Ahaar Indian restaurant

Aha! Eventually found

   by Miss Terry Dinerner

A friend, who is an Indian food buff, suggested that the Dining Out team should try the Ahaar Indian restaurant. As this particular foodie is also particular about his food, we made arrangements to go and do a review.
As Ahaar is at the end of Soi Post Office, where it opens out into Pattaya Second Road, means that it is located at a very busy section of roadway. It is also directly opposite the Malibu Cabaret, a well known icon in Pattaya these days. On the evening we went to go Dining Out, the footpath was composed of massed motorcycles, and it was difficult to gain entry. Was this an omen, I wondered?
Even after we gained access to the door and went inside, there were about four bare tables and nothing else! Were we in the wrong place? Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the old saying goes, so we went up the stairs and lo and behold, here was the ‘real’ Ahaar. A large air-conditioned restaurant with many tables topped with white tablecloths and blue throw-overs, smiling waitresses and a glassed in kitchen, staffed by four busy, smiling, dark faces.
We were met by Madan Mansharamani, the managing director, who told us that Ahaar had been at this venue for just over two years, and although there had been an Indian restaurant there some years before, Ahaar was a totally new venture.
I must admit I was surprised by the first item on the Starters, being french-fries! However, Madan said that many children are used to western fare, and french-fries keeps them happy (and quiet).
The menu covers 130 of the usual Indian items, plus unusual items such as Chinese-Indian Fusion. However, there are also another 60 items if your favorite is not in the main menu, plus a page of Thai favorites.
The wine list is not extensive at all, but does have adequate representation from both old and new worlds. The prices are very reasonable (B. 750-1,200), so there is no complaint there. Local beers are B. 70-80.
We began with papadums to whet the appetite, along with a glass of house white wine, which was perfectly quaffable (so much so that I backed up for another, later in the evening).
Moving on and into the starters, we devoured a sizzling hot plate with a chicken tikka (B. 220), very moist and flavorsome, which comes with its own salad plate as well. Following this with an onion baji, a deep-fried, crispy potato and onion appetizer, taken with the chutney and tamarind sauce. “Perfect,” said my Madame.
From there it was into a mutton rogan josh (B. 260), with rice and garlic nan (again this was not greasy, as it so often can be). Madame’s order was for the lamb tikka masala, and I tried both and thoroughly enjoyed them. We did get talked into the kulfi (Indian ice cream) and it was a great finish to what had been a great evening.
I did enjoy the food at Ahaar. It was not at all oily or greasy, as much of Indian food can be, if not cooked correctly. I also appreciated the fact that the food was cooked to my order, not something reheated from a large curry pot. For me, “medium” was such that there was some spiciness, but this did not overpower the flavors of the different curries. A real plus, which made the meal just so much more enjoyable. If you are a fan of Indian food, you should put Ahaar on your visiting list. However, if you just want to try something different, then it is also worth trying Ahaar. Think of it as a ‘curry house’ and you have the picture.
Ahaar Indian Restaurant, 183/79-80 Soi Post Office (Second Road end, opposite Malibu Cabaret), Central Pattaya, telephone 038 711 151, fax 038 711 152. Soi Post Office is only a three minute stroll from the Royal Garden Plaza car park. Open seven days, noon until 1 a.m. Takeaways welcomed and outside catering for large parties can be arranged. It is also on the Door to Door list if you do not feel like driving in yourself.