Feeling hungry while on the road? Looking for a bite that wont bite you back? Well we have combined the good places that will guarantee a "happy ending" - a full belly that is.
In this blog I would like to introduce three must-visit restaurants and their must-try dishes with the general price range and spice-meter - those who cant eat spicy please prepare a glass of cola before you continue reading :D
1. Krua Kannikar Fried Chicken (behind Hua-hin train station)
This restaurant is probably the only one accessible by public transport on this list with a 10-15 minutes walk from the Hua-hin station. Everything in Krua Kannikar is all about chicken as they make the crispiest fried chicken you can imagine. The menu is easy as they only have chicken dishes. Frankly speaking, that is all you need really! There are two must order types of fried chicken.
First one is the southern fried chicken or "Kai Tord Hat Yai" .
Who doesnt like a piece of fried chicken. This menu is for everyone, you can eat this straight or with Thai style tamarind chili sauce "Nam Jim Jaew". This may look like a normal piece of chicken but it is so crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside. Have this with sticky rice "Kao Niao" by dipping the chicken in the sauce and chase it with a bite of the soft chewy rice.
Second dish is "Gai Yud Sai" or minced fried chicken
This menu is pure gold. It is gourmet version chicken nuggets stuffed with hearty goodness full of different textures. The flour crust is both crispy and soft almost like it was half fried and half baked. Under that crust is the minced chicken reconstructed together back on the drumstick. The minced meat is very well seasoned and in the mix are vermicelli noodles to give that extra chewy texture. Dip this in plum sauce and you have one of the most satisfying bite. You can also have this with sticky rice.
While this is the two dishes I truly recommend there are "Kanon Jeen" or soft rice noodles with green curry which will complete this meal. Krua Kannikar is still very unknown for tourists and I rarely see a non-Thai at the restaurant. The place is usually busy so plan your visit carefully!
2. Baan Itsara Restaurant (Hua-hin Naebkehad Road)
There is plenty of great restaurants in Hua-hin but for me this place tops them all for me with that extra flavor which makes it a top spot. Baan Itsara is probably now a must-go place for many tourists and locals and you can find good reviews about this place everywhere as it is not too far off the radar. The restaurants sits next to a quiet beach with fantastic atmosphere which compliments the delicious and fresh seafood. The place is suitable for both lunch or dinner. Depending on your budget the place can serve all kind of seafood but my must order dish is the "Talay Pad Holapa" or Seafood in holy basil puree.
Depending on your choice of seafood in this sauce, this my some in clams, prawns, mussels or even squid. The sauce itself is amazing when mix with in steamed rice. It is garlic + basil with punching and kicking flavors that compliments the fresh seafood that swims in it. Almost like the Italian pesto sauce has a muscular and stronger older brother this sauce on its own is the reason travellers visit this place.
The grilled mackerel "Pla Too Phao"
There is many seafood to pick from but this is a rather local dish as foreigners tend not to enjoy a whole fish. However this fish is one of the most common fish in Thai cuisine as it is easily available and can be adapted into many different varieties. "Pla-Too" or Thai mackerel has a natural silky meat with a slight smokey smell. The dish here is simple but it represents Thailand and the most common fish we eat and hence a must-try.
Other noteworthy mentions at Baan Itsara but also popular everywhere else is grilled Thai river prawns "Goong Mae Nam Phao" and Curry Crab "Poo Pad Pong Karee". These are also excellent; fresh and tasty.
3. Ran Daeng or Red Seafood Restaurant (Mae Krong)
"Daeng", or as translated directly into the word "Red", is the best seafood place in terms of enjoying fresh produce. Started from a 5-table restaurant, now Daeng is probably one of the biggest names in Thai seafood restaurants with over 200 seats. Located about 1.5 hr from Hua-hin on the way back to Bangkok, the restaurant has always been my usual cure for seafood cravings. It tick all the boxes in terms of a seafood meal; big size and extremely fresh. The price is a little above average but dishes are absolutely huge and that surely compensate on the dollar value.
Boiled Jumbo Mud Crab "Poo Ta Lay Nung"
Comes in a choice of either the egg crab or meat crab, this dish is a must try.
The jumbo sea crabs here are naturally sweet and Daeng restaurant had found the right balance to bring out its wonderful natural flavors. The freshness of the seafood offered here together with the lime + garlic + chili sauce can never go old. It is no surprise that this restaurant has become so successful over the years.
Second dish at Daeng, Prawn fried rice "Kao Pad Goong"
Usually I am not a big fan of fried rice as they are known to be the more routine dish that you feel obligated to order at a seafood restaurant and mostly liked by less adventurous diners.
Even so, the highlight dish at Daeng Seafood for me has to be the this particular fried rice. Apart from the enormous sized prawns, the fried rice here is so packed with flavors. Each rice is coated with the buttery juices from the river prawn's fat making the rice flavorful and golden in colour. This mixed with eggs and citrus edge from the tomatoes made it all a very special dish.
Hands down one of the best fried rice I have ever tasted.
And that sums up my top 3 restaurants to visit if you are on the way to Hua-hin.
To be clear, there is no advertisement in this post and that these restaurants are judged upon my personal experience of travelling back and fourth between Bangkok and Hua-hin. These restaurants are most conveniently visited by a car or you may find day taxis to take you around from the hotel/airport.
Stay tuned for more blogs as footgolfer89 continue to share his experiences in Thailand.
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