Laem Singh Beach features seven restaurants in high season and three in the low season but Da Ali is the capo di tutti capi of these beachside affairs.
You can tell from the name that there is a strong Italian influence on this beach and indeed several beach workers speak the language, as well as pretty good English.
Before going to visit Da Ali you will have to ask yourself if you can handle a mini workout as to get down to the beach from the Kamala-to-Surin road you will be faced with a steep descent and a heart-pounding, muscle-straining climb up afterwards.
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Where Is It?
Laem Singh Beach is situated in between Kamala and Surin beaches. It has two car parks – both of which charge 40 baht for cars and 20 baht for bikes.
Assuming that you made it down to the beach, Da Ali is impossible to miss in its central location as its logo, ‘Ristorante Da Ali’ is painted on a surfboard hanging on a sign outside.
Basic beach restaurant stuff: Thatched palm roof, wooden pillars and roof supports, open sides, plastic chairs and tables, pennants pinned to the rafters from Brasil, Italy and France – there’s even a sky blue Manchester City Football Club pennant, leading one to wonder if ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has bought a stake in Ali’s.
The tables and chairs are height-adaptable (just push hard and they lower into the sand) and there are royal yellow tablecloths. The ventilation is excellent at Da Ali; from November to May it blows in from the west, from June to October it wafts through from the east.
Laid back and relaxed – the typical beach restaurant. Surprisingly, some people actually don a T-shirt to eat lunch here, although it is by no means obligatory. Laem Singh is a lovely beach so the views are splendid and the perfect accompaniment to a fresh seafood lunch.
Da Ali looks like one of those ubiquitous reggae bars eternally blasting out Bob Marley but Ali himself is intelligent and speaks excellent English – there wasn’t an afro or a dreadlocked and spaced-out Rasta man within miles. To call it beachside chic would be pushing it a little but Da Ali is certainly a cut above the typical Phuket beach restaurant.
Ali is Muslim so there is no alcohol served in his restaurant. Non-alcoholic drinks featured here are Coke/Sprite 30 baht, lemon juice 20 baht, coconut with pineapple juice 50 baht and a hearty mixed fruit shake for 60 baht.
As Da Ali is only open in the daytime and drinking alcohol during the day in the tropics not advisable, this makes for a healthier lunch and safer after-lunch swimming.
Quoting ad verbatim from the menu, there are exotic-sounding dishes such as chinken soup, boiked egg, sheese omelet at Da Ali. But seriously folks, we ordered sweet and sour fish (50 baht 100g) and a cheese and chicken three-layer club sandwich. The fish came whole, in a veritable sea of sauce with vegetables and fruit and was surprisingly good.
The club sandwich was a hearty, satisfying affair and an after-lunch coffee more than welcome. Of course you can order a wide range of seafood here, including tom yam gung, barbecued lobster or tiger prawns, steamed prawns in hotpot and barbecued fish so Da Ali has a lot of bases covered. Take your time; let the afternoon slip away at one of Phuket’s most exotic seafood locations.
Ali himself is an excellent host while his staff is überfriendly but a little forgetful so you’ll have to make full use of the picture menu to make sure of your order.
You’re guaranteed a cheery welcome and a heartfelt goodbye at Da Ali. It’s that sort of a place.
Ristorante Da Ali
- Location: Laem Singh Beach, on the road between Kamala and Surin beaches