Ruen Thai Restaurant
Pattaya (opposite Marriott Hotel)
PATTAYA’S Second Road is full of noodle bars, crowded beer bars, and souvenir shops. So it comes as a little surprise to find somewhere as tranquil only a few feet off the main walk.
Ruen Thai is a beautiful, secluded restaurant that features traditional Thai dance and music: in short the perfect place to impress a date.
Several large Thai-style teak buildings sit facing each other while in the centre is a stage and musicians. In between the buildings, hedges and large tubs of water filled with lotus buds provide a pleasant backdrop.
Every few moments a group of a Thai dancers, wearing glittering costumes, emerge to perform a variety of dances. Seated behind them are six musicians, gently playing their xylophone-like instruments.
Food is nearly all Thai and covers a wide range of areas, from the north-eastern Isan dishes right down to southern-style curries: the choice is impressive.
We went for a spicy duck curry (120-180 baht), roastchicken with vegetable tips (100 baht), and mincedshrimp and pork rolled and deep-fried, topped with a crab egg sauce (120 baht).
Waiters here are knowledgeable and happy to make recommendations if you’re stuck, and it’s quite easy to get stuck as the menu is so vast. The food arrived quickly and more or less together.
The curry was full of flavour and spice, while the roast chicken’s sauce was wonderful. Minced shrimp and pork sounded a good idea at the time, it was a little bland.
Nevertheless, the overall impression of Ruen Thai is that of a restaurant that truly cares, and makes that little extra effort. How many places in Pattaya offer you a flower as you leave?