A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.



The greatest

Posted date:  March 24, 2008
5 Comments


Bang Po Seafood, Ko Samui.

Throwing around superlatives can be a scary thing, but I think I’m justified in this case. I’ve been to many, many restaurants in Thailand, and have eaten some pretty amazing food, but Bangpo Seafood particularly stands out in my mind. I knew something was special about it after my first visit over a year ago, and wrote quite a few good things about it, but have always been keen to go back and see if the restaurant was really was as good as I thought.

Well, after two recent visits, my initial impression was right, and I think Bangpo Seafood just might be my favourite restaurant in Thailand.

This informal beachside restaurant located on the northern coast of Ko Samui serves the local dishes of the island. This means lots of seafood, including some unusual ingredients such as waay, a type of small octopus, sea urchin roe and flying fish. Coconuts, a major crop on Ko Samui, feature in several dishes, including khaao man, rice cooked in coconut milk with a pinch of salt and dried green beans. This is the house carb, and apparently was how people on Ko Samui used to prepare their rice. And as with southern Thai food in general, veggies also play a large role, especially in khoei jii:

An appetizer of grilled shrimp paste, Bang Po Seafood, Ko Samui.

Shrimp paste pounded up with coconut meat, shallots, chilies and crab, smeared on the inside of a coconut shell then grilled over coals and served with local herbs such as young cashew tree leaves. This dish is given to everybody who walks in the door, and is far from being a throwaway appetizer. I’d be more than happy with a few of these and the previously mentioned coconut rice.

The first dish I ordered was plaa hoop ping:

Grilled flying fish, Bang Po Seafood, Ko Samui.

Flying fish (plaa nok en) that is splayed, coated with a coconut milk/plack pepper/turmeric mixture, then grilled. The result is smokey, salty, oily–everything you’d want in a fish dish.

Yam saaraay:

Seaweed salad at Bang Po Seafood, Ko Samui.

A Thai-style ‘salad’ of a local variety of seaweed, which included sour mango and cockles, and oddly, peanuts.

The owner didn’t exactly have to twist my arm to convince me to try two of Surat Thani’s famous oysters:

Raw oysters at Bang Po Seafood, Ko Samui.

Served Thai style with accompaniments of naam phrik phao (a sweet/spicy chili sauce), lime, deep-fried crispy garlic and shallots, seafood dipping sauce and pungent krathin leaves. Despite how impressive they look, I found this the least interesting dish I ate at Bangpo Seafood. The oysters were simply too big, too tough, and had little flavour.

There was also plaa insee phat chaa:

Mackerel stir-fried with fresh herbs, Bang Po Seafood, Ko Samui.

Mackerel stir-fried with fresh herbs. Very oily, as you can see, but the mixture of green peppercorns, krachai (Chinese key–a ginger-like root), garlic, Kaffir lime leaves and fresh fish was outstanding.

And these are just the dishes I ordered. While I was wondering how I could possibly consume all this, the owner’s wife brought out a couple more dishes for me to try, including tom som waay:

A sour soup of octopus and young tamarid leaves, Bang Po Seafood, Ko Samui.

a soup of a kind of small octopus made sour by the addition of tender young tamarind leaves, as well as several tiny deep-fried fish that one eats in one go, head and all.

And you know what? Other than the oysters, it was all outstanding.

So if this isn’t enough to convince you to hop on the next plane, I don’t know what else I need to do. However, a brief word of warning: apparently in the same area there are a couple identically named restaurants serving inferior food. If you aim to go to this one, be sure to make certain that you’re at Ta Khoe’s (the owner, pictured at the top of the post) restaurant.

The entire photoset can be seen here.

Bangpo Seafood (Ta Khoe)
6/4 Moo 6, Mae Nam
Ko Samui
077 420 010
lunch & dinner

 

 

 

 


5 Comments for The greatest


Aie Aie Aie my dream !

Sort of sounds like a mixed review 🙂

If you visit bangkok Thailand, don’t miss to have a meal at Fasai restaurant. Unique taste and clean. It is Thai + Chinese style. Reasonable price.

Austin, Bang Po Seafood was everything you suggested; the greatest! I ate here six times (twice the first day) in a week and it was awesome. By the way, the setting and laidback style are as fantastic as the food. My favorite was the yam saaraay, but really it was all great. Japanese tourists who like their “uni” should get down here for the Yam hoy men, sea urchin roe salad, Wow. I’ll be going back here somehow, sometime soon, thanks !

Dear Austin,
First of all, thank you very much for making us discover this wonderful restaurant! We are well seasoned Thailand-travellers but this was really one of the best as far as the food itself (with a couple of nîce southern thai cuisine discoveries), the ambiance and price/quality!
We were there during march/april 2013 and sadly I must inform you that the owner and his wife were selling the restaurant about one week after our departure, so sadly Bang Po Seafood s no more! Maybe it will continue to exist but I think that without the current owners and staff the place will hardly be the same!
Thanks nevertheless and if you have a couple of nice tips in BKK in the style of mom&pop traditional eateries, we would be very grateful!
many thanks again and best regards
Ion Barra & Julie Chamay
Switzerland



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