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Comfort by Harlan


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On top of their game Sunday May 6th, at Comfort by Harlan in Cosy Beach. Sundays are Blackout Brunch day from midday to 4pm. Normal evening service and menu after 4pm. Best to book, especially for the brunch. Comfort closes on Tuesdays.

Vibe + quality food + innovative dishes + teamwork + clever marketing and self-promotion + relaxed professionalism, have created success for the Harlan Goldstein brand elsewhere in the world, and now Pattaya is getting the same treatment. Ok it’s not all image. Skill, passion and hard work too of course.

Many familiar faces from the expat community dotted around the tables. Went with my 9 year old, and when the mini food taster demolishes all her food and half of mine too, I know it doesn't get much better.

Excellent meal, from shared starters to quality Beijing spiced duck pancake to delicious dessert. How much? 580 baht inclusive (plus drinks). Not kidding.

For the Blackout Brunch you pick your choice of mains from ‘Harlan’s World Tour’ menu (photo attached), while set appetisers and a dessert are included in the price. Usually the prices are somewhere between 580 and 880. No ++ at Harlan’s. Every Sunday, new dishes and new countries from the ‘Harlan Globetrotter’.

Harlan Goldstein is what some might call a ‘celebrity chef’. A larger than life character with some famous restaurants to his name through his lengthy stay in Hong Kong, including Michelin stars on a couple of occasions. He’s certainly shaking up the Pattaya dining scene with a very different approach, far from the rather jaded restaurant concepts we’ve become accustomed to here.

It won’t be to everyone’s taste - the music, the relaxed service - but it certainly challenges the taste buds. I’ve been several times now. Some of the dishes in the evening have been mind-blowing. The Sunday brunch is more ‘gourmet express’ - the place is packed solid much of the time, the atmosphere can almost feel club-like, so it’s not for everyone. Relaxing is easier on an evening. That said, zero pressure is put on you during the brunch to vacate your table.

HG completely revamped his main menu, barely a month after the last one was printed. How many restaurants do that? You’re lucky if you see a change once a year in most places. The guy never sleeps. 

Good selection of wines with plenty starting just over 1000B. 

I’ll copy in a couple of other reviews from my visits soon, but that’s a quick taster to be going on with. The restaurant is off the main drag heading towards the sea, turn right down soi 2. 200m or so later on the left you get to the Clubhouse Condo building. Restaurant on ground floor, easy parking outside.

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So for the blackout brunch, you pick a main from the choice and for the price shown beside the main, you get to chose a starter and desert from a choice of 6?

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4 hours ago, jimboh said:

So for the blackout brunch, you pick a main from the choice and for the price shown beside the main, you get to chose a starter and desert from a choice of 6?

That would be my guess although yeah not totally clear myself.

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Nice place. Open kitchen. Smallish creative menu with emphasis on quality. Fresh. Prices not bad. Smart.

(It's not one of those desperate places with pages and pages of selections where everything is frozen then nuked before cooking.)

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  • 4 months later...

Tried Comfort by Harlan's tonight for the first time. Get your Google Map app working as it was a little difficult to find tucked away in Northern Phratamak aways past the the Big Budha on a small soi. Still the Taxi Driver, me and my Google app, and my bilingual lady friend went straight to the front door, albiet more by accident than rational purpose. We all got a good laugh out of that shouting "Di, Di, DI".

The food was outstanding and also a little pricey. We spent 3000 baht on 3 glasses of wine, a Margarita, a red prawns appetizer, and a shared rack of lamb entree over couscous. We will be back, but given the price point not frequently. Basically, they have a great eclectic selection.

 

Some pics

The Mural

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The Red Prawns Appetizer

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The Rack of Lamb over couscous

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  • 5 months later...
On 11/10/2018 at 03:52, ChiFlyer said:

Tried Comfort by Harlan's tonight for the first time. Get your Google Map app working as it was a little difficult to find tucked away in Northern Phratamak aways past the the Big Budha on a small soi. Still the Taxi Driver, me and my Google app, and my bilingual lady friend went straight to the front door, albiet more by accident than rational purpose. We all got a good laugh out of that shouting "Di, Di, DI".

