Feeling Thai High

Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury and soak in the sun, sand and all the sweet and sinful pleasures as you go on a gastronomic trail at some of the most sought-after gourmet restaurants at Avani Pattaya Resort & Spa and Avani Riverside Bangkok.

By Namita Gupta

It’s easy to say what most people love about Thailand is its Thai food. But clearly, the tropical seaside city of Bangkok and Pattaya has a lot more for everyone. After a four hour Thai Airways flight, I took a cab to head straight to Avani Pattaya Resort & Spa, located in the heart of Pattaya, surrounded by lush greenery overlooking the beach. Close to Royal Garden Plaza and the shopping and entertainment scene, Avani Pattaya is a relaxing oasis from the hustle and bustle. Only about two hours drive from Bangkok, this resort is perfect for relaxation with bright, airy spaces and stunning views of the Gulf of Siam. I kickstarted my day with a breakfast buffet of fresh green juice made with the goodness of celery, kale and spinach, omlette, cereal, fresh breads and some fruits at the Garden Café. If you’re at Avani Riverside Bangkok, then you can hop on at any of the pier boats that take you through the other side of the river where you can take a cab, train or tuk tuk to any of the popular hotspots in Bankok like the Grand Palace or the many shopping malls.

Earthy Delights

I went on a tour of the hydroponic farm. The fascinating adventure opened my eyes to the wonders of gardening and fresh, delicious feasts. 20 minutes from AVANI Pattaya, the hydroponic farm is where the concept of honest and comforting food begins. I strolled around the quiet and lush green farm and saw how they grow organic ingredients for healthy smoothies and innovative dishes. Chef Vijit Chaloeivijit also known as Chef Boy by his friends with love helped me create an authentic Thai meal from earth to plate as we picked our own veggies and herbs under his expert culinary guidance and donned the chefs apron and cap thereafter. He demonstrated two traditional recipes, Som Tam, a green papaya Thai style salad and Larb Gai, a chicken salad with mint and let me in on secrets, tips and tricks. Cooking Thai is easy to learn when you have some of the best Thai chefs helping you prepare some classic dishes. I enjoyed a homemade lunch afterwards by the water body and trees tucked into tropical paradise. You can spend the afternoon exploring nearby attractions like Wat Yarnasngworn, Viharn Sien, Silver Lake or Kao Cheechan. Next up on the itinerary was a visit to the Silver Lake Vineyard. I was quite surprised to find a vineyard there and was told that this is the first and only vineyard in Pattaya. Covering over 1000 rais of breathtaking scenery, the winery sits between the stunning silvery reflections of the lake and the greenery of the mountains. Falling short of time, we just sipped on a quick glass of wine, but you can take a carriage ride or bike tour around the vineyard, or just stroll around the wonderful blooming gardens. We visited the Buddha Mountain next, which is a 130 metres high splendid spectacle. The Buddha image was carved out of the rock using laser technology and then inlaid with gold leaf.

Entertainment first

Those looking for an adrenaline rush, must not miss the Kaan show in Pattaya. The show is majestic, magnanimous and a complete entertainer that will keep you glued onto your seats all through the live performance by some of the most talented artistes on this side of the planet. Inspired by famous Thai literature, including Ramayana, Prince Apai Mani, Krai Thong and many more, the show seamlessly combines these epic stories into one which is beyond imagination. Storytelling is made interesting using world-class technology and special effects. If you want some of your share of fun, then head to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not, both in Pattaya and Bangkok.

For food lovers

Food connoisseurs will be spoilt for choice as they can pamper their taste buds at many of Avani’s signature restaurants at both Pattaya and Bangkok. I loved my teppanyaki experience at Benihana, a traditional Japanese style hibachi steakhouse. Talented chefs prepare your meal teppanyaki style whipping up a delicious meal with fresh veggies and meats, as you watch their theatrical skills dicing, searing, slicing, chopping and creating a flambé in awe. There is a flurry of chopsticks and cutlery as your food is served directly from the grill to your plate. It’s ‘eatertainment’ at its best! The extensive menu boasts a variety and quality with Ichiban selections.

If you’re looking for some variety to let your hair down, try the Dicey Reilly’s Irish Pub & Eatery at Pattaya. The warm welcoming interiors send out a homely vibe and traditional pub feel and I also loved the extensive selection of draft and bottled beers or ciders, featuring Irish staples such as Guinness and Magners on draft, European favorites including Hoegaarden and an inviting spirits menu with a cocktail list of classic concoctions. Choose from a lavish array of burgers, sandwiches and pizzas and also try traditional pub meals like the Full Irish Fry Up, Rib-Eye Steak or BBQ Rack of Ribs and you won’t be disappointed.

We recommend you try some of the classic Thai dishes, besides the continental cuisine at the Skyline restaurant at Avani Riverside Bangkok. The restaurant also serves a lavish breakfast buffet every morning.

We saved the best for the last and as promised got our AVANI ATTITUDE on at Bangkok’s newest rooftop bar & restaurant. Attitude Rooftop Bar and Restaurant was a welcome reprieve, with sinfully crafted cocktails, fusion food and a socially sophisticated vibe, 26 stories above the Chao Phraya River on top of the Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel. We loved the unique flavours of each of the Tapas-style dishes like the “Funky Pig” a crispy pork skin dish served with crunchy onion, polenta chips and a sweet & sour apple sauce, Galician beef rib-eye and the salmon. The expansive panoramic views are best enjoyed with French mixologist, Alex Hersent’s bartending skills as he whips up mean cocktails that are a sensory explosion. Alex’s signature “Moulin Rouge”; a heady concoction of Absolut raspberry, passion fruit, a touch of grenadine and Prosecco and Gin Temptation lived up to its hype.

Rejuvenation ‘Spa’ce

AVANISPA at both AVANI Pattaya and Bangkok blends function with an aesthetic appeal where natural elements and the refreshing outdoors combine effortlessly with holistic body massages and skin treatments. The spa journey begins with a consultation to identify problematic body zones, after which a treatment is chosen resulting in any of your four desired results – Boost, Balance, Calm and Purify.

AVANI Pattaya Resort & Spa | 218/2-4 Moo 10, Beach Road, Pattaya 20260 Thailand.

AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel | 257 Charoennakorn Road, Thonburi, Bangkok 10600 Thailand

avanihotels.com