Our company was having our company outing in Hua-Hin. That meant that our gang wanted to have a yummy seafood lunch before reaching the hotel. I am novice when it comes to knowing where & what are the best seafood restaurants in the area since there are so many seafood restaurants on the way to Hua-Hin. Therefore; I left the decision to the experts....my friends.
The experts took me to Pha Heat Seafood restaurant at the Chaam Wharf. The most basic restaurant in terms of structure & decor (it was great). The restaurant was built stilts over the water...we could see the water underneath from the wooden plank floors, wood beams holding the roof and no walls. The most basic wooden tables covered with plastic table covers and plastic chairs.
The view from out table.
The open kitchen where the famous chefs did their magic with the seafood.
The first dish was Fresh oysters with condiments (chillies, lime, deep fried onions & chili paste).
The oysters were shelled and placed in ice to keep fresh. This is not one of my favourite dishes. I think the oysters from warm waters are not as good as from the cold waters. On top of this; the oysters have no taste and that is the reason for all the condiments...to add flavour. Though I did not enjoy this dish...my friends ate the whole thing.
The next dish was Papaya salad. Who does not enjoy a som-tum, especially when its hot. This was a refreshing dish and it was so tasty due to the fresh green papaya mixed with tomatoes, peanuts, dried shrimps, chillies, lemon/ lime, cane sugar and fish sauce. So so good.
The next dish was Scallops in shrimp paste sauce. The scallops were small and plump. The thick sauce was salty, sweet & spicy. A unique dish with very nice balance of flavours.
The next dish was Crab fried rice. The fried rice was nice because it was not oily (a very good thing) and tons of crab meat. I actually hate fried rice...because crab fried rice is so darn good that I cannot control myself and practically can eat a kilo of the stuff. Fried rice is bad bad bad.
The next dish was Blood clams. This is not my favourite clams on earth. I am not a fan of the taste of this shell fish. But...the spicy sauce that accompanied the clams was so good that I actually ate several of these monsters.
The next dish was Tom yum seafood. The seafood was abundant and fresh (very nice textures) and the tom yum was well balanced with sour, sweet & spicy. Such an amazing soup.
The next dish was Deep fried fish in fish sauce. I think I can eat this fried fish everyday for the rest of my life. Who on earth created deep fried fish with fish sauce...who ever you are....you are my hero! The fish was fried to a rich golden brown and was very crispy on the outside while the inside was hot, soft and tender. This dish was soooooo yummy.
The next dish was Fresh steamed sweet crab. Basic steamed crab has got to be one of the best dishes ever...but of course one of the messiest to eat. That was the fun part of eating crab. This crab was small but it had a lovely colour and such a sweet taste to it. Amazing.
The next dish was Steamed prawns with glass noodles. Another favourite dish of mine...the steamed prawns with glass noodles in a tin pot had an amazing flavour of ginger & pork fat. The prawns were huge, plump and juicy, the glass noodles cooked perfectly had soaked up all the juices. Boy oh boy was this good.
The next dish was Sweet, sour & spicy squid. The squid was so fresh that it was barely chewy. The sauce was thick and full of flavour.
The fresh seafood to choose from.
Overall; all the seafood was very fresh and of good quality. The cooking of the seafood was perfect and all the dishes tasted delicious. The amazing thing was the price...it cost absolutely nothing. There was 10 of us and if I remember correctly the bill came to 400 baht for each person. By the way, some of the dishes were twice ordered, we ordered 10 crabs and we had water & coke on top of it. So, it was really cheap. Great food, great ambiance and great price. Can't ask for anything else.
(Sorry..the address & contact number Pha Heat is coming soon)