Bangkok and Pattaya Restaurant Review: Rasayana Retreat

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Travel | 0 comments

When I was in Thailand recently, Caryl of the awesome blog the Vegan Food Quest recommended that I seek out and try Rasayana Retreat, her favorite restaurant in Bangkok.  I took her advice and it started a torrid week-long love affair, during which I ate at Rasayana Retreat every day I could manage it!

Rasayana Retreat is a spa that specializes in detoxing and plant-based raw foods.  There are two locations, one in Bangkok and one in Pattaya. I was lucky enough to try both the spa services and food in both locations.  The spa menu and the food menu, with some variation in desserts, is the same in both spots.

Now, let me be clear: if you ever are in Bangkok or Pattaya, run, don’t walk, to Rasayana Retreat.  Thailand is a vegan foodie’s paradise and it’s easy to overindulge. With fresh, organic ingredients, Rasayana Retreat makes incredibly tasty, healthful, raw, living foods that can help you feel immediately lighter and get back on track.  It was just what I needed on that trip and it inspired me to incorporate more raw foods into my diet every day since.

So let me start with the food. In a word, divine! 

Spicy Papaya Salad

Spicy Papaya Salad

It would be hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to in a pinch, it would be Rasayana’s take on Som Tam or spicy green papaya salad.  With shredded green papaya, carrots, long beans, tomatoes & a spicy lime juice based dressing, traditional Som Tam is already a raw delight.  In a twist, Rasayana added some ripe papaya that just took it over the top.

Mexican Taco Cups

Mexican Taco Cups

My second favorite would have to be the Mexican Taco Cups. The light, crispy cups were filled with a flavorful ultra fresh salsa and served with a side salad. And they were absolutely delicious.  This is something I want to try to make myself!

Mushroom Pizza

Mushroom Pizza

The mushroom pizza was delightful, with a nice crispy flax seed base and loaded with an intense and umami marinara sauce, marinated mushrooms and other veggies and topped with a tasty nut cheese.

Vegetable Sushi

Vegetable Sushi

I also loved, very much, the vegetable sushi. Raw sushi is awesome generally (who said you needed rice?), but this was pretty phenomenal. It was stuffed with creamy avocado, carrots, red bell peppers and lettuce, and drizzled with a live “sour cream” and a citrusy dressing.

Tropical Papaya Platter

Tropical Papaya Platter

The tropical papaya platter, which paired papaya with creamy guacamole, was also really, really good. Who knew that papaya and avocado could be a thing!

Rasayana Salad

Rasayana Salad

And the Rasayana salad with a lovely serving of fresh greens, sundried tomatoes and avocado was also great. I can say one thing for sure about Rasayana Retreat and that is that they know how to make salads incredibly appealing. Their creative and flavorful dressings combined with ultra fresh veggies were really, really yummy.

Thai Pasta

Thai Pasta

The one thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the Thai pasta, a dish made with coconut noodles, macadamia nuts, carrots, peppers and onions, with a spicy dressing that made with chili, garlic, ginger and tamarind. And I think that’s because I now know that although I love coconut, I just don’t like coconut noodles.

Now, the juices…

Green Juice

Green Juice

I treated myself numerous times to the green juice, made with kale, cucumber, celery and lime. It was awesome.

Electrolyte Surge

Electrolyte Surge

I’m not usually a big fan of celery, but the electrolyte surge, which combined celery and young Thai coconut water was out of this world. I loved every bit of it.

Cleansing Cocktail

Cleansing Cocktail

The cleansing cocktail, with ginger, beets, apple and carrot, was a sweet treat. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it on my own, but they brought it to me as part of a spa treatment, and I really loved it.

And finally, the desserts…

And here is where I probably noticed the biggest difference between Pattaya and Bangkok.

In Bangkok, I had the banoffee pie, with a walnut and date crust, layered with bananas in cashew cream and topped with a chocolate sauce.  Oh my god, that thing was divine.  The flavor! The creaminess! The bite-by-bite delight! Pure pleasure.  The other desserts there also looked creamy and heavenly and I wish I could have tried them all.

Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie

But in Pattaya, I felt like they needed a much, much, better blender. Things that should have been creamy and nice were a bit of a chunky mess. And it seems that everything was kept in the freezer, but I don’t think honestly, that they would have held together if they weren’t frozen. Of course, that didn’t stop me from eating every bite.

Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

The banana ice cream and strawberry pie were pretty yum, but like I said, chunky!

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie

I had high hopes for the carrot cake, but that was just weird. It was like I was eating frozen grated carrots with a few macadamia nuts, raisins & a bit of nutmeg mixed in. They need to go back to the drawing board on that one, sadly.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Now finally for the spa…

I had a Thai massage in Bangkok and I can honestly say that this was the best one I had ever had.  I’ve had plenty of Thai massages, some of them awesome, but sometimes I feel like I’m getting beaten up! This was firm, but gentle. The therapist focused in on the places that really needed work, like my shoulders and upper back. And when she was stretching my limbs, back and neck, she maneuvered my body expertly. The Thai massage at Rasayana is double what you’d pay elsewhere, even in the nicer spas with private rooms. But it truly was worth the splurge. 

Post Thai Massage Treat

Post Thai Massage Treat

In Pattaya on my last day in Thailand, I had a few hours before I had to head to the airport, and it was a couple of days after my birthday, so I decided to treat myself to a detox package. This package was focused on detoxing the skin and included a stint in an infrared sauna, full body exfoliation, a full body clay wrap, head massage, and lymphatic drainage massage, followed by lunch.  That was three hours or so of pure heaven and I would do it again in an instant.

So dear friends, I hope I have convinced you that Rasayana Retreat is a little bit of paradise. The spa treatments, juices and the food are just heavenly. Plan to spend a day there at least! And eat there whenever you can!

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