Had any Baba Ganoush recently? Hummus or Fattoush or Tabbouleh? If you love Lebanese food you know these frothy, smokey aubergine purées, creamy dips made of chickpeas that dollop on to the soft flatbread like whipped butter and rich, delicious salads. But if you’re unfamiliar with the exotic flavors, colors and textures of Lebanese food, you should visit Palace Restaurant and open your palate to a world of fascinating flavours that gets better with every bite. You will dine like a king without having to spend a fortune; portions are generous and the prices are very reasonable.
The Palace restaurant has just relocated on the ground floor of Royal Garden Plaza moving from the Central Festival Pattaya where they have been serving authentic Lebanese cuisine since 2009. The new venue is cozy and conveniently located in the popular Royal Garden Plaza with an inviting casual, family atmosphere.
Executive Chef Anwar Al Hadi, hailing from Lebanon, with 30 years of experience in the kitchen since he was 12 years, has been cooking his way around in Pattaya since 2008. Anwar’s menu is halal and he doesn’t serve alcohol, but you are welcome to bring your own at corkage charge of just Baht 300 per table.
When the “Pattaya Mail Dining Out” team visited the Palace restaurant recently, we were greeted and seated by the manager Nadia. The young Thai female servers, although friendly, seem inexperienced and Chef Anwar was at hand to explain the menu. Despite being very busy in the kitchen, he took time to visit each and every table explaining about his creations enthusiastically. Although tempted to order everything on the menu, we settled for the “Mixed Selection of Starter Platter”, “Palace Mixed Grill” and Kabsa chicken rice.
From the initial “mixed selection of starter platter” of hummus, baba ganoush, moutabal, tabbouleh and fattoush what followed was perfection on a plate which was also immensely satisfying on the palate.
Hummus, made of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and a sprinkle of garlic was very creamy and delicious here. Lebanon is home to a wide range of different hummus varieties and we enjoyed Hummus Beiruti which is deepened by the generous addition of garlic and spices. The well in the middle was filled with olive oil; chickpeas and pomegranate seeds dancing in the oil. It was pleasing to the eye and delicious on the palate that we enjoyed as a side dish with grilled meat as well as a spread on soft and fluffy pita bread.
Tabbouleh made of fresh parsley and mint, finely chopped tomatoes, and onions, with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil was packed with freshness and deliciousness.
Chef Anwar’s Fattoush was a rich and delicious salad with lettuce, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, fried pita bread chips and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds seasoned with a dash of lemon juice, olive oil and spices. It was a delightful salad; filling, fresh and packed with a punch that my dining partner, “Madame” enjoyed very much.
It reminded me how much I love Lebanese and Mediterranean food. There was one of my favorites, baba ganoush, a silky, almost frothy aubergine purée, smoky from the grill with the flavour deepened by a generous addition of garlic, chopped tomatoes and parsley. It is another delicious dish that Chef Anwar has perfected, garnished with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.
Palace mixed grill was a generous portion consists of char-grilled succulent lamb chop, boneless lamb, shish tawook, marinated chicken wings and a tender kebab served with French fries. The meat seasoned and marinated with exotic Lebanese spices, eaten with the salads and slathered with the creamy dips takes you to the next level of mixed grill experience.
The Chicken Kabsa was a burst of flavors and aromas of the spices and herbs with tenderly cooked chicken on a bed of finely steamed long grain rice. It wasn’t any regular version of a chicken biriyani but with its own unique taste and flavor.
Chef Anwar cooks every dish with flare, soul and generosity, balancing the rich, exotic flavours with delicate creamy textures and aromatic scents. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Palace restaurant to my readers who are looking for an exotic dining experience of authentic Lebanese cuisine at affordable price.
Palace Restaurant is located on the Ground Floor of the Royal Garden Plaza, Pattaya, Thailand, Phone: 090 346 2118.
Website and Social Media: http://palacerestaurantpattaya.com/
Opening Hours: 11.00am to 10.00pm. Last order 9.15pm Open everyday.
Features: Authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern Halal food, BYO – Corkage charge THB 300 per table, Good for families with kids and groups, Home delivery available.
Price Range: THB 80 – 600.
Go-to Dish: Mixed Selection of Starter Platter – Palace Mixed Grill.