Lair Lay Tong Restaurant - Phuket

Patong Beach Restaurants & Dining

Lair Lay Tong Restaurant is now permanently closed.

Patong has almost boundless shopping opportunities, water sports by the cartful and an energetic nightlife. But the town also offers some charming subtleties as well if you go looking for them.

Patong's side streets are a world of their own and teem with interesting little bars, cafes and restaurants. Soi Dr. Wattana, off Beach Road, is a good example of Patong's diversity and right at the end of this cul de sac is a busy restaurant called Lair Lay Tong (pronounce 'lay-lee-tong).

This translates roughly from the southern Thai as "Looking at Patong Beach". Lair Lay Tong doesn't actually have a sea view but owner Khun Lek used to run a similarly named restaurant right on the present-day site of Loma Park on the beachfront. The "new" Lair Lay Tong has been on Soi Dr. Wattana for 10 years now and is popular with many return visitors.

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Food

Scrutinizing the menu, it becomes clear that there's a lot on offer here; not only a strong medley of seafood dishes, traditional Thai food and international desserts, but family favourites such as sandwiches, spare ribs and fish steaks.

We sample some goong sarong - deep fried shrimp wrapped in vermicelli while spring rolls are brought to the table and along with fried morning glory with garlic we're off to a flying start.

We launch into a pla tod gratiam - deep-fried monkfish in garlic and pepper. Many Thais like to eat their fish served hard-fried as opposed to steamed and this results in an interesting food texture. The fish is served with steamed rice and sculptured vegetables and is delicious as well as an impressive sight.

Wine

Not a huge selection but there is an excellent house wine - a Veneto Merlot - at a very affordable price a glass.

Décor & Atmosphere

A stone's throw away along the Beach Road, it's all happening: Thai boxers are noisily demonstrating their art on the sidewalk, Indian tailors are trying out new ways to stop passers by, tuk tuks beep and hustle by, yet here in Lair Lay Tong all is calm. Next door a gaggle of Thai masseuses serenade us with a folk song and it's hard not to feel good about life.

The restaurant's décor is simple but effective; marigold walls and ceiling, Chinese vases on wall shelves and an abundance of fans keeping the clientele cool. The staff, all wearing royal yellow shirts, is cheerful and efficient and the atmosphere friendly and cosmopolitan. 

The old folklore about dining out in a place you don't know is: "Go where the crowds are - the food must be good there." This presents a problem in Patong, however, as almost everywhere is crowded.

Lair Lay Tong is recommendable precisely because it is not too crowded and the quality of food there is high. Sure it's busy, but we never got the impression that the staff had forgotten about us because they were too preoccupied serving as many tables as possible.

Lair Lay Tong

  • Location: At the end of Soi Dr. Wattana off the Beach Road, Patong.
  • Tel: 076-341140
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