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Monday 9 May 2022

A real taste of Thailand

There is a lot more to Thai cuisine than pad thai and green chicken curry. 

Not that you’d know it if you tend to eat in and around your typical Thai resort. 

Venture a little further afield, however, and the world is your oyster - particularly if you have a little gourmet curiosity. 

The lovely new Avani + Kao Lak resort sent me off on a voyage of discovery that included lunch at Nai Mueang Restaurant - an off-the-beaten track gem that has a Michelin Guide big gourmand rating

“Experience the taste of Southern-Thai Chinese influenced cuisine prepared in a local restaurant with garden-grown produce” was the promise: and Nai Mueang delivered. 

Michelin says: “Old tin-mining memorabilia, record players, sewing machines and other nostalgic bric-a-brac add a certain retro charm to this shop. The menu features authentic southern Thai dishes, like pork leg soup with gowa leaves, crab curry with rice noodles and stir-fried shrimps with stink bean and shrimp paste. Seafood is the sure bet, guaranteed to be fresh, vibrant and big on flavour. The cookery classes are held four days a week.”

Open for lunch and dinner daily except on Wednesays, the prices are disarmingly authentic with dishes ranging from THB 69 - THB 300. That’s around $2.85 to $12ish. 

You can watch the food come out of the open kitchen and if you are a tourist you may well be the only farang in the place.

In a seafoody mood, I passed on lotus root in coconut and even the musical-sounding fish organ soup. 

I opted for the salted fish with sour sauce; crunchy and very tasty. 

Good quality. Good value. Great find Avani +.

Incidentally The Beach resurant at Avani + Khao Lak also features some authentic regional dishes, including crab curry with blue noodles and a sticky and sweet pork belly stew.

Nai Mueang Restaurant33/4 Khuekkhak, (33/4 Moo 6), Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82220, Thailand  

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