The newest Indian cuisine restaurant in Pattaya is Taj, directly opposite
X-Zyte disco on Third Road. Though new to Pattaya, restaurateur Karan
Singh's family has been in the Indian restaurant scene for many years
(Sher-E-Punjab and Haveli) and they have more than just a vested interest in
this new venture.
The restaurant is quite large, and the décor leaves you in no suspense. The
Indian archways and Indian art on the walls proudly proclaim the ethnic
origins. The addition of the friendly waitresses in Indian garb, and general
manager Karan Singh with his hair covered in the traditional black 'patka'
(an informal turban) welcoming everyone, you warm to this restaurant even on
the first visit.
have the choice of sitting outside, or indoors in air-conditioned comfort.
We chose indoors and selected a table in the smaller of the two inner areas.
We were offered the drinks menu on our sitting down, and it was a good idea.
You need something as you pour through 144 items of the enormous Indian menu
items. By the way, the house red was eminently drinkable, and at B. 120
glass not overpriced.
However, Taj has something not often seen in Indian restaurants in this
country, and that is a page of Indian-Chinese fusion cuisine items.
Apparently, Chinese food is very popular in India, and the Indian chefs at
Taj have combined Chinese wok cooking and traditional Indian spices to
produce some very interesting combinations.
Taj does also state that dishes are prepared to order, and not pre-prepared,
so if you have any special requirements, these can be catered for. There are
also 18 dedicated vegetarian items (most B. 220-280), with Taj claiming that
even if there are vegetables you do not like, they will cook it their way
and change your mind! There are also vegetarian items in the menu proper,
such as Kurkure Bhindi (Okra dipped in chickpea batter and deep fried) which
we enjoyed as an appetizer.
For me, one of the most enjoyable items we tried was the Fish Amritsari,
deep-fried boneless chunks of marinated fish with egg, yogurt and other
It was imperative that we try some of the fusion items and we ordered the
Chicken Manchurian (B. 270) and the chilli prawns (B. 370). The "Indian"
flavors certainly predominated, but the dishes were obviously quickly wok
cooked, which retained more of the natural taste of the chicken and prawns.
I did enjoy both of these.
As is the norm in Indian establishments, there is an enormous range of
breads to go with the meals. I stuck with my old favorite of Garlic Naan,
but we also tried the very interesting Puri, a deep-fried whole wheat puffed
bread. Most of the 15 breads on offer are between B. 60-80.
Other main dishes we ate that evening included the Chicken Vindaloo (which
was hot but not overpowering) and the Mutton Tikka Masala, both giving the
correct taste and presented in adequate portions, all served in the table
dishes as is the Indian fashion.
As we were coming close to the finish, Karan's father Benny Singh arrived
and mildly scolded us for not having sampled the Basmati rice, and ordered a
Taj Lamb Biriyani which featured very succulent imported lamb pieces. One
more glass of the house red and we were completely satiated!
We had an enjoyable evening at Taj. In the usual fashion, our Indian hosts
seemed to produce a never-ending stream of dishes, which I must say provided
us with some very different tastes. The Indian-Chinese fusion produced some
very interesting items, with the Chicken Manchurian being very intriguing.
This restaurant will appeal to those who are au fait with Indian food (the
most popular cuisine in the UK, by all reports), but also for diners looking
for something just a little different. There were some large groups there on
our visit, and the venue is well set up to accommodate them. There is also a
take-away service and outdoor catering.
Taj, The Taste of India, 394/119-129 Pattaya Third Road (opposite X-Zyte
disco) telephone 038 374 744, fax 038 374 060, email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Open seven days from 12 noon until 11 p.m.