Tequila Reef

tequila reef mexican restaurant - pattaya beach - pattaya thailand

Soi 7 - Beach Road
Central Pattaya

Quality: 7
Quantity: 8
Value: 8
Atmosphere: 9

BACK in the 1960s, a chap called Nacho was a champion diver. That is, until he hit his head and discovered a fear of heights, and depths.

Not to be defeated, he became a champion surfer, winning gold at the Olympics.

Nacho then won a string of surfing events in the 1970s and 1980s, before embarking on a new career as an internet guru, and finally buying a resort in Mexico, called Tequila Reef. Now you see where this is going.

The Tequila Reef Mexican restaurant is therefore named in recognition of this late, great ambassador for his country. It’s not just the name that smacks of things Central American, either.

Take the red surfboard, white ceiling, and green walls that employ the country’s traditional colours. Or there is the intriguing memorabilia, from a poster of surfboards from the 1960s to a 1915 revolutionary poster, that proclaims: “I want you, gringo.”

The general feel here is distinctly summery and suitably Mexican, with a long bar along the back of the restaurant and offers of margaritas and daiquiris everywhere.

In terms of food there’s a good mix, starting with appetizers that feature tequila wings, shrimp cocktail and nachos grande. There are soups, salads, and an award-winning chili con carne, or a range of steaks, barbecued ribs, and burritos.

Clearly, Mexican is the food of choice here, but there is always beer-battered fish and chips for Anglophiles or Coca-Cola glazed pork carnitas for those who’ve lost their taste buds.

When it comes to value the two or three-dish combo is the best. You can choose from burritos, tacos, or enchiladas and fillings of beef, pork, or chicken. I went for the two-dish option at 215 baht, while three different helpings costs 265 baht (plus 7 per cent VAT).

Complementary nachos were served by a waitress who was equally deserving of compliments. The nachos were a tad soft, but the dips were interesting: traditional salsa and one that tasted like the Thai dish of laap moo.

The main dishes were reasonably large and came with rice, beans, and salad. The taco was crispy and the chicken inside shredded and surrounded by salad. The beans were unspectacular, but the burrito was excellent, with beef bursting out of the seams.

Tequila Reef sits towards the beach-end of the ever-interesting Soi 7, and is a great place to find something a little different.