Bang Pae Seafood Restaurant
This blog started just over 5 years ago (belated Happy Birthday to me) and one of the first restaurants that was blogged was Bang Pae Seafood. We are always hunting for good local food in interesting locations. I am not into haute cuisine and prefer to keep away from the main tourist beaches. I know this blog should maybe cover some more restaurants that are within walking distance of hotels in Patong or Kata, but fact is, we live near Phuket Town and I prefer real local food rather than made-for-tourists restaurants with prices to match. Phuket is so much more than the standard tourist experience, though it took me years to find out! Bang Pae Seafood has remained a favourite of mine, and a couple of weeks ago I realised that we'd not been for ages. I last went about 6 months ago with the kids, and my wife didn't come then as she was busy. We headed out for a little drive to see where the road led us...
Bang Pae Seafood is on the north east coast of Phuket. Head up the main road to the airport and turn right at the "Heroines Monument" (the statue of the 2 heroines of Thalang who rallied the people of Phuket to beat the Burmese invaders in 1785), and follow the road. After about 8km on this road there's a left turn to the Bang Pae Waterfall and Gibbon Rehabilitation Center. And less than 1km after this, a right turn to Bang Pae Seafood.. if memory serves, the sign is only in Thai (so it says บางแปซีฟู้ด). The restaurant is about 1.5km down this road, passing shrimp farms on the way. When the road ends, that's the restaurant! It's pretty popular with locals. When we arrived quite a few cars were parked.
There are a dozen or so tables, only a few were taken. The location is right by the sea, though the water here is very shallow. We arrived at low tide with the sand stretching out a few hundred meters. Mangroves and other "sea trees" grow here. It's very quiet. I do like a peaceful place to eat with a nice view.
How nice to sit with such a view. Yes, this is Phuket.
I decided to blog Bang Pae Seafood again since the restaurant is still a favourite and really has not changed in 5 years, plus I have a better camera now, and want to show some photos - this is a far cry from Patong! If you are looking to explore Phuket, to look for great local food and scenery untouched by hotels, I do recommend hiring a car, or contacting my friends at Easy Day Thailand who can arrange private island tours that show you a lot more of Phuket than any other tour.
The food! Well, I took a few photos. I have my favourite dishes. A real Phuket specialty is "Yam Gung Siap", a kind of salad made with smoked, dried shrimps plus mango and cashew nuts, tomato, onion and some chili of course! You can't find this in normal tourist restaurants, it's a real local dish. I love it!
And another local specialty, actually quite common throughout the south of Thailand, is "Hor Mok" - a fish curry cooked in a banana leaf. We normally