The food was outstanding and also a little pricey. We spent 3000 baht on 3 glasses of wine, a Margarita, a red prawns appetizer, and a shared rack of lamb entree over couscous. We will be back, but given the price point not frequently. Basically, they have a great eclectic selection.

Nice 1 

Looking forward to trying it out as I love spending extra cash on food in Pattaya - it's like my thing to do there !!!!

Edited by Ru4Real
Trimmed the quote of the pics - no need to make us all scroll so much for basically a one liner reply especially as replying to the post above
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  • 2 months later...

Food looks good.  I've heard that it can get a bit loud and raucous though (not something I want at a higher-class resto but just my personal preference)

But the chef/owner seems to be having a bit of a melt-down?  Any criticisms of him, his food, his restaurant or the credibility of reviews posted appear to have been met with some pretty choice insults by him - extending to threatening PM's and voicemails.

Lot's of noise about him on the two FB Pattaya food groups. 

Now banned from both groups.  And reviews of his restaurant also banned, which seems to be quite a precedent and has never happened before AFAIK.

Edited by mgthom75
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From what I have see in FB he is a bit of a nutter. 

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15 minutes ago, mgthom75 said:

But the chef/owner seems to be having a bit of a melt-down?  Any criticisms of him, his food, his restaurant or the credibility of reviews posted appear to have been met with some pretty choice insults by him - extending to threatening PM's and voicemails.

Lot's of noise on the two FB food groups focused on Pattaya.

Now banned from both groups.  And reviews of his restaurant also banned, which seems to be quite a precedent and has never happened before AFAIK.

Been going on for ages now.

And it would seem he also has a record of similar in Hong Kong.

I have feeling how this will all end, as I have seen this story before.

 

Edited by Taa_Saparot
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9 minutes ago, Taa_Saparot said:

Been going on for ages now.

And it would seem he also has a record of similar in Hong Kong.

I have feeling how this will all end, as I have seen this story before.

 

Agreed.  Which is a real shame, since 99% of reviews I've read rate his food as superb. 

Why he feels the need to act as the 'enfant terrible' is beyond me - the food should give him all the publicity he needs.

Maybe he's trying to copy the 'bad boy' behaviour of Gordon Ramsey or Marco Pierre White? 

If so, I think that's the wrong path to take in Pattaya.

Edited by mgthom75
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Agreed as well and it is a shame indeed for the reasons already given. I have met him and he is more than a little driven. Basically, he was gracious enough toward us the few times we have been there and I am a little surprised that he takes thing to this level. Not smart at all.

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There is plenty of room in town for another colorful character (or potential train wreck) like Dr. Harlan.

After all, this is Pattaya and his food tastes real good.

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  • 6 months later...

Stopped in at Harlan's the other night. First visit in several months as it is an inconvenient trip from our condo. This proved to be more so than usual. I use a taxi service, when we are going out beyond baht bus range and I expect to have a few glasses of wine and do not want to drive. The construction impact in the Cozy Beach area near Harlan's is beyond aggravating. Our route got interrupted as impassable twice and this is with an experienced taxi driver and me on Google maps. Harlan's business is being impacted.

It is really sad to see some of the better restaurants in Jomtien suffering business wise these days. It seems the new breed of visitors (Chinese, Russians, and younger sex tourists) have different tastes in preferred cuisine compared to myself. I guess that I am being an old man getting cranky once again.

On the bright side, dinner was great. He had mainly Latin and Italian items on the specials list this night, and the GF in general does not care for those. She had a Spinach salad with Gorgonzola and Mozzarella Burrata. I tasted a little of the cheeses and they were both excellent. The Burrata in particular was one of the best I had ever had.

I ordered a Pasta Orecchiette dish with Italian Sausage and some fresh vegetables. It was outstanding. 

Total bill with 2 glasses of wine and a Margarita was around 1600.

A few pics follow. Sorry about the quality of the pics, but the GF took them with her aging Android, sent them to my iPhone via LINE,  and I downloaded them to my Win-10 laptop to get them here. It shows. :Dunno1:

 

The salad

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The Pasta dish

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Edited by ChiFlyer
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6 hours ago, Taa_Saparot said:

Did not realise they were digging there also ...... why?

Beats me, but they really have the area torn up in places. The main roads near the Ocean seem ok, but if you get a few blocks off of that near Harlan's it is pretty bad in places.

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19 hours ago, Taa_Saparot said:

Did not realise they were digging there also ...... why?

Thought about this a little today. What I saw was that they are tearing out the existing roads in places fairly deeply. Not deep holes to get at any kind of piping, but rather taking the road down to the base. They have some pretty heavy duty gear around. The taxi driver had to navigate a 1/2 meter drop at the place we finally got through on.

My guess is that they are redoing sections of the road from the base on up. The roads gets hit hard with rain runoff in this area, so long term it is probably a good idea, but their project management skills scheduling wise are as usual comical. 

 

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4 hours ago, ChiFlyer said:

My guess is that they are redoing sections of the road from the base on up. The roads gets hit hard with rain runoff in this area, so long term it is probably a good idea, but their project management skills scheduling wise are as usual comical. 

There is roadworks all over town, which is either flooding protection, or burying of cables.

I just had not heard any moaning about this area, and actually thought it was free from all the construction.

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  • 5 months later...

One of our weekly dinner crew noticed that Comfort by Harlan had been advertising aggressively on FB about their new menu. We decided to give it a try tonight.

He has streamlined the entree choices to about 6 items and included an appetizer and dessert with them. The air is on here. The tables are nicely spread out for social distancing purposes. There was a fair sized crowd by current standards of about 15 people. The food was tremendous. The bills came to about 1500 per couple, but for what you got that was pretty decent I thought.

The appetizer was a small very well prepared crab cake in a really nice sauce. Sorry, but I was so blown away by it, I forgot to take a pic. Everybody (Thai ladies and Farang as well) liked their meal.

Here are some pics of the entrees.

A burger - and get a load of the size of this thing. It makes the Aquapazza (big) burger look like a Jr. Whopper.

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Texas BBQ Brisket

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Pork filled Chimichangas - this was my order and I can report that it was very tasty.

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Salmon fillets encrusted in something (sorry I forget what). Two of the ladies ordered this. I tasted a little and it was very good.

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Spaghetti and Meatballs - you get a lot of food with this one.

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The desert was a small brownie and ice cream with a whipped cream topping.

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Will I be back? Maybe tomorrow.

Edited by ChiFlyer
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  • 2 months later...

A friend sent over an announcement from Harlan's FB page today. They are suspending operations at their current location for at least the next 30 days.

I understand that Harlan's antics over the years has not endeared him to some. Still, this would be another excellent restaurant closing their doors.

The FB post was somewhat open ended about what might happen next. (New location, reopen at same location, move on, .... ????). My take on it is that given the current crisis combined with an off the beaten path location, the financials are just not working.

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On Breakfast Club Pattaya someone posted a video allegedly of the owner of a well-known restaurant attacking an old man in another well-known restaurant. Wonder if this had something to do with it. Story starts about 1 minute in here (1:08?).
 

 

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I met him a month or so ago one day when I was at Bake n Brew. He had walked from inside and spoke to some guy sitting outside as he was leaving. 

 

He saw me sitting at my table, asked where I was from and my name. 

 

We talked a little and he told me of his restaurant said to Google him and look him up on FB. Never went there to eat. 

 

I saw "antics" in some of his videos on FB. There were women involved and they were shot at a gym! Some remarks he made.... not sure I would have made them at least not in public like that! 555 :)

Edited by Rocketboy
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