Casablanca Indian Restaurant - Phuket
Patong Beach Restaurants & Dining0
For many, Patong's hedonistic mix of Sea, Sand, Sun – and a couple of other things that begin with 'S' – aptly defines the town's character. However, what quite a few folks miss out on, in their pursuit of the party, is the fact that there are a few Patong establishments that take themselves very seriously.
A good example of single-minded dedication is Casablanca Indian and Arabian restaurant in the Royal Paradise Hotel & Spa. Casablanca serves up certified Halal food and meets the standards set by the Halal Standard Institute of Thailand and it does so with panache.
- Phi Phi Island Speedboat Excursion
- Ao Phang Nga National Park Kayak Adventure
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Introduction to City Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Morning Sino Heritage Walk
- Koh Yao Noi Full-Day Bike Tour
Where Is It?
In the Royal Paradise Hotel & Spa in central Patong. You can't miss it – it's the incredibly tall white building with what appears to be another building slapped on top – off Rat-U-Thit Road.
A one-way system of streets lead in and out of the hotel. Casablanca is on the second floor by the swimming pool area. Simply follow the colourful signs in the lobby.
Very Oriental. With its polished terracotta tile floors, Arabian wall designs, ornamental hookah (or 'shisha') water pipes and ornately designed menu covers, not to mention Ali Baba vases and pinkish walls, Casablanca looks like something out of the Arabian Nights.
A series of panelled sliding windows open out onto the resort's swimming pool and six poolside patio tables while indoors things are kept mercifully cool by four overhead fans and an air conditioner.
Swirling Oriental music rises and falls in the background and even though the lights are kept quite bright in Casablanca the atmosphere is quietly but adamantly Middle Eastern with a dash of Indian thrown in.
Regular clientele here like to arrive late and, as we eat early, we are alone in the 70-cover restaurant. It's hard to imagine this place getting rowdy and noisy; serenity and calm reign here.
As to be expected, Casablanca is popular with Muslim visitors from neighbouring countries.
Wine in a Halal restaurant? Isn't that impossible? No, this is Thailand, in a holiday town where everything is negotiable. And technically speaking there is no alcohol on the premises because when you order, the waitress goes to the Lobby Bar and grabs a bottle from there, which turns out to be a very satisfactory arrangement for everyone except maybe the poor waitresses' legs.
The lobby bar has a 28-label list featuring a good and varied choice, obviously well thought out and aimed at accompanying Casablanca's fare to the max.
Like Thai cuisine, some people find it problematic to find a suitable wine to accompany this sort of food but we're more than happy to sip on an Australian Hardy's Stamp Grenache Shiraz and it pairs beautifully with the meaty dishes.
Casablanca's marriage between Indian and Arabian food is not such an improbable one, given both countries' love of spices. We sample an enormous lamb leg tandoori, still on the bone, and it's like living out a moment from Pirates of the Caribbean.
The chicken tikka masala in red curry sauce is juicy and appetizing alongside saffron rice while mushroom do-pyaza fits very well with these dishes, the freshest coriander easing out the flavours of the turmeric and masala.
Perhaps the most spectacular naan bread I have ever seen accompanies this, providing a visual and culinary treat. A mixed tandoori grill stands majestically centre table including a sensational lamb kebab seasoned with ginger garlic and coriander – spicy and so tasteful.
If the truth be known there are Indian, Pakistani, Arabic, and Nepalese elements to these dishes and with one chef at Casablanca specialising in Arabic and another in Indian dishes, you get the best of both worlds.
• Lamb seekh kabab
• Chicken tikka masala
• Mushroom do-pyaza
• Cocktail samosa
Solid and dependable. The Maitre D is knowledgeable and efficient.
- Opening Hours: Every day 11:00 – 23:00
- Location: Casablanca at The Royal Paradise Hotel
- Address: 135/23 Rat-U-Thit Road, Patong
- Tel: 076 340 666
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