CONGRATULATIONS TO INDIAN BY NATURE !
By Terrence Collins
Indian By Nature is used to high praise but 2016 proved to be a great year for the restaurant when it was granted the Traveler’s Choice Award 2016 – recognizing the top 10 restaurants across Thailand and also placed amongst the Top 25 fine dining restaurants in Asia.
Therefore as a reward for all his valiant work throughout the year eating spiders,snakes and the dreaded Balut – all for the sake of a good story – we sent our restaurant critic Terrence Collins along to see what all the fuss was about ! Ed
How lucky are we in Pattaya to have such a fine restaurant as Indian by Nature right on our doorstep. Out of curiosity I checked the customer reviews on Tripadvisor and found the comments to be extremely positive and complimentary. Most residents in Pattaya will know the location on Thappraya road, next to Frasers with ample parking off the main road.
Upon entering through a set of impressive Indian doors we were greeted with a feast for the eyes, flamboyantly coloured lights adorned the ceiling, whilst a bright and cheery room with fine furnishings created a serene colonial atmosphere. We were promptly welcomed by the charming general manager Mr Satish and seated in a corner booth table with a pleasant view of the restaurant.
I am a big fan of Indian food but my preferences lie with lamb dishes whereas the wife prefers seafood, so we asked Mr Satish to suggest his favourites from the menu and just sat back, relaxed and ordered a gin & tonic each. To our pleasant surprise a Gin Trolley appeared with dolly in tow. From the unusual selection we opted for the Copperhead Gin, plus we were offered freshly ground botanicals and spices to be added and opted for the star anise, which certainly gave the drink a lovely perfumed fragrance.
Our starters arrived on queue, tandoori rack of lamb for me, a chicken tikka salad to share and tandoori king prawns for the wife and I must say all the dishes were simply outstanding. The lamb chops were extremely good quality, French dressed and full of flavour with great caramelisation on the bones. The king prawns were plump and juicy, a real winner with the wife, plus the chicken tikka salad was a very generous portion finished with pomegranate arils and flaked almonds, a meal in itself.
We asked for some breathing space before the main course as we were pretty full already, ordered a few more G&T’s, then sat back and relaxed as we watched the other clients’ orders come out. It was surprisingly busy for a Wednesday night but then I suppose after 13 years in business, serving food of this high quality and with numerous awards from Tatler, Chaine de Rotisseurs and now Tripadvisor it’s no wonder they have built up a regular clientele. I would therefore advise booking to avoid disappointment, although walk in diners are welcome of course. Apparently 90% of their regular clientele are British, so you’ll have no problem finding the national dish of Chicken Tikka Marsala on the top of their menu.
Thankfully the gin & tonics worked their magic and we were once again hungry for the main course. I ordered imported Australian lamb Rogan Josh, Tandoori fish for the wife, plus nan breads and Chicken Biryani and a Dal flambé cooked “”table side”” making great theatre to the wife’s delight. Once again the food was flawless and certainly the best quality lamb I have ever had in a curry anywhere in the world.Due to the portion sizes being so generous, we opted for a doggy bag, so we could save room for desserts.
Indian desserts have always been a great favourite with my family, especially my late father and my young son – when ordering a take away back in the UK, desserts were always top of the list. So when once again another trolley appeared, this time showcasing the desserts on offer, we decided to share a rice “Kheer” pudding and a “Gajar Halwa”’which is a delightful carrot cake served with vanilla ice cream. The perfect finish to the perfect meal.
Mr Satish also presented us with an after dinner trolley highlighting cognacs, digestives and Irish coffees, but we politely declined as we felt we had already over indulged ourselves. Then left the restaurant feeling content that we had been very warmly welcomed and served almost as if we were VIP guests or family. We are excited to return with a party friends as soon as possible so that we can try and share more items from the menu.
Apart from the delicious food and elegant décor, Mr Satish and his staff are no doubt a big part of this restaurant’s success as their attention to detail, welcoming manner and service is what makes this restaurant really stand out for me.
The restaurant opens from 5.30pm til late, 7 days a week and for those adventurous enough to try cooking Indian food at home there’s even a cookbook available which highlights some of the dishes available on the menu. It is written by the North Indian Punjabi owner Mrs Av Khanigou who is co-owner of the restaurant with her son Karan.
So if you’re craving a good curry, you don’t have to travel far. Be sure to pop in to “”Indian by Nature”” and see why Tripadvisor members voted for them in the Top 10 best restaurants in Thailand and Top 25 in Asia .