Diamond in the rough authentic Thai eatery on the south coastal area of Koh Pha Ngan
This is one of my most cherished food experiences in Thailand. Bearing in mind Gaggan in Bangkok was one of the worst dining evenings of my life (mainly on the treatment) and cost approx £270, this was the absolute antithesis. I asked locals on the island of Koh Pha Ngan where I could find the best Pad Thai and I was pointed to this small drop in hut by more than one person. It is run by three sisters, beaming with smiles and serving frankly the best Pad Thai I have genuinely had in my life and for approx £1.52. The seafood version was so good that I had to order the pork version to check this was not a fluke and it was just as superb (although go for the seafood as the most authentic with huge prawns). There were also platters of mixed, local ingredients served raw to be cooked in a traditional tao pot (hot charcoal stove) with clay pot on top of simmering broth at the table for things such as Tom Tum soup or thick soup which two locals in the restaurant told me is not done better anywhere else on the island.
The Pad Thai I had here was not the sort you find in Sainsbury’s or elsewhere in the UK/West, using the wrong ingredients (carrots used instead of papaya/baby corn used instead of green beans etc) and at the centre of all Thai cooking is the chilli paste itself which is not as sweet in Thailand, using more fish sauce and chilli flakes as it is in Western countries (catering to the Western palate). In virtually all Thai restaurants you will see pots on each table of sugar, more oyster sauce and nuts to cater for different tastes accordingly anyway.
At the end of this meal I asked the three sisters what the secret ingredient was in their Pad Thai sauce and the answer was, “love”. A faultless answer and worthy of being withheld as it was that good. If you are anywhere on Koh Pha Ngan, jump on the scooter and head to this place for a bite to eat – it has a significant amount of return for your trouble and wallet.
My thanks to Ajira The Critic in digitally tracking down this restaurant for its details.
Food Grade: 75%
Location (Click google logo for directions)