Every so often you can stumble across a gem. Golden Chimney is one of them. You don’t know where this gem is? Well, remember the El Paso Steakhouse on South Pattaya Road, close to the large Shell service station? El Paso has gone, but in its place is a beautifully appointed restaurant, the Golden Chimney, run by an Indian restaurateur Ravi Asrani, and it has been there less than six months.
Now when I write “beautifully appointed” I mean it. Look at the photographs with this review. Wood paneling, comfortable chairs, a sit-up bar along one side, an ultra-modern staircase to an upper function rooms area. This has been designed by architects.
The staff are well dressed and know how to provide fine dining service, as this restaurant definitely approached fine dining from an Indian cuisine point of view. Napery of good quality as well as dishes and glasses.
The chef is also Indian (Punjabi), and we were interested to see how well he handled some of the other different Indian cuisines, as well as his own local dishes. His tandoori oven was imported (sea freight) from India as well.
We settled in with a beer (no Kingfisher, sorry) and began checking the menu. There is a separate menu for wines/cocktails and Australia, Chile and Italy are represented in their cellar. Most bottles are between B. 1,100-1,300, and house wine is available by the glass for B. 100. There is also a Thai specials menu (B. 135-160) for Thai partners.
The menu is extensive, and sections of it are photographic, a concept that I recommend to all restaurants. With Pattaya being very cosmopolitan these days, not everyone reads English (or Russian), and ability to point to a photo does not need language.
We began with a Paneer Tikka (B. 250), which was very succulent, and not at all ‘rubbery’ as we have often received in the past when reviewing an Indian restaurant.
We took our time, as is the fashion with Indian food. It is a feast to be shared and enjoyed by everyone.
After settling in with another beer, the mains were brought to the table, along with clean plates/cutlery. There was a mixed vegetable Raita (B. 90), a Mutton Rarra (B. 280), a Chicken Madras (B. 200) and an Aloo Gobhi (B. 125). Madame had chosen a Parantha (B. 40) while I could not go past the Garlic Naan (B. 65).
Of our selection of mains, my favorite was the Chicken Madras, a southern India specialty with the meat simmered in coconut milk and spices (which the Golden Chimney imports themselves). I had requested not too spicy, and that was how we received it. Really a most flavorsome dish, which I would heartily recommend. The Mutton Rarra was also excellent eating, but for me, the Madras was the dish of the night.
We were talked into a Gulab Jamun (B. 80) as a dessert. A sweet tasting finish to banish any resistant spiciness.
Finger bowls, a la Indian style and we then left completely satiated and satisfied. This restaurant had offered us a very pleasant surprise. The food was excellent, with a smooth good taste and none of the harsh spiciness that can be experienced in many Indian restaurants. Standard pricing, excellent service and a very pleasant venue. This restaurant will become a favorite, without a doubt. In fact, we ate there two nights in a row! Do try. Well worth it. And yes, they do take-aways as well.
Golden Chimney, Pattaya Second Road between CAT Telecom and the Shell station, telephone 038 414 675, website https://www.facebook.com/goldenchimney, open seven days from noon until late. Street parking and another parking area behind the restaurant.