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CROWN OF INDIA RESTAURANT

BY GLORIA JONES

For those of you who may not already know, the Crown of India restaurant has the same owners as that great Pattaya Indian restaurant namely the long established, much loved Alibaba. So you can be assured that you will be getting great authentic Indian food when you visit the Crown of India, this restaurant concentrating on cuisine from the North and South of the country..

You can easily find the restaurant by travelling along Pattaya 2nd road ipast Pattaya Klang and the Hard Rock Hotel towards the Dolphin roundabout on the walkway just by the entrance to the Tropicana hotel. In fact the walkway enables the restaurant to offer an outside dining terrace as well as in door air conditioned seating So if you favor eating al fresco watching the world go by then you can do so at this restaurant.

Inside, the decor is less themed than Alibaba. Brighter and lighter this younger cousin has an opulent use of gold with its ornate ceiling and gilded frames housing interesting pieces of jewellery and old images of characters in traditional Indian dress Also unlike Alibaba the staff themselves do not wear such a traditional costume but are nonetheless very smart in their nehru collared jackets. In fact there is such an extensive menu you would do well to leave yourselves in their very capable hands of suggesting dishes for you When the Trader visited the manager suggested a variety of barbecue and more sauce inclusive curries and a mixture of vegetarian and non vegetarian.

In fact for any of our readers who are vegetarian you will find a great selection here and of course the beauty of Indian food is that the herbs and spices used in its preparation can result in a really flavoursome dish even if it does not include meat. So for our starters we had vegetable samosas 3 perfectly fried triangles sitting on a blue plate that really complimented them.In fact the presentation of all the dishes was great with decorative and inventively cut carrots cucumbers etc. framing the main ingredients. The samosas were piping hot and delicious really great value at only 80 baht.

Then our next starter the Chicken Tikka came to the table still sizzling and steaming. Even the shredded cabbage and onions absorbed all the sauce and juices from the barbecued chicken making them a pleasure to eat.

While we waited for our main course it was good to hear authentic Indian music being played quite lively and modern in tempo. Also time to survey the menu where again there were just as many vegetarian options as non vegetarian.

I personally prefer to opt for the breads rather than rice when visiting Indian restaurants as we already have so much rice in Thai cuisine but for those that do like this accompaniment there is Plain, Pulao Basmati or Biryani to choose from. Biryani being rice flavoured with spices and layered with Chicken, Lamb, Fish or Prawn.However the bread selection was equally extensive with Roti, Naan bread and more unusual options Parantha (layered bread) and Kulcha (stuffed with onion or marsala) Then came the main course the Butter Chicken which for my taste could have had a slightly thicker sauce but the spinach with paneer and the dahl were completely delicious.

Over all I have to say the meal was flavoursome, rich and satisfying. Crown of India is open from 11a.m. until 1 a.m. get along there and give it a try. Phone 038 423 009 to book.