The group comprised 14 people of which 3 were vegetarians. Most of the non-veg guys did not experiment much. They stuck to safe food such as fruits, ready made flavoured milk such as milo, musk melon milk etc from super markets. Many of them subsisted on KFC, Subway, McD. Hence, the visits to restaurants were quite limited. Whenever I got a chance to visit restaurant, I gladly did so. I must say, as a vegetarian I had a better gastronomical experience than most of the meat eaters. Few of the non veg guys were daring though, as they tried bugs, scorpion etc. So below are my experiences from few of the hotels that I dined in.
Ibis, Pattaya: We stayed at Ibis, Pattaya, a nice hotel slightly far from beach (walking distance though) compared to Holiday Inn which is just by the beach. The complimentary breakfast was continental mostly and definitely a scrumptious non-veg spread. However, given the quintessential “Thai taste” in the non-veg food which put off most people, we restricted our breakfast to bakery items such as croissant, danish custard etc. The spread included noodles (but had egg, and at times meat), ham, sausage etc to satiate the non-vegetarians. There were cut fruits, salads, juice etc also making it a wholesome spread.
I was in for a pleasant surprise on the last day when they had sprouts and tofu. I absolutely relished on it and took 3 servings. The tofu was absolutely delectable, clearly a winner. I am a huge fan of tofu, so if you are not into tofu, you may not like it.
Bombay Delight, Pratunam, Bangkok (Near Indra Square Mall): Roads around Indra mall is lined up with Indian restaurants. One of them is Bombay Delight run by Punjabis. Another vegetarian friend accompanied me and we wanted to taste Thai food (Isn’t it ironical that two Indians go to an Indian restaurant to try Thai food). The main reason we chose Indian restaurant is to avoid the unpleasant odour associated with Thai food. But to my shock I found the familiar smell coming back to haunt me in Pad Thai that I ordered.
We tried to douse the Pad Thai with soy sauce, chillies and vinegar. Voila, it resulted in a very pleasant tasting Pad Thai. My friend ordered veg noodles. We liked it very much. Noodles costed around THB 120 while the Pad Thai set us back by about THB 150.
Black Canyon Coffee, Indra Square Mall: This is situated in 1st floor (ground floor in Indian terms) inside the mall. I walked past this many times during our two day shopping spree. But somehow the word Coffee made me think it is a cafe. On the last day at Bangkok, we had our lunch here.
I ordered Pan fried noodles with mixed vegetables. It somehow reminded me of Pho, but had variety of vegetables like zucchini, carrot, quite a few varieties of mushrooms, herbs etc. It was divine. It was priced at about THB 130, I guess. The place had reasonable options for vegetarians and they customize the dish too. I wanted tofu to be added to my dish. I think they charged me extra for that (as the bill was in Thai, I could not understand). My cousin ordered Pad Thai with shrimp but asked to leave the shrimp out. So essentially it just had eggs.
Howard Square Hotel, Bangkok: This is a slightly old property run by Indian people and includes Indian breakfast. For most of the guys after a dead tongue for 3 days in Pattaya, it was a very welcome change. Though the menu was quite restricted, it tasted very Indian and guys enjoyed the breakfast. They served poori with channa, and next day mutter subji. They had upma one day and poha the next day. There was also rice, bread, juice etc. Did not bother to take pics of these.
Aroma, Pattaya: In Pattaya, as part of the package they took us to an Indian restaurant called Aroma. It was the most forgetful Indian restaurant. The food was alright, very restricted menu, too spicy. Since, most of the guys had not eaten proper meal in the first 2 days, they were looking forward to this. But sadly, it did nothing to make anyone feel at home. Did not bother to take pics here too.
India Gate, Bangkok: After a long journey from Pattaya to Bangkok, we were taken straight to this restaurant for lunch. Though a small spread, food was good. Needless to say the guys enjoyed the food very much. There was Aloo mutter gravy, baingan subji, roti, rice etc. This was way better compared to Aroma in Pattaya. This is exactly what we needed before we hit the road. Too famished to take pics.