic city.
The winding road which leads into the small forest which surrounds the resort is not that long, but it achieves the effect of transporting you to the remote country provinces of Thailand. Once you finally reach the entrance to the restaurant, the sights and sounds of Pattaya are nothing but a memory, replaced by a small village of traditional-style teak buildings and the sounds of running water and gentle music. Of course, the swimming pool in the middle of it all doesn’t exactly fit the theme, but it doesn’t ruin the impact either.
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By contrast, the cuisine at Sugar Hut Restaurant could not be a finer example of rural Thailand at its finest (with the added benefit of a tiny collection of western dishes on offer). Amongst the starters, the spicy winged bean salad with shrimp and pork (180 baht) stands out for its subtle blend of tamarind and tomato with just a hint of spicy heat to bring out all the flavours.
With the main courses, the Penang curry (180 baht) takes some beating. Prepared in Northern Thai style, with lots of fat left on the meat, it is left to bubble and stew for a considerable time, absorbing the sublime juices and making the meat exceptionally tender. The rich gravy shares the limited spice level of the starter, amplifying the flavour instead of forcing the unprepared diner to attempt to drown it in ice water.
With the desserts, both we and the restaurant’s cheerful, friendly staff strongly recommend the Bou Loy (120 baht). Served in a coconut (as practically any of the coconut-related dishes here are), it consists of warm rice dumplings with sweet coconut milk. Each bite is an amazing sensation; like giving your tonsils a comforting cuddle.
While enjoying these traditional foodstuffs in a traditional setting, the diner is not obliged to rough it. The Sugar Hut Restaurant is luxurious, particularly the small section set aside for those with supple enough joints to sit cross-legged for the entire duration of their meal. The prices, too, are perhaps higher than you would expect to pay in the remote villages of Thailand’s northeast, but not prohibitively so.
Sugar Hut Restaurant
- Opening Hours: All day
- Location: 391/18 Thappraya Road, Jomtien
- Tel: +66 (0)3 825 1686
- Cuisine: Thai