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By Gloria Jones

At The Crown of India the balloons were out, not just as a follow on from Songkran but also to celebrate a recent birthday held at the restaurant and The Trader was there to check out some of the Chinese inspired dishes on their menu.

We started with a hot and sour soup comprised of a pleasantly thick broth and a really spicy taste. Certainly not just a clear liquid as can sometimes be the case with this soup. The Crown of India’s version actually had a rich, resonant flavour and as my old man would have said some real “pipe clearing benefits” we could feel the hot spicy liquid literally work its magic through our throats “clearing out the cobwebs”. On the menu it is known as Veg Manchurian soup (Manchuria being a region in Northeast China) and it was followed by Chili Chicken which again was nice and spicy with yellow and green peppers and tasty fried onions. The Chilli Chicken was accompanied by chicken fried rice with spring onions and plenty of diced vegetables.

Once these dishes were cleared the next up was Chicken noodles. The noodles were good and fat and perfectly cooked, again with plenty of diced vegetables mixed in – this is certainly a delicious way of getting your five a day - and the Chicken was pleasantly warm and spicy.

It was our second visit to The Crown of India and both times we thought the lighting a little bright. I’m sure it attracts people looking inside and during our meal there was certainly a steady stream of diners enticed by the look of the restaurant and menu outside. Even so the lighting could be taken down just a notch or two as it was certainly quite bright, especially compared to its sister restaurant Ali Baba. However, this is only a minor quibble as certainly the food was delicious and we really enjoyed the Chinese selection or Chinese Indian fusion you might call it.

The best was saved to last as the Veg Manchurian was mouthwatering and extremely tasty with a rich, tacky sauce. Hot, spicy and satisfying, as with all the dishes we tried, very reasonably priced at only 180 baht. The soup is 120 baht and The Chili Chicken 240 baht so nothing there to break the bank.

If you want to try our reviewed selection just mention the Trader and do as we did. Put yourselves in the hands of the friendly, knowledgeable serving staff who will then select the Chinese inspired food for you from their menu. Everything they brought us was spicy, nicely cooked and full of flavour. You can either eat these dishes in isolation or mix them with the more traditional Indian fare as you wish.

Then if you feel the need to freshen your breath after your meal The Crown of India also has that covered. You can stop by the stall just outside where a handmade pan will be individually prepared for you – Enjoy!