Quails. Tiny, ground-based nesting birds. They’re not the first thing that would pop into the mind of the average person when considering which Thai restaurant or eatery could be worth a visit. Yet quails and their eggs are just one of the delicious attractions on the menu of the highly-rated Moom Talay Thai restaurant, located side-by-side with the Toscana Trattoria on Beach Road in central Pattaya.
In October this year Moom Talay was ranked 156th out of 888 restaurants in Pattaya by the website Trip Advisor, with the average rating being 4 out of possible 5 stars. Notably, when it came to the quality of the food and the atmosphere, Moom Talay rated a strong 4 out of 5 stars. In other words, diners clearly liked the location: being able to enjoy the sea view from Moom Talay, but also ranked the cuisine right up there with the best.
In late 2016, the Moom Talay Thai restaurant menu underwent a fairly ambitious makeover. Apart from the standard elements of Thai cuisine which you would expect to be available anywhere and everywhere, they introduced a number of dishes which are rarities not just in Pattaya but almost anywhere. It’s ambitious, but the management know there are plenty of ‘foodies’ just itching to try something different. That said, a recent Trip Advisor poster suggested the Spring Rolls were ‘to die for’. Now that’s high praise indeed for what is a standard dish in most Thai and Asian eateries.
One example though of the more unique-to-Moom Talay offering is Pot-Stewed Duck, or Quail, garnished with garlic and pepper. Another is Stir-fried Quail with chilli paste (obviously a dish for those who like their food pretty spicy).
Moom Talay has so-called One-Plate Dishes which are far more traditional dishes, of the type you would find in the majority of Thai restaurants. Even so, most of the ingredients in these dishes are sourced from their own organic vegetable and animal farms, so the freshness remains. Most of the dishes include steamed rice and basil leaves with either pork, chicken or beef; fried noodles done Thai style in an omelette; or rice porridge with mince pork or chicken.
Stir-fried dishes include the ever-popular chicken and cashew nuts, fried mixed mushrooms in oyster sauce, squid stir-fried in egg yolks, beef in oyster sauce as well as sweet and sour pork or chicken, or, for vegetarians, fried mixed vegetables in oyster sauce.
Curries are always a popular menu choice and Moom Talay has such bowls of steaming delight as red, green or yellow curry in choices of either pork, beef or chicken. They also do an Indian curry (chicken) and a Panang curry among others.
Soups, as both starters or mains, are well covered with dishes like spicy lemongrass with chicken, or prawns, seafood, or chicken, in coconut soup, or seafood soup with Thai herbs.
On the deep-fried Thai dish front the variety is just as exceptional, although a perennial favourite among most Thai diners is sea bass cooked in garlic and pepper. The sea bass is purchased fresh each day from the local seafood markets.
For holidaymakers who happen to have teamed up with a local Thai, the Moom Talay restaurant is not just a great eatery, its close but very definite separate connection with the Toscana Italian restaurant offers the best of both worlds.
While a Thai national, naturally, will want to partake of familiar Thai dishes, a foreign holidaymaker may decide he or she wants to try the same, but also wants the opportunity of having an each-way ‘bet’ as it were: maybe order an Italian dish, just in case the Thai food proves a little too spicy, or they aren’t quite as keen to dive into the Thai menu just yet.
It’s important to remark that both the Moom Talay and Toscana kitchens are well and truly separate entities. The Thai dishes are prepared exclusively in the Thai kitchen while the Italian dishes are prepared exclusively in the Italian kitchen; and never the twain shall meet