by Miss Terry Diner
Pattaya changes as you watch. The once (in)famous Soi Yodsak (Soi 6) is now seeing the influx of some better class establishments and the Queen Victoria Inn is one of these. Having been open for seven months, we felt it was time for an “official” Dining Out Team visit.
Those who are fans of the TV “soap” The Eastenders, will recognise the fac็ade immediately - a faithful copy of the Queen Victoria Inn from the TV series (other than the fact that the TV one is on a corner, so some poetic license was used to “straighten” it).
Entering the Queen Victoria Inn the English pub atmosphere continues with much use of wood panelling, horse brasses, cigarette cards displayed under glass, lace curtains at the windows and even a newspaper front page proclaiming “Titanic Sinks”. And no, it was not the Pattaya Mail, our news is much more current!
The inn has a central bar area, marked with wooden railings, an exit to the accommodation upstairs, and booths around the outside of the ground floor for dining. The booths will take up to 6 people with padded seating too. The service girls are well presented in maroon outfits, complete with maroon bow ties.
The menu, which is undergoing continuous additions, begins with a potted history of the redoubtable lady, Queen Victoria herself. I must admit I did not know she was only 18 when she inherited the throne, or that she had nine children.
Food begins with breakfast and there are several to choose from, most around 70 baht, but the everything-in Albert’s breakfast featuring British favourites such as black pudding and fried bread is 135 baht.
Next up is a page of pies, all priced at B. 155, including steak and ale, Cornish pasty and mince beef and potatoes. These all come with mashed or french-fried potatoes, beans or the vegetables of the day.
The following page has 14 choices of Mains (B. 80-195) ranging from an omelette with various fillings, pork chop, ploughman’s lunches, Cumberland sausage and a mixed grill.
Sandwiches and snacks are next (generally B. 80) with again British favourites such as a chip butty. These are followed by a page of 18 Thai choices (again generally B. 80) with some curries, stir fries, soups and salads. The final page lists beverages, with local beers around B. 60, shorts B. 80-100 and house wine B. 75 per glass. There is also a blackboard specials menu featuring the soup of the day and other special dishes.
We settled into our booth next to a window overlooking the always interesting sights of Soi 6. While perusing the menu I had a Singha Gold, which came perfectly chilled. Madame stuck to soft drinks, being in a non-adventurous mood.
Madame chose chicken in a basket, while I plumped for the gammon steak. A cane basket was brought to the table containing tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce, vinegar and Coleman’s mustard. Mention must be made of the vinegar bottle. Turn it upside down (holding the stopper in) and the stopper fills up with vinegar. You then take the stopper out and shake all over your food. Natty, and I must admit I had not seen one like this before, though it may be commonplace in British pubs.
Madame’s chicken came in its basket, with french-fries and salad. The chicken was not dried out and the garden vegetables very fresh, according to Madame. My gammon steak was very thick and moist and the large cut chips were not soggy (despite a good dousing in the vinegar). A very good example of this stock British item.
We found the Queen Victoria Inn was presenting some good solid British fare, at the upper end of the “pub grub” cuisine scale. The prices are reasonable and the food very tasty. For those who want a taste of Mother England, this is the place for you. We enjoyed it, and thanks Jimmy, who rang the bell. The second Singha Gold was just as good as the first.
Queen Victoria Inn, 437/137-8 Soi Yodsak (6), telephone 038 425 418