Lunch in the fishing village of Bang Phat, Phang Nga.
Here I am with my buddy Olivier in a nice Coffee Shop in Phang Nga City called Er-gu Cafe. It’s 11 AM and we expect our stomachs to start begging for food in an hour or so. The congee we had for breakfast is long gone. We fire up our phones with hopes to find an interesting restaurant in the surroundings! Olivier on google map and me on the Wongnai app, we spot a few seafood restaurants in a village that seem to be right in the mangroves.
This is a 20km (or so) ride from our location, perfect. We are now on our scooters heading to these spots on the map. Nope, we are not. Olivier’s scooter refuse to start. After messing on the bike for 15 minutes with the help of locals we can finally start the engine and go. This is what happens when a friend lends you a scooter with a dead battery.
After getting out of town, we start to penetrate into the mangroves. Nice curvy roads in the jungle with a few spots having the water coming up to the side of the road. This is the mangrove! With little disappointment, the road ends at a big parking lot. Nonetheless, the view is great.
A small bridge leads to another shore of this mangrovy-esque peninsula. On the other side is a fishing village called Bang Phat (บ้านบางพัฒน์). A real fishing village with people working actively on their fishnets, presumably getting ready for their next fishing session. The village sits literally over the mangrove, meaning that all is elevated and done in a very “Sabai Sabai” way, meaning not much in a safe way.
Three or four restaurants are found on this little 200m elevated stretch revealing this village as a popular tourist attraction, at least for Thais (this would explain that big parking lot). The last restaurant near the end of the “road” was the most popular, while the others were simply empty. I’m always ready to go to the popular or best-rated restaurants, but in this case, it simply seemed not fair for the other restaurants.
Hence, we opted for an empty one called Krua Macha Seafood (ครัวมะฉ๊ะซีฟู้ด). This way we would, at least, get served quickly! Once seated we dug into the menu and listened to the recommendations of the waitress. As we were two, we went for three dishes; a big crab fried rice, fried shrimps in tamarind sauce and a catfish pepper curry. The food came quickly, as well as other customers in the restaurant. Restaurant offering a great sea view by the way.
The fried rice was huge, as intended. Small pieces of crab, plenty of them, fair deal.
The shrimps in tamarind sauce (กุ้งผัดมะขาม) were not photogenic but delicious. A handful of medium sized shrimps fried in garlic and tamarind sauce. Simple and good!
Last but not the least was the most interesting of the three dishes! The catfish pepper curry (ปลาดุกแกงพริกไทย) is a strongly peppered curry. Thai curries usually get their spiciness from chilis but this one is from peppercorn giving a totally different kick! It was so spicy that we focused on the pieces of fish and didn’t care much about the fiery soup.
Along with the drinks, the cost was around 600 baht if my memory is right. And by the time we left, a handful of tables were feasting delicious seafood in the restaurant!
And it was time for me and Olivier to ride back to Phuket and continue our adventures.
Points of Interest :
- Krua Macha Seafood (ครัวมะฉ๊ะซีฟู้ด) :Approximate location. There is a walking bridge leading to this shore.
- Er-gu Cafe (เออกู คาเฟ่) : Good spot for a coffee or a meal. Nice view of the town. https://www.facebook.com/ergucafe1/