Last week, looking for a place to review,
I went to a recently opened ‘bar and fusion restaurant’ near
the Ping River. It took me abut five or six minutes to
realize that it was a mistake, so my Thai friend and I
politely extricated ourselves from the uncomfortable chairs
and headed for a comfort zone, rather than a ‘concept’.
Something must have guided me away from
the glossy place in question, with its zero appeal and
unhelpful staff, into the complete opposite. A restaurant
that I had –oddly - not been to for a while: Billy’s on
Kampaengdin Road. Put off by artificial gloss my instinct
was to head for the friendliness and honesty of this well
Here was place where one could be assured
of a warm welcome, professional behaviour and where the
seats are robust, the tables decently spaced and large and
the menu clearly given in Thai and English. Agreed the menu
is quite conventional, no surprises although there are a few
special listed on a blackboard.
It’s fairly basic Italian. A range of
starters and salads, pastas, pizzas, fish and meat dishes,
desserts. Good honest food, served in generous portions,
steaming hot and at sensible prices. Is that a little old
fashioned? So, it seems, by the same standards is expecting
someone to evince pleasure at the arrival of customers.
You can keep your mimsy little chairs and
tiny tables, or the offer of a sofa at which to eat a meal
and the glossy bar stocked with choices few people will ever
make. And the wildly different menus, one exclusively in
Thai the shorter one exclusively in English. I’ll settle for
an eatery without an identity crisis and pretensions.
At Billy’s you get what you see. It’s
quite large with a kitchen and serving area to the rear and
about 40 covers in the main restaurant and a couple of
tables outside for those who enjoy the heat. Inside it was
pleasantly cool. It is colourful and as already noted
welcoming, with pleasant and unobtrusive background music.
Previously it was small and rather cramped in a hole in the
wall venue a little further along the road. Billy and his
wife moved about a couple of years ago (and also produced a
sweet baby, named Vino!, a few months ago) and expanded the
Our meal was relatively simple. To begin
a shared starter of a tuna salad, with garlic bread on the
side. A carafe water was soon brought, with warm bread
served with herb butter, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar
and a large pepper mill. I had a glass of house white and
Song a glass of their red wine. The large salad was fresh
and well mixed with radishes, tomatoes, thinly sliced onion,
two or three different lettuce and a few peppers and plenty
For the main courses we opted for pasta:
spaghetti with a rich tomato sauce and spicy sausages and
for me fettuccine Napolitano, with plenty of olives,
anchovies and olive oil. Both served in decent portions and
al dente. The pastas are around 110 baht on average and only
such things as a sirloin steak are somewhat more expensive
We ended with a shared two-scoop ice
cream, vanilla and lemon, and the total bill including three
glasses of wine and a tip came in at around 600 baht.
Service was efficient and could hardly have been friendlier.
Quite why I haven’t been there for a while I cannot say and
I am only happy that the other place proved so off putting
and propelled me to a happy dinner. This pizzeria is well
worth a visit and opens every day from noon until 11p.m.You
will find them at 42 Kampaengdin Road, Chang Klan. The phone
numbers are 053 272712 or 081 288 1480.