One of the original Indian restaurants in Pattaya
has been Ali Baba, whose ‘cave’ is upstairs on Pattaya Central Road, about 50
meters from the Beach Road T-junction, and opposite Nova Lodge. It almost
doesn’t need an introduction, it is in itself a landmark. By the way, I also
found no difficulty in parking in that region of Pattaya Central Road, but if
the worst comes to the worst, it is only a short walk from Tops Supermarket.
The entrance to this particular Ali Baba’s ‘cave’ is up a narrow staircase lined
with faux jewels purloined by the legendary 40 thieves. You are in another world
of make-believe by the time you get to the top.
The dining floor is made up of alcoves everywhere, seating between two and
eight, and the alcoves are well spaced, so you feel you are dining with your
friends at your table, not with the entire restaurant. There are also private
dining areas, seating up to a dozen diners. The ambience really is very Indian
with curtained windows, Indian paintings and tapestry brocades everywhere. For
me the only jarring note was the background music. Not too loud, but European. I
would have preferred some sitar music instead.
The menu was new since our last visit to Ali Baba, and very simply done, so that
even the non-Indian food regulars can easily find the dishes and order.
The Tikkas range in price between B. 250-300, while the Tandooris are B. 180-950
(but the high end is a platter for four diners).
The next section is entitled Tawa Masalas (B. 190-300), with the ever-popular
Chicken Tikka Tawa Masala B. 215. Chicken curries are plentiful, with Chicken
Vindaloo described as “fiery hot and spicy” as Vindaloo should be.
The seafood section was inexpensive (seafood usually carries a price premium)
with prices ranging between B. 265-300, with the Balti Prawn Vindaloo at B. 265.
There is also a separate ‘lamb’ category (B. 255-300) with the Rogan Josh B. 265
and the Shahi Lamb Korma B. 290.
For those who are perhaps a trifle daunted by the choices, and unsure of what
they are, there are two Thali plates (vegetarian B. 475 and non-vegetarian B.
675). These have around 17 items, with small servings of each, but give the
novice diner the chance to find out which types and styles suit their individual
palate. The very helpful service staff will also run through the selections for
The wine list is small, but does cover old and new worlds. The majority of
bottles range between B. 900-1,200, and there are wines available by the glass
at B. 100. Local beers are B. 75-90, and Japanese Asahi is B. 120. Surprisingly,
there was no Kingfisher, that rather pleasant beer from India.
Indian dining does seem to call for a myriad of different dishes, but
fortunately, the staff will give you a running commentary on which is which.
Very helpful for those who are novices in the cuisine.
There were many I enjoyed, including a tempura style prawn done in a glorious
red batter (called Butterfly Prawn in the menu) which was not oily at all, and
the prawns were soft and plump.
The chilli fish was a hot one, with the green chilli peppers permeating the
flesh. The Rogan Josh lamb was on the bone, and just fell away with the spoon.
Another classical item.
The Dining Out Team enjoyed the Indian foray into Indian cuisine. There is a
very wide range on offer at Ali Baba, going from smooth, mild curries, through
to the “fiery hot and spicy” as the Vindaloo was described in the menu. The
Thali plates are superb and I can certainly recommend the range of choices and
depth of flavors. The Ali Baba venue and service personnel lends itself to
family parties as well as intimate dining, and with the Thali plates, even
single diners can enjoy the range that is on offer.
Ali Baba Tandoori and Curry restaurant, 1/13-14 Central Pattaya Road (opposite
Nova Lodge Hotel), Pattaya City, telephone 038 361 620 or 038 429 626, fax 038
414 464, email grover@ loxinfo.co.th. Open seven days 11 a.m. till midnight.
If you enjoy Italian cooking, then you will like this
week’s recipe. It can be done with pork instead of chicken, but I think the
chicken variant is better. The only real secret in this item is to make sure
the chicken breasts are flattened to the same thickness, so they cook evenly
Flatten the chicken breasts between two pieces of waxed paper with a meat
pounder until thin. Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over
medium-high heat. Sauté the flattened chicken breasts for about 1-2 minutes each
side. Remove and reserve to a platter and cover with tin foil to keep warm.
Now, deglaze the pan with the wine and lemon juice, loosening all of the browned
bits stuck to the pan and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste,
and add the parsley.
Place the chicken breasts on a serving plate, cover with the sauce and serve
immediately. Goes well with steamed rice.
Ingredients serves 2
Chicken breasts boneless 4
Olive oil 1 tbspn
Butter 1 tbspn
White wine ¼ cup
Lemon juice 1 tbspn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Parsley, chopped 1tbspn