Laem Hin Seafood - still a favourite restaurant
While I do intend to add more restaurants on this blog as time goes by, everyone has their favourite places to eat, places where you feel comfortable, relaxed and you KNOW the food is going to be good. Some days you feel like experimenting, other days you want to head out for lunch safe in the knowledge that you'll enjoy your meal. One day in May 2010, on one of my final days of holiday, with the kids already back at school, my wife and I had a chance for a nice lunch together, just the 2 of us. It was a hot, humid day, typical for the time of year. My wife fancied somewhere with aircon, like Fuji Japanese restaurant in the Central Festival mall (we did eat there this week!), but I realised I'd not been to Laem Hin Seafood for ages, and wanted to taste some real Thai food. Laem Hin was the first restaurant I wrote about on this blog back in April 2006 - see here.
Although it was a hot day, there were plenty of dark clouds around, which you can see in the photos below. In the hot season (March - May) you can get thunderstorms any time of day. This year the real low season weather is very late coming (see more on the Phuket Weather blog). The restaurant was not too hot - most of the seating is shaded, though they do have tables out on the old jetty which would be nice for a romantic evening meal.
Getting there: It's a few km north of Phuket Town (if coming from Phuket Town direction on the main airport road, you need to go past the turning and do a U turn. If coming from Patong direction, head to Tescos, turn left on the bypass road and right at the end of that road where it meets the airport road. Sign at the turn off - picture below, then you drive a few km through a Muslim village before getting to Laem Hin at the end of the road. Location map at the foot of the page. The image on Google Maps is updated since 2006, shows clearly the new jetty that does kind of spoil the view from the restaurant.
We turned up very early for lunch.. about 11:30am, we were the first customers - more people arrived later. It's a popular place for locals, and certainly getting better known by tourists, has recommendations on other websites, it's not just me! Laem Hin Seafood has a long menu, there are tanks with fresh seafood next to the kitchen, or you can get simple rice and noodle dishes. My favourites are the salads. Thai salads are not just some veg and dressing. Oh no. There's lots of flavour, often rather a lot of chilies, various flavourful things like lemongrass. Laem Hin has a huge list of salads. I felt like ordering about half a dozen. Made do with my favourite Yam Gung Seab (made with dried, smoked shrimps) and Yam Tua Pu (wing bean salad with coconut milk, tamarind, shrimp.. oh, stop it's making me hungry!). Photos below.
My wife had a spicy soup (called Tom Pret), half of which was taken home in a doggy bag :) Waste not, want not! Oh, and we had rice of course.
Not disappointed. Never have been at Laem Hin Seafood. I took a little walk around after eating. When we first came in 2006, the old wooden jetty was used by longtails heading to Koh Maphrao and Koh Rang Yai, small islands just offshore from Phuket. Now there is a new concrete jetty. I liked the old wooden planks on the remains of the old jetty...
Close to the restaurant there are some stilted houses. Laem Hin is really a small fishing village, but the land between the main road and the restaurant has attracted developers in recent years, though quite a bit of the land is wetland - there are also some shrimp farms along the way. The houses near the restaurant retain the traditional feeling. I walked a little way taking photos while my dear wife drove ahead and waited patiently.
I can taste those salads now... prices are very reasonable too. I was glad to find that Laem Hin Seafood is still good. I should mention that just over the water towards Koh Maphrao, there are several floating restaurants. We ate only one time over there and mean to do it again so I can blog the experience! We'll also be back at Laem Hin. Phuket has a fair number of local restaurants around the coast that are all but ignored by 99% of tourists. Yes, if you have a hotel in Karon or Kata, it's a fair drive to Laem Hin, over 20km... which is why I do recommend having your own transport in Phuket.. that's another story, but Phuket is a big place, and if you sit on the beach you are seeing just a tiny part of what makes the island, and on the main beaches you see practically nothing of the "real" Phuket which is what this blog tries to show.
Close to Laem Hin is Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island) and there are several floating restaurants off the coast, just a few minutes ride in a longtail boat from Laem Hin. We've eaten here a few times too.
• Kruwit Floating Restaurant
• Bang Mud Floating Restaurant
Added November 2011. A few "food porn" photos from Laem Hin Seafood taken on recent visits. The food never disappoints me here!
(above) Yam Ta Krai - salad made with lemongrass, smoked prawns, chili, cashew nuts, peanuts. Delicious!
Fried breaded prawns are always a good side dish. Laem Hin does good Hor Mok (local style fish curry wrapped in banana leaves) too .. no photo here, but do order some!
(above) Tom Praet Talay, a spicy seafood soup. Very typical southern Thai style.
Laem Hin Seafood - Location Map - Contact Information
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