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Ahaar Indian Restaurant


Bruce Mangosteen
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Ahaar Indian Restaurant is located at the Second Rd. end of Soi Post Office. Lady Mangosteen and I first saw it from the back of a songtaew and, despite never having eaten Indian food before, she immediately started lobbying to go there. One evening, after a session at TQ1, we took a walk up there, and we were very pleased with the food. We have been back twice more this month, and another time Lady M. picked up a take-away from there.

 

The restaurant itself is located on the second floor of the building. You enter at street level to find a small dining area and a stairway leading up to the main restaurant area. The restaurant itself is an open-plan affair with little in the way of decoration. The tables are arranged in long rows, sort of like "family-style" Italian restaurants I've been to in New York. BTW, the pics in this report were taken with my camera phone, so please excuse the mediocre quality.

 

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There was no music on when we arrived. There was a projection screen TV showing Indian Premiere League Cricket on, and they had the sound on in the dining room. I was perfectly happy with that.

 

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So was the cook, who was watching in between preparing orders. That didn't slow our order from coming out though.

 

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The Thai service staff is friendly, polite and helpful. Lady M., despite being unfamiliar with Indian food, is always quite successful in assembling an order of food she enjoys, thanks to the staff. Lady M. ordered Prawns Masala. I ordered Keema Samosas for us to start, Mutton Rogan Josh, Pulao Rice, and Garlic Nan.

 

Of course, the Papadums came out first, with the chutneys. The popadums themselves were crisp and golden brown in color with a nice toasted flavor. The chutneys tasted very fresh, with strong, fragrant spicing.

 

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As soon as we were done with the papadums, the Keema Samosas arrived. These are pastry puffs (Samosas) stuffed with spiced minced lamb (the Keema). They arrived looking very tasty indeed!

 

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The Keema was nicely spiced without being overpowering.

 

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The Samosa pastry was flaky and flavorful, and complimented the flavor of the Keema filling perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the Mint yoghurt chutney as a condiment, and the combination of the three produced a particularly lovely flavor combination.

 

We relaxed over this appetizer, enjoying it at our leisure. That is one thing I have particularly appreciated about this place: I never feel hurried or rushed. Again, my impression is that the staff cares about your overall experience of the restaurant, so they create a relaxed atmosphere for you to enjoy eating. They discreetly keep their distance, but arrive promptly if you want a refill of your drink.

 

A few minutes after the appetizers were removed, the mains arrived.

 

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L-R: Pulao Rice, Prawns Masala and Mutton Rogan Josh.

 

The Mutton Rogan Josh was VERY tasty. While not "hot" spicy, the gravy provided a symphony of lovely spice flavors to my palate, which, rather than individually competing for my attention, blended beautifully. Lady M. was quite amused by the fact that I kept closing my eyes to more enjoy the rich flavors.

 

The Prawns Masala was a good "strength" for masala, satisfyingly hot while letting the prawn flavor through clearly. The prawns tasted quite fresh, and had the slightly al dente texture of fresh seafood that hasn't been cooked to death. I appreciated the hints of cinnamon flavor, which really added complexity to the masala gravy. Again, it tasted great.

 

The Pulao Rice was a long-grain rice with a fairly dry consistancy. Again, the spices tasted fresh fresh fresh, and I was a little surprised at the strength of the spices (but pleasantly so). The rice complemented the other dishes perfectly.

 

The Garlic Nan was just wonderful. The bread itself was light with the right amount of "chewability". The garlic again tasted fresh, and was strong without being overblown.

 

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Turning the bread over shows that it is cooked to provide a nice balance between the moisture of the dough and the toasted flavor.

 

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As we relaxed after our meal (me with my third Kingfisher of the evening), I experienced that lovely feeling of well-being that you get when you've just had a great meal. I have had that same feeling every time I have eaten at Ahaar, and even the time Lady M. and I ate the take-away in our condo.

 

The owner of Ahar is Mr. Madan Mansharamani, a friendly and pleasant guy of around 45 I'd say. He has usually been around when we've been there, so I assume he's probably around most of the time. He said hello briefly as we were finishing our meal; remembering us, he enquired about my legs.

 

After the meal I chatted with him briefly. He explained that he imports all his spices from India, and also has an Indian chef. He said that his recipes are Northern Indian, same as the English curry houses, and many Brits tell him the food at Ahaar is just like what they are accustomed to. Interestingly, although he was born in India he lived for a long time in the Northeastern US, not far from where I live.

 

For those interested in the gory details, the meal, including 3 Kingfisher beers and a bottle of water for Lady M, came out to about 1400 baht. I thought that was a good price for what we got. And how much we enjoyed it.

 

BTW, Ahaar is available from Door 2 Door (not sure about the other services), and also has a take-away menu. They are open 7 days from 12 noon until 1:00AM, perfect for that late-night curry after a hard session.

 

Ahaar Indian Restaurant. Lady Mangosteen and I have enjoyed this place every time we have visited. Friendly staff, good food, good location, reasonable prices. Not a bad combination.

"If you only go around once in life, why are so many people dizzy?" - me

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Thank you for this post, I will try this place in Jan' 2010.

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Hope you have a big bank balance, you'll need it. Has to be THE most expensive Indian Restaurant in Pattaya. Nice food, I know I've eaten there.

Never again. For what? When I've found a far better Indian at Thai style prices. Two English guys from Birmingham with two Indian Chefs, one man and one woman. Located on Soi LK Metro and is called Curries.

 

I ate there a few days ago. Knowing what Ahaar food tastes like, I have to say that Curries is a lot better, both in quality of food and price.

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