Thursday, August 12, 2010

review: pataya beach restaurant

Pataya Beach Restaurant
Thai Food 


Pros: excellent, freshly prepared food; good menu selection; convenient; relaxed and casusal
Cons: early closing time; location needs updating (dining area)
Timings: daily, 10:30 am to 8:00 pm - last order at 7:30
Contact: 22408052
Dine-out options: pick-up only, no deliveries
Location: Mezzanine level, Duwaliya building, Kuwait City, accross from Muthana Complex. 29°22'3.72"N  47°57'58.90"E 

Recommended: Yes
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Recommendations: #19, #21, #30 beef, kailan - but everything is good
Mood: Casual

What I usually look for in a place to eat is a comfortable setting and really good food. Pataya beach restaurant, located on the mezzanine level of the Duwaliya building, across the street from Muthana Complex, behind Rakan tower, is a favourite of mine. I remember it being around for many, many years, and it has maintained a quality of fresh ingredients and flavourful dishes.

A great respite from the bustle of the city, this hidden treasure is a bit of a diamond in the rough. It is very relaxed, the service is efficient and friendly but isn't over-engaging, until you become a regular and they memorize your typical menu selection based on who you're with. What can I say, I go to this place very often. I have given the service a rating of 4 because it is more relaxed and social, not formal like an upscale restaurant that imparts a deliberate sense of service.

It's appearance both from the outside and the inside is nothing special. In fact, it shows its age, with metal chairs, mirrored surface and thai tourism posters everywhere. Unless to you, appearances really do matter, don't be deceived, the kitchen is clean and the food is excellent. They don't play music at Pataya, but rather they keep the television playing thai channels - and this is perfectly acceptable. Years ago, they used to play karaoke videos. I miss those days, but with time things are bound to change.

There really isn't much more to say about this place apart from a more detailed discussion on the food. Their menu has a broad range of dishes, ranging from soups, salads, curries, and I have to say that I've been happy with everything I've ordered. However, I am not much of a seafood eater, so I haven't tried everything available. I know that many of the ingredients are flown in once a week directly from Thailand, and this affects availability of certain dishes sometimes (see the curry section below).

Pictured above is one of the appetizers I order without fail, glass noodle salad with chicken. The balance between sour, spicy, sweet and salty is so well maintained. Glass noodles, minced chicken, coriander and shallots swim in an abundant spicy citrus-based sauce. No matter what you've eaten before that day, this dish reawakens your appetite, or calms you down if you walk in ready to eat a horse. It works really well in summer and winter.

The phad thai is really good, but is a bit more moist than it is served in other thai restaurants in kuwait. It seems as though the peanuts are crushed very finely and incorporated into the tamarind and fish-sauce sauce. I really don't mind this at all, and is a nice non-spicy dish you can use to offset the spicy ones.

The red curry with coconut milk is honestly one of my all-time favourites. With steamed rice, this fulfills me on so many levels. I could eat this dish every day and be happy. If you're lucky enough for the restaurant to have kailan (kale) in oyster sauce available, which they usually do, then you will have the perfect accompaniment to this curry. 

The beef-pepper-garlic dish is an excellent choice if you're not in the mood for something too spicy. It wafts with fragrant overtones of garlic, soy sauce and other spices. It is a mellow dish that is a great example of comfort food.

I know that sometimes I sound as if I have been paid to review this restaurant, but I am honestly a great fan of this restaurant. Sure, the interior and tableware could be improved, but I like it the way it is. There really aren't too many places that serve food you know was prepared only for you. I like not caring about anything but eating good food when I go to Pataya.

I cannot recommend this place more. I remember this place with fondness and hope that they keep on going for as long as they can. To me, this is definitely one of the best restaurants that I never get tired of in Kuwait.


  1. So true... hands down the best restaurant in Kuwait! Its even better than most thai restaurants in Thailand. Im Serious :)

  2. Fantastic review Hass! Damn I miss that place!

  3. sorry i agree this restaurant is good, but its nothing compared to Oriental!! Every aspect of oriental is better then Pataya

  4. how would you compare it with oriental cuisine?

  5. Thanks for the comments, greenchickencurry and anonymous.

    I have to say that I think OC is great as well. I used to go there all the time for a while, hence my familiarity and nomenclature. The green chicken curry is excellent, goes so well with the rice and kailan. They also have dishes that pataya don't have, such as papaya salad, spring rolls, satai... my friends say that the soups at OC are better. I'd say it's a close second. I would actually put it as shared second place along with the one in rig'ai, I think it's called King Chow. While OC has a thicker and sweeter flavour, King Chow is very mellow and well harmonized.
    Also, I'd say that both OC and King Chow
    At the end of the day, I find myself in the mood for pataya far more often than the others.
    I should review those as well for a fair comparison.