Eating our way around Thailand – Part 2

Published on 21 August 2023 at 01:18

Krabi province has a large variety of cuisine, and we did our best to try most of it! During the week we enjoyed more amazing food and would like to share a handful of the experiences with you.

A fun side story to begin. One evening we jumped into a tuk-tuk and asked the driver to take us to a night market that was a little out of the main town for dinner. Little did we know this was in fact the weekly night market for the locals. The stalls consist of second-hand clothing and many dishes that we had never heard of or seen before or since, and the language barrier made it hard to have this explained. One lady was making small pies, which she explained were "pizzas". There were several flavours to choose from but no signage. Tony eventually chose one that the lady said was Hawaiian. He took a bite, said it was OK but different, so I took a bite. It turns out that instead of ham, the protein was crab meat! Eek!  No seafood for me, remember.  After I had recovered from the shock but no other adverse reactions, we strolled through the market and tried a couple of items, but the surprise crustacean experience had put me off trying much more.

We swiftly ordered a Grab taxi to take us back to the Ao Nang Landmark night market which is set just over the road from the main beach and offers an array of stalls with freshly cooked dishes which are more in line with what we had experienced at other markets. Freshly boiled corn on the cobb with butter and salt, crispy pork belly with dipping sauces. Cold beer. Yum! A bonus was that this market has a good seating area. Once you have chosen your dishes you can sit and enjoy your meal under fairy lights with music playing in the background. This is more my style!

The Boat Coffee by The Nine Thiphthara Café & Restaurant

Located a few hundred meters down the road from Klong Muang Beach, this unique café is not to be missed. Taking its name from the two large boats that they have “beached” and converted into seating areas, the design offers various location sets for those fun photo opportunities and the must have 'gram pic. 

The location is beachfront and a perfect spot to enjoy a meal or a few drinks while you watch the sunset. The area is set with variety of seating options from beanbags to private romantic areas. During our first visit we had a table on the deck overlooking the beach. The atmosphere is quiet and peaceful with trees swaying in the gentle ocean breeze. A wonderful place to unwind and take it all in.

I watched as some of the meals came out the kitchen for other patrons and they all looked scrumptious. This is a great seafood restaurant but as you know I am a “no go” in the seafood area, so we tried several non-seafood Thai dishes, and all were divine. The meals are made-to-order with high quality ingredients, are fresh and tasty.

We enjoyed the spot so much that we did visit a second time later in the week and during that visit we sat in the main restaurant area where a fan kept us cool while we enjoyed our Chang beer. Of course, we came for food so could not help ourselves to another delicious meal.

I could not leave without taking a few gram shots for myself and of course a few cute couple of pics. What a lovely location to enjoy a few hours away from the crowds. If you are every in Krabi and looking for a scenic beachfront location which offers excellent food at a reasonable price this is the place for you.

Beats and Burgers

Who does not crave a good burger every now and then? Western food is quite pricey in Thailand and finding a scrumptious burger can be a challenge, especially for me “Miss Fussy” who is accustomed to premium Silver Fern Farm burgers. One sunny afternoon we were strolling down the main strip of Ao Nang when we stumbled across a small side street full of bars, and you know we are suckers for a good happy hour! We noticed Beats & Burgers which is tucked at the end of the road and could not resist having an ice-cold Chang beer on a scorching day.

Though the bar was quiet the staff were friendly and encouraged us to play a few games including pool, which of course I lost to Tony, Connect Four (a draw), and other fun wooden drinking games. The afternoon turned into early evening, and we decided to stay and try the burgers. Well, they were delicious! The beef patties were juicy and full of flavour, which was unexpected. The meal comes with fries, and they even had a few western condiments, which is rare. We had a great afternoon and evening and would highly recommend Beats & Burgers if you are in the area. To find this little gem look for the street food stalls (opposite Subway on road 4203), walk past the street food stalls, past several bars down the allay to the end and there you will find smiling waiters waiting to meet you!

Spaghetti House

Tony has previously mentioned that, whilst we do eat on a budget during slow travel, we do enjoy the odd fancy dinner out and this was the night! We have a love for Italian food and, after a few google reviews of top options in our area, decided to head to Spaghetti House earlier in the day to read the menu for later that evening. We met the owner, an Italian man named Luca who was more than happy to chin wag with Tony. After many years travelling for work, Luca decided to make Ao Nang his home. He spent a few years working in hospitality and tourism and saw the opportunity for authentic Italian cuisine to contrast the many other restaurants that try to have a bit of Italian food on offer on their menu and therefore sacrifice quality. It is not easy, as he must import his ingredients from Italy himself, including the Chef.

Later that evening we dollied ourselves up and headed out for tea. Luca welcomed us, and explained to us about the excessive wine taxes in Thailand that made it impossible to bring in wine that would be affordable. He did have a few South African options, for us to pair with our meals.  Of course, Italy is also known for its cocktails, and an Aperol Spritz cocktail was a lovely start to the evening. We enjoyed a couple of drinks before ordering our meals based on suggestions from Luca.

Tony had the four-cheese pasta, and I went with one of my favourite dishes, gnocchi bolognaise. Both our meals were incredible. Homemade pasta and homemade gnocchi, divine and full of flavour. Outstanding food accompanied by wines to pair with our dishes, what more can you ask for! We had a lovely evening out spoiling ourselves and enjoying the best authentic Italian food in Ao Nang.

Red Chilli Thai Cuisine

After climbing 1260 steps at the Tiger Cave Temple, I was hungry enough to eat a tiger (only joking, that would be too much food for me). After another quick google search, we decided to head slightly out of the main town area to a small, family-owned restaurant. You will find Red Chilli opposite Hula Hula Resort on Khlong Hang Road about a ten-minute drive away from where we were staying at The Lai Luxury Apartments.

What made this restaurant stand out was their service and mindfulness. We were greeted warmly and quickly seated under a cool fan. Next, they brought out frozen hand towels, an ice bucket to keep our large Chang beers chilled, and a quirky carved wooden dog bowl filled with peanuts that they had freshly roasted and salted. Who can say no to a mouthful of dog nuts?

All the furniture is hand carved by the owner and the restaurant is large and roomy. The menu is filled with delicious sounding Thai dishes. We decide to share and ordered the chicken satay, and to share a Thai sweet & sour chicken with rice. The satay sauce was so delicious we had to order a second serving. We ended our meal with a dish they have specially created at Red Chilli called Sapparod Chuam, which is a dessert of exotic grilled pineapple compote served with coconut relish, and coconut ice cream (we needed the sugar hit after our climb). A great lunch after a hectic morning.

Bombay Palace

So, we’ve covered market food, traditional Thai food done very well in fun locations, burgers, and Italian.  What’s left?  Oh yes, Indian food!  We noticed that in Ao Nang there is a much larger Indian influence than in other regions. We spoke to Luca about this, and he shared that after COVID, the Thai Government were looking at options to bring tourism back as quickly as possible.  They were looking to attract countries with a large population that had less restrictive border controls and the one that fit the bill was India.  This promotion saw an influx of Indian tour groups, and an increase in restaurants to cater for them, particularly along the strip in Ao Nang, where they have “promoters” in the street trying their best to entice you into their establishment.  We had politely declined many times, but on our last evening we decided to give some support to one close to our apartment. 

Well, the ten or so awards on their back wall from several years of recognition from users of Trip Advisor was a welcome surprise.  Seriously, they should have put that out the front rather than a promoter!  We had the waiter recommend their best dishes and, once he had explained how they were prepared, they arrived and were both outstanding.   Pictures so great that you can almost taste them…

So, that is the second edition of our favourite eating spots, this time around Krabi province. We will continue to capture any special places in other provinces as we continue our travels.

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Stephen Douglas
9 months ago

You two are certainly trying a lot more international restaurants that when we travelled. Good on you, and glad to hear that they are all of outstanding quality. Now, I’m keen to hear about ‘Thai-Delhi-Belly’ adventures in part three.

gordon douglas
9 months ago

WOW!! all the food looks & smells delicio, what a wonderful experience. Great blogs, thoroughly enjoyable reads,cheers

9 months ago

Wow, so much yummy food to choose from.

8 months ago