Just off the island at the beginning of Phang Nga Province, right by the Sarasin Bridge connecting Phuket to the mainland you’ll find a peaceful restaurant called Thanoon Seafood right on the beach. On the one side of the restaurant you have sea views and the other looks directly up to the newly constructed bridge. Don’t worry though; there is no traffic noise here, just the gentle slap of waves on the beach.
Thanoon, as you may already have guessed, serves fish, lobsters, crabs, and all manner of seafood and has a live tank from which you can choose your still-living meal. There are a couple of thatched-roof salas in which to eat or you can choose one of the several beachside tables; either way this is a tranquil and scenic spot and worth the drive up to the north of the island.
Several dishes are worth trying here: Phuket oysters, when compared to their French equivalent huîtres fines de Claire, are absolute monsters and a fraction of the cost of their Gallic cousins so do try a plate of these, along with with garlic and chili. Geng som (meaning ‘orange curry’) is historically speaking Thailand’s oldest chronicled curry and is a deceptively simple dish. It does have quite a spicy bite to it, though. Try a Thai salad, yam gung siap made with crispy smoked prawns along with a typical Thai dish tod man gung – prawn cakes – both as fresh as can be.
Of course you’re not going to be able to order a chilled bottle of five-year-old Valpolicella here but that’s not a disadvantage as many gastronomic experts claim that the best beverage to go along with spicy Thai food is an ice-cold beer, of which there is plenty at Thanoon. Try some ice in it for that extra-cool effect.
On the beach nearby the restaurant there is ample opportunity to enjoy water sports but be careful if you have little ones as the currents here can be pretty strong. It’s also a perfect place for an after-dinner stroll along the beach or even along the older Sarasin Bridge which is now a traffic-free zone and has vendors and hawkers along its length.
This is a special spot, good for a lazy afternoon and sunset dining on a fine day. It’s the perfect introduction to the unaffected and natural charm of Phang Nga Province – a whole new world when compared to sometimes busy Phuket.
Thanoon Seafood Restaurant
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 - 21:30
- Location: Just off Phuket island at the beginning of Phang Nga Province, right by the Sarasin Bridge
- Tel: +66 (0)76 452 052