26 April 2015

Hua Hin July 2014 Part IV - Chao Lay Seafood, Koti Restaurant, Sangthai Seafood, Meekaruna Seafood

Continued from:
Part I - a bit about the journey from Bangkok to Hua Hin, Chatchai market (day time), Hua Hin Night Market, Asia Herb Association (for spa experience).
Part II - Amari Hotel Hua Hin
Part III - Santorini Park at Cha-Am

Food has always been a huge part of our travel whenever we go to Thailand, coz both of us love Thai food very much! Needless to say, I made some research about where to eat in Hua Hin prior to the trip.

Chao Lay Seafood

Chao Lay Seafood seems to be a popular choice among visitors, coming out tops in my internet search.

The restaurant is located at the coastal area, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. In fact, the whole stretch of the coastal area near the jetty is all seafood restaurants!

Our must-order dish - Tom Yum Seafood. The broth was spicy, sour with a sweet undertone, and the seafood used was very fresh. Thumbs up!

When we saw this dish "Deep Fried Fish with Special Sauce" on the menu, we knew we had to order this, hoping that we could hit the jackpot and find something that's similar to our utmost favourite dish in Koh Samui (Deep-fried fish in Tamarind Sauce).

This was somewhat unexpected. The fish was covered in shallots, spring onion, ginger and celery, and drizzled with some sauce. But the moment we tasted it, we loved it! The sauce was tangy and very appetising, it could possibly be tamarind sauce. The condiments complimented the dish very well and I found myself chomping on the shallots and spring onions as well.

The fish was also thoughtfully cut such that each piece of meat could be lifted easily. Thumbs up once again! Although it still couldn't take over our Koh Samui dish, it's a close contender.

Loved this Stir-fry Bittergourd Veg, very crunchy yet tender.

The restaurant certainly lived up to its popular expectations, we would probably return if we wanted to eat the fish again.

Koti Restaurant

This is another popular restaurant, nested in the middle of Hua Hin town, near to the Night Market location.

At first glance, it looked just like a typical coffee shop of the olden days, something that's similar to what we can find in Singapore and Malaysia.

Apparently this is an old-time favourite eating place among the locals, opened for more than 50 years already, evident from the numerous displays of vintage items all over the shop.

Hubby ordered the Milk Tea which was so thick and creamy! A tad too heavy and sweet for me though. Love the retro glasses served with the water.

Braised king prawn with glass noodle. The prawns were very crunchy and juicy, and the glass noodles tasted so good having soaked up all the broth. Just a tad too salty, but otherwise delicious!

Oyster omelet which was a highly recommended dish. The oysters were tiny but so juicy and sweet. Very nicely fried, we loved it!

Stir-fried napa cabbage. Very crunchy and sweet. Thumbs up!

Tried another Seafood Otah dish which was also recommended. The otah tasted very nice, but the basil included was a little too strong for our liking.

Wouldn't say that we liked the restaurant very much, probably didn't order the correct dishes. Well, it's KIV for now.

Sangthai Seafood

Sangthai Seafood seemed to be one of the most popular restaurant among the locals, as we could see from the throngs of vehicles arriving and parked near the restaurant.

Indeed the whole place was packed to the brim. Wanted to sit near the coast as I saw some empty tables, but they were all reserved.

Most of the diners were locals or Thais from other parts of the country.

The restaurant is located next to the jetty.

Although the restaurant was crowded, the food arrived pretty fast.

Stir-fry Venus Clams (lala) with sambal and basil. Wow! The clams were fresh and nicely cooked and overall flavour superb, the strong flavour of basil didn't overwhelm the dish but complimented the sambal very well.

Hubby wanted steamed flower crab. Very fresh, juicy and sweet. Not cheap though.

We saw many diners ordering this Deep Fried Fish in Salt and ordered it as well. Wow, it was very well-done, crispy on the outside and juicy and tender inside. If it came with a sauce like tamarind, it could very well rival the Koh Samui one!

We quite liked this restaurant, the clams and fish won our hearts. But because it was so crowded the day we went, service was not up-to-par. Especially the car park marshal who was rather unfriendly. We wanted to take a walk to the jetty after the meal but he "chased" us to drive away because only diners were allowed to park there. Tried to explain that we had dined there already and just wanted a short walk but he was unfriendly saying that the car park was full and there were cars coming in :(

Meekaruna Seafood

Ok, I admit I wanted to come to this restaurant which is located near Sangthai coz I saw the interior decor of the restaurant and fell in love with it :p

The entire place was very nicely furnished with lots of chirpy and colourful clay figurines.

This place reminds me of Krua Chao Bay Restaurant at Koh Samui (the place that served our favourite fish), so I was hoping that the food could live up to our expectations as well.

My favourite dish, Thai Prawn Cake (Tod Mun Goong). Unfortunately, it wasn't very fresh and didn't taste good.

Stir-fry Kang Kong was satisfactory.

Ordered the similar Fried Fish that we had at Sangthai. Alas, the fish meat was kind of rubbery. We suspected that the oil used was not hot enough, resulting in the fish being over-fried and thus affected the texture.

Hubby also ordered some cockles which weren't very fresh as well.

Kind of disappointed with the quality of the food here. Not sure if it was one-off or we were unlucky coz there were some good reviews about the restaurant, but given that there are so many other restaurants in Hua Hin, we probably wouldn't return again.

Next time if we return to Hua Hin, we would want to try the seafood stalls located at the Night Market, as they seem quite fresh when we were shopping there. Next time!

End of Part IV.

Stay tune for Park V on Cicada Weekend Art Market - my most anticipated place of the trip!

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