Spices Bar and Grill by Bob Sahni

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Another new restaurant for Pattaya, and this time it is Indian cuisine. Spices Bar and Grill is where Froggies French restaurant used to be, but the venue and décor have been totally refurbished.

It is on Soi Yume, also known as Paniad Chang, and the very easy way to find it is to come from Big C Extra end, which is the corner of Central Road and Paniad Chang, go past Tantraruk School, and Spices Bar and Grill is on the left side about three km along from Big C Extra. Across the road from the restaurant is a parking area for the Pattaya Star Spa that can be used, or there is parking space in the side soi (Paniad Chang 2).

Note that “by Bob Sahni” is part of the name of this restaurant, and Bob is certainly an interesting central character for this new venue, having been working in the Indian restaurant scene for many years in Pattaya. I remember him as the manager of the Royal India restaurant close to the Grand Sole Hotel at least 15 years ago. However, Bob also works for the Bollywood film industry, facilitating Indian movies shot here in Thailand. A most interesting man.

In line with the owner, the restaurant itself is also very interesting. As you enter you go through a lounge bar section, and then into the air-conditioned restaurant proper. Upstairs from there is a VIP dining area for up to 10, in a sea of red velvet and then a sports bar, all of which are decked out very elegantly.

Cocktails and mocktails available with happy hours 5-7 and 10-12 (buy one, get one free) and a Ladies Night on Wednesdays with special offers all night.

We chose the downstairs restaurant and were immediately impressed with the very high standard of napery and glasses. It is advertised as being “Fine Dining” and it certainly is, complete with very attentive serving staff overseen by Maitre d’ Amman.

The menu is interesting, in the fact that as well as the usual array of Indian dishes, Spices Bar and Grill has taken an adventurous foray into Fusion cuisine, with some European concepts blended with Indian herbs and spices, opening up a complete range of new items. “Something different,” said Bob. “Suitable for the local expat and Indian communities.”

We chose a Douglas Green Merlot Malbec 2012, which was a good choice and at less than B. 1,300, making it good value.

We began with some of the Fusion dishes with the first being a Vegetable Seekh (spinach) wrapped in papadum and served on a sizzling platter. Very different and at B. 220 very inexpensive. Other fusion dishes were a butter garlic prawn (B. 280), cottage cheese steak (B. 300) and a vegetables with chicken in a white sauce (B. 180). These were not too spicy at all and would be suitable for anyone afraid of hot chillis.

The remainder of the menu items were generally in the B. 250-380 range and we had a butter chicken and a minced lamb (Keema muttar) and several dishes of garlic naan. It is also possible to indicate just how much spiciness you want.

Only one member of our Dining Out Team was able to line up for desserts, choosing an Indian style of ice cream, though Bob said the Haagen Dazs range will be stocked as well.

You can never get a restaurant to be all things for all people, but Spices Bar and Grill certainly comes close. The venue covers everything from a sports bar to a red velvet paradise. The food ranges from vegetarian to haute cuisine Indian and then to Indian fusion, and the service team was attentive but not obtrusive. Variety and not expensive was the general view of the team. It is a great new venue.

The Dining Out Team can very easily give top recommendation to Spices Bar and Grill. Well worth a visit.

Spices Bar and Grill by Bob Sahni, 145/43 Moo 6 Soi Paniad Chang 2, North Pattaya, tel 038 716 693, easy parking, open seven days, hours 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., pick up and drop off service available, outside catering, web www.spicesbarngrill.