Pattaya is a very alive city. Pattaya is also truly multicultural. So when another Indian restaurant opens its doors, this really just reflects the increase in Indian tourism that is currently taking place. Of course, the residents of Pattaya are the winners in this, getting even more choices in more restaurants. This week, we visited the Crown of India restaurant on Second Road, just past Walking Plaza and the Tropicana Hotel on your left and almost opposite the Grand Sole hotel.
The restaurant is two years old and under the management of Pravit Grover, who explained that the ambience they were looking for was “royal” and so the predominant colors are purple and gold, and that goes from the table covers right the way through to a gold ceiling, and explains the name “Crown of India”. They strive to give fine dining service, but at ‘ordinary’ prices, said Pravit.
There is no mistaking this restaurant’s roots, from the embossed front door to the service personnel, all in traditional outfits and turbans. To maintain the ethnic side of things, the background music is also Indian, and the 127 item menu is again a typical Indian menu, and they stock the Indian Kingfisher beer, which incidentally is a very nice drop. According to Pravit, their cuisine is mainly North Indian and his four cooks come from that region.
There is an al fresco dining area street-side but as it was raining very heavily we chose the warmth of the air-conditioned inside section. While wading through the menu we did choose the Kingfisher. Local beers begin at B. 85 and wine by the glass is B. 120.
The menu which incorporates clear photographs with explanations and with Russian sub-titles begins with Snacks with most around B. 100 with favorites such as the potato dish Aloo Chat or the Onion Bhaji.
After some soups and salads, there are different rolls (wraps) with vegetables, egg, chicken, mutton or Paneer (cheese), all between B. 50-150.
The next section covers roast cooking, be that on the grill, clay oven or the tandoor (B. 225-300 in the main) and has many Tikka items such as Murg Hariyali Tikka, chicken marinated with mint, coriander and yogurt and cooked in tandoor.
Many Paneer dishes are on offer (B. 175-280).
Different rice styles and bread types abound, as is the norm in Indian cuisine.
There are also some dishes which are not usually available, such as Chicken Chettinad (B 240) which is a spicy chicken curry Chettinad style.
It is a very full menu and I do suggest you take your time with your selection and try at least one of the items you have never tried before. With 127 choices you can be brave!
It was also significant that the restaurant began to fill up later in the evening, with Indian nationals being in the vast majority.
Madame, who is au fait with Indian cuisine chose the Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato) and the Mutton (goat) Bhuna – though it is sometimes spelled Bhoona, which again is a classic north Indian dish. These choices met with the approval of our waiter.
Not being as experienced as Madame, I took what I would call “The Beginners Guide to Indian Cuisine” in the form of a Thali plate. These come with a spread of different items for the culinary novice to try, and are two main styles – vegetarian or non-veg, with the latter being the one I chose. The items on the Thali plate included Chicken Tikka, Lamb curry, Chicken curry, Dahl, Pilau rice, Vegetable Jhalfrezi, Roti and a dessert. At B. 400 for my Thali plate, I considered this to be very inexpensive, and the Dining Out Team can certainly recommend the Crown of India both for the food and the prices.
Crown of India, 2nd Road Walking Plaza, Near Tropicana Hotel, before Soi 6 on the left, open seven days, hours 11 a.m. till 1 a.m. Telephone 038 423 009, [email protected]