Zaika Indian Restaurant Pattaya

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Zaika Indian Restaurant is located on Pattaya Second Road on the left side while going from Central Festival Mall towards Walking Street. There are a few others too like Madras Darbar (South Indian), and Curry House (Earler called Great India) on this road. I particulalry like Madras Darbar for their Idli and Dosa which are always very nice. My first meal at Great India was also satisfactory. But I can't say the same about Zaika. They messed it up big time. Mutter Paneer (green peas and cottage cheese curry) is my favourite order when I eat in an Indian restaurant. The reason for that is the simplicity of this preparation. Most restaurants are able to dish out a perfectly edible Mutter Paneer. Frozen green peas are available everywhere and an Indian restaurant can't be in business if they can't find fresh paneer (cottage cheese). The rest boils down to the masala in the curry which is basically a mix of onions, ginger, garlic, tomato paste, and a few spices all ground together and fried. A little water is added to the masala, the mix is brought to a boil, peas and deep-fried cottage cheese cubes are added, and after five minutes the dish is ready to serve. Mutter Paneer tastes best with very mild spices because mild spices let you enjoy the sweetness of peas and the rich flavour of deep fried paneer. My order for Mutter Paneer was the same in this restaurant - medium spicy. (Read more below...)

Zaika Indian Restaurant Second Road Pattaya

Being an Indian, I have always believed that I know what medium spicy means. Indian food in restaurants is generally spicy. When a customer says "not spicy", the restaurant will serve an Indian curry with spices at about 25% of the normal level and medium spicy will have about 50% of the normal amount of spices. I had previously ordered medium spicy Mutter Paneer in Bukahara's (Bangkok) and really enjoyed the meal. Unfortunately for me, Zaika Indian Restaurant had (rather have) a different idea of medium spicy.

Extra Hot Mutter Paneer Zaika Indian Restaurant Second Road Pattaya

Zaika Indian Restaurant Pattaya

They perhaps believe that medium spicy means extra 200% chilli powder. That means, if you say "not spicy" in Zaika, you will get the normal spicy fare, and if you want spicy, they will add 4 teaspoons of chilli powder to any dish you order. I almost choked at the first taste of their Mutter Paneer. After quickly downing a full glass of water, I called their captain and complained with tears in my eyes. He apologized, went into the kithen and returned with a triumphant look on his face. He said, "Sir, you ordered medium spicy!" I poured more water into my glass and asked him if they had any plain curd in the kitchen. They brought the curd, about 200gm, all of which I added to the Mutter Paneer and tried eating it again. It was still fit for a "Man vs Food" challenge. I gave up and asked for the check. They did not charge me for the curd. The captain expressed regret but I couldn't understand what was wrong there. On that day the restaurant was more than a year old. If their medium spicy food generally tastes like that how they had managed to stay in business for over a year. Maybe that day the chef had made a one-off mistake. Whatever it was, I will not eat at Zaika again. Price-wise, Mutter Paneer cost 215 THB and a plain tandoori roti cost 20 THB. Bukhara's in Bangkok charged 190 THB for Mutter Paneer. Maybe the extra 25 THB Zaika charged was for the extra chilli powder. Bad bargain for me!

Vegetarian / Vegan / Jain in Pattaya?

Vegan Green Curry Vegetables Tofu & Rice at Five Star J Pattaya

Try Ning's Five Star J - A vegan food restaurant in Pattaya. This restaurant believes in serving freshest food using only healthy ingredients which are cooked just lightly so as to preserve all the nutrients. The prices are just right too. The dish you see above cost only 109 THB. Read more about Ning's Five Star J here.

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.


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