Patong's Beach Road is a mad maelstrom of activity and a veritable vortex of comings and goings. For some visitors, the madness adds to their holiday and they wouldn't have it any other way but for others they can't wait to get to a quieter part of town.
Many restaurants in this area have a 'the more the merrier' attitude and don't exactly aim for quality, preferring quantity instead. One such restaurant dealing with a lot of return visitors to Patong is Patong's Savoey Seafood.
Where Is It?
Savoey plies its wares on the corners of Soi Bangla and Patong's busy Beach (Thaweewong) Road.
There is a small parking lot outside the restaurant used by the owners, Safari Beach Hotel, and if you leave your car key with the strong and silent parking attendant he'll take care of things.
Savoey has pink and green tablecloths with terracotta floors. Ceiling and floor fans keep things cool and there's an open-plan kitchen.
The essential aspect to note is that the restaurant is open sided – to the hotel swimming pool out back and the Beach Road out front.
The area fringing the swimming pool is actually quite cozy but this cannot be said of the road side of things where huge ice-filled food display trays are inspected by throngs of passing would-be diners.
Busy, busy, busy. No one has yet created an intimate 400-cover restaurant and it'll be a few years until they do but since Savoey has had 20 years practice it appears that they've thrown the towel in, intimacy-wise, and welcome the nightly rush of people.
From seven o'clock onwards diners pour in and order dishes at top speed. The wait staff flit to and fro, their walkie-talkies buzzing and crackling while sudden gusts of flame reach almost to the kitchen ceiling as swirls of barbecue smoke and the aroma of fresh seafood drift on the night breeze.
This is not the sort of place to bring that special date, although by the look of things many try.
Savoey has 28 labels, the most expensive being 2,000 baht, and offers wines from Chile, Italy, France, South Africa and even Thailand.
House wine is a reasonable 90 baht a glass. We choose a bottle of Chianti (1,300 baht) and are happy with it.
Of course there's a whole raft of cocktails and beers to go for and indeed most tables order large bottles of beer and share them.
Like many tourist-orientated restaurants Savoey has a picture menu and the eatery appears to have a hard-and-fast ethic: 'If it swims, serve it up'.
Grilled, deep-fried, steamed, barbecued and raw seafood is doled out by the ton but Savoey also deals in 'international' food too, meaning Thai dishes, Western food and snacks.
We are served tiger prawns (1,000 + baht for three) calamari (350 baht) and a huge steamed garoupa in coconut milk sauce and ginger (650 + baht).
Anyone expecting five-star cuisine here will be disappointed but to be fair the place certainly doesn't claim to be five star yet neither is it cheap. All in all, a very busy food outlet in a central location. Your call.
Early evening service is better than late evening when things can get frayed around the edges.
- Location: at Safari Beach Hotel
- Address: 136 Thaweewong Road, Patong.
- Tel: 076 341 171