by Brian Baxter
Friendly Indian restaurant in the heart of town.
Last week I was mulling over the fact that a number of major
cuisines (or countries) were under-represented in the City.
This included Indian food and I was soon urged by a friend
to try a comparatively new place not that far from Thaphae
Gate. It is called, quite amusingly, Spicy Bollywood after
the movie notion, but the decoration is not given over to
stars or aspects of their silver screen but to a ‘garden’ or
mini jungle atmosphere. Don’t worry it is not obtrusive and
the venue is comfortable, not noisy and the service is
friendly and attentive.
It is situated in a quite narrow but not claustrophobic
building facing the street and moat, about 300 metres along
from Taphae Gate. When I went there recently it was getting
quite busy with farangs, mainly visitors I imagine since it
is in the centre of the tourist area, but there were no
Thais in evidence. I know it is not their favourite
alternative to Thai food despite the fact that both can be
spicy. The menu is printed only in English which will hardly
encourage Thai diners or people with Thai friends to
encourage them to visit it and seek out the intriguing
It is not large, perhaps big enough for a couple of dozen
diners, with tables mainly in fours. The menu is simply
printed listing the food without a single word of
description. Not daunting for the many people (especially
the English who have hundreds of Indian restaurants to
choose from) but perhaps for some. Luckily the owner is on
hand to help out and one of the waiters, at least, is Thai
which could prove useful. Prices are very reasonable and the
drinks list including Thai beers and soft options including
lassi are between 40 and 90 baht (for a large Singha beer).
The highlight of our meal – at least for me – was the
‘starter’ of Fish Tikka, very well spiced and perfectly
cooked chunks of white fish, steaming hot from the oven.
My companion opted for one of the ‘sets’: the one with meat.
There are two of these and for around 150 baht you get a
large dish, with little sections containing rice, yoghurt,
nan bread, spicy chicken and so on. There is a vegetable
option with two choices of veg. from the wide selction on
I went for the prawn biryani and this was fine except that
the portion (especially since I had asked for a vegetable
dish – chick peas) was far too much for me to eat. Portions
seem large so be warned about that. Not a criticism for many
people I appreciate but no one likes to waste food. Since
much Indian food is slow cooked and prepared ahead of time
(the opposite of many Thai dishes) there is little wait so
even when it is busy or full, don’t worry.
Expect to pay between 200 and 400 baht a head depending on
the choices and drinks. Most main dishes are under a hundred
baht. You will find Spicy Bollywood on Moon Muang Road, not
far from the large Siam Bank on the left before SomPet
Market, facing the moat. Open everyday 11 a.m.to 3 p.m. and
5 p.m.to 11 p.m.155-157 Moon Muang Road, phone 053 289 648.
Prawns in a cognac sauce
Prawns are always plentiful in Thailand, and king prawns are
particularly good for this appetizer. The addition of cognac just gives that
little extra to the prawn dish, and a great taste as well. Flaming the cognac
sauce before serving adds that little bit of theatre to really impress your
Ingredients Serves 4
King prawns, peeled
or around 20 prawns
Garlic, chopped 4
Olive oil 4
Tomato puree 3
Salt and pepper
Make sure the prawns are
de-shelled and remove heads and tails. Slice along the back of the
prawn and remove the ‘vein’.
Place the garlic and prawns in the pan or wok and heat the oil. Stir
until the prawns turn pink (only a couple of minutes).
Add salt and pepper, the tomato puree and finally the cognac and
cook for a further 30 seconds.
To serve, flambé the sauce at the table and present immediately.