Genuine ethnic eats

   by Miss Terry Dinerner

Let us not forget we are in Thailand, and authentic Thai and Asian food is everywhere. And cheap. Our friends arrive from overseas, ready to experience the endless Asian treats – but just where should you take them? That’s clean! The worst experience ever would be to take your visitors to a little roadside eatery, and they end up in hospital the next day with dreadful diarrhea.
I was actually asked the other day where someone could take a group of visitors from the UK, who wanted to try some local fare. My answer was that he should take them to the Food Wave at the top of the Royal Garden Plaza.
If you have not tried it, the Food Wave is on the new upper floor of the Royal Garden Plaza. Along the Beach Road side there is an outside dining area, with incredible, almost uninterrupted, views of Pattaya Bay.
The Food Wave live cooking stations section is entered via a ‘race’ where you are given a Food Wave swipe card. Instead of stating how much you want on the card, you have an automatic B. 1,000 credit that you can draw upon. However, it should be noted that if you lose your ‘credit’ card you are up for the full amount!
With the area being lit through floor to ceiling windows, it is very bright and airy. Undoubtedly the architects were given the brief to make the place look ‘trendy’ and it certainly is that, with wood, glass and polished metal predominating. It is the scene to see and be seen in!
In the middle are several cooking stations, including Italian, Indian, Russian, Thai, Noodles, Steak, Thai Joke, Papaya salad, coffee, desserts and drinks. These stations are in the main all glassed in, and spotlessly clean. A very important concept when trying ethnic cuisine for the first time.
With the varied stations, you get many, many choices, with all the Thai favorites, plus a strong selection from the other cuisines. Most of the serves are around B. 50-100, though some can go up as far as B. 150. For example, steaks cover beef, pork and chicken and come with salad and French (or Belgian) fries. Or go to the Italian station and you can have a Caesar salad to accompany your calzone or pizzas made on the spot. For the lovers of Russian food there is the traditional Borscht (beetroot soup) or Pelimeny dumplings. I noticed that some of the ‘ethnic’ stations also had nationals overseeing the preparation to ensure authenticity.
For desserts there are many choices, from Blueberry cheesecake, to Tiramisu to Thai sweetened sticky rice with mango.
We have tried several dishes in the past few months, and the consensus was that the food was fine, the price not exorbitant and the view spectacular! The items also come on true china plates and the cutlery is of a good standard. Definitely more ‘up-market’ than the side of the road food stalls and the melamine crockery and (Uri Geller) bending spoons!

The service staff were most obliging, taking our meals out on to the terrace and removing the dirty plates very quickly. The atmosphere is much more that of a restaurant, where you get the opportunity to order from the chef!
When you leave there are four ‘check-outs’ where your card is swiped again and totaled. One surprise is that there is a service charge added, so your total is slightly more than your mental arithmetic worked it out to be! However, since service charges elsewhere generally run out at around 10 percent, and the service was good, I did not begrudge the Food Wave the small extra charge.
There can be no doubt that Pattaya is moving upwards, and the Food Wave evolved from the old Food Court by moving upwards, literally and metaphorically. It is a very central location in which you would not be embarrassed to take any overseas visitor. A good place to remember in the dining scene in this city. Well worth a (re)try.
The Food Wave, 4th floor Royal Garden Plaza, Beach Road, Pattaya. Secure parking in the basement. Open seven days, 11 a.m. until the shopping center closes.

Braised Five Spice Coconut Fish

The use of desiccated coconut is very popular in Malaysia, and this recipe has its origins there. For authenticity substitute Garam Masala instead of the Five Spice. A flavorsome way to present fish fillets.

Cooking Method
Clean the fish fillets and dry and then flood with lemon juice and stand for 15 minutes. Place desiccated coconut in a bowl with 5 tablespoons of boiling water and leave for 15 minutes.
After standing for 15 minutes, in the food processor, place the coconut, onion, garlic, coconut milk, turmeric, Five Spice, chilli paste and puree the mixture, adding water to keep the mixture quite thin in consistency.
Now boil the mixture and put half of it in a baking dish, adding the fish fillets and then pouting the rest of the mixture over the fillets.
Cover the baking dish and bake in the oven ar 220 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately after sprinkling the spring onion over them as garnish.


Serves 4-6

White fish fillets

750 gm

Lemon juice

3 tbspns

Desiccated coconut

50 gm

Onions, chopped


Garlic, chopped

2 cloves

Coconut milk (canned)

250 ml

Chilli paste

1 tspn

Turmeric powder

1 tspn

Five Spice

1 tspn

Spring onion, chopped