PATTAYA — One of the tourist hotspots hardest-hit by COVID-19 travel restrictions, Pattaya in recent months has been likened to a ghost town.
On a recent visit to Thailand’s resort town normally bustling with locals, expats, and tourists alike, Pattaya was almost unrecognizable. More than half the bars on Pattaya Walking Street were closed save for a few loud go-go bars, masseuses sat idle in front of massage shops, and the beach was clear of visitors.
But if one insists on taking a look at the bright side of life, it’s also an opportunity to explore the less known side of Pattaya, where good food and cafes are nearly as abundant as carnal pleasures. This is why we made a stop at the cozy Malamute Coffee.
Located in Pattaya Klang Soi 15, right across from the Pattaya Memorial Hospital, Malamute is the kind of cafe we wish we had more of in Bangkok – unhurried, quiet, and relatively-low priced.
The space is decorated with hanging light bulbs, booth seating, and huge windows to let in a lot of natural light. There’s an extensive vegan and raw menu such as an avocado panini (195 baht) and smoothie bowls for 150 baht.
The caramel macchiato (75 baht) was amazingly creamy and delicious, especially for the price, as was the butter croissant (55 baht). While it’s very possible to find high-quality croissants in Bangkok, we haven’t yet had one exactly like Malamute’s, where the obviously handmade pastry creates doughy creases that fold over each other when bitten into.
The berry chia smoothie (135 baht) was healthy-tasting a blueberry smoothie with chia seed pudding to stave off vacation food guilt.
Malamute Coffee is open 8am to 6pm everyday and is located in Pattaya Klang Soi 15.
We had lunch at the famous Jasmin’s Cafe, one of the few cafes there that were still relatively well-stocked with a few other tables, though an employee said there were much fewer customers than before.
The place is a well reviewed gem, but we feel its impressive menu still deserves a mention. It serves Thai and international food, with most dishes less than 200 baht. The shrimp pad thai (129 baht) was the undoubted star of the meal, a huge portion of perfectly-fried noodles with fresh shrimp.
The flavor was neither too “Thai” nor too “touristy,” with lime, chili flakes, and nuts on the side so that you can self-flavor to your liking.
The moreish Jasmin’s Egg Pan (99 baht) is the cafe’s version of the pan-served eggs seen around the country in recent years. Here, two eggs are served with minced pork stir fried with Chinese sweet sausage and Vietnamese pork sausage, with toast and butter on the side.
The mango-coconut-mint smoothie (119 baht) is a reminder that many smoothies at many Bangkokian cafes are overpriced and loaded with simple syrup rather than tropical fruit goodness.
It’s a small oasis that cures one’s depression from seeing too many deserted bars and song taew busses in the town.
Jasmin’s Cafe is open 8:30am to 9pm every day and is located on Pattaya Klang Road about 200 meters from the beach.
This review is unsponsored and we paid for the food ourselves.