If you look up Indigo on your favorite internet search engine, you will find top of the list is an Indian airline, followed by one of the visible colors of the spectrum in the rainbow, to a natural dye made from plants to a restaurant and bar in Honolulu.
This week’s Dining Out was not from Hawaii (though perhaps the editor might like to send me there), but from Second Road in Pattaya, almost opposite Mike Hotel (that is the one close to South Pattaya Road, not the Mike’s Shopping Mall just before the Central Festival).
Indigo has been going for only six months, but has made a favorable impression on the Indian community. It is run by Baby, an Indian gentleman who spent some time as Maitre d’ in one of Pattaya’s better known Indian restaurants, who six months ago decided to be his own boss and opened Indigo on the site where an Italian restaurant had been previously.
The venue features a regency stripe wallpaper, with sturdy tables covered with white tablecloths and a blue (indigo?) throw-over and heavy wooden chairs. It was also surprisingly quiet, despite the hubbub of Pattaya Second Road passing the door.
Baby advised me that the cuisine was mainly Punjabi, and that their chef was Indian from New Delhi. The menu is quite comprehensive, and the prices are not at all over the top for Indian restaurants these days. Mention must be made of the fact that a totally photographic menu can be offered to those who are newcomers to the cuisine, or not fluent in the languages in the printed menus. With Pattaya being an international resort city, restaurateurs should cater for everyone, and the photographic menu is the way to start.
We ordered a beer to start with, and I was a little disappointed that Kingfisher was not available, but all the local beers are stocked, and served chilled.
The menu starts with soups and salads (B. 80-95) and appetizers (B. 20-140). Samosas range between B. 145-195, and tandoori items (B. 175-490) with the Indigo non-veg platter at the top end, which feeds four people. Baby also told me, with pride, that their tandoori oven was genuine, and imported from India.
Curries, an essential part of Indian cuisine includes chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian with prices for individual dishes ranging from B. 200-280. Lentil dishes B. 130-140 and rice dishes B. 110-250.
Thai customers have not been forgotten and Thai dishes are B. 125-160.
The Dining Out team included one Indian, to later have another Indian national join us. They were both impressed with the food and its authenticity. I have to admit I often have a problem with Indian food, being too harsh and consequently not flavorsome. This was not the case in Indigo, the food was very flavorsome. I must also remark on the fact that our waiter took time to explain the various condiments that came with the food, and dispensed small quantities on my plate to experience. This was very much appreciated by me. These included the green mint chutney, onion vinegar and a tamarind chutney.
We began with a chicken tikka, a well known Indian item, which came served on a sizzling hot plate and we had some rather good garlic naan with it. The naan was outstanding in the fact that it was not greasy at all. Well done the tandoori chef!
This was followed by a paneer (cheese) tikka, and then rogan josh and kadai chicken, and then lentils (dal) and more garlic naan, until I had to say stop!
We had tried so many dishes, and for me, the rogan josh was the standout though the other dishes were also excellent. For one of my Indian guests, the kadai chicken was his pick.
Hot fingerbowls brought the dinner to a close and the fennel seeds, anise seeds, coconut, sugar and sesame seeds digestif.
Indigo Indian Restaurant, Pattaya Second Road (almost opposite Mike Hotel close to South Pattaya Road), telephone 038 414 244, fax 038 414 245, email mathew @indigopattaya.com. Open seven days 11 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. Parking best in the Chaiyamongkol temple, though sometimes lucky on Second Road or in Soi 15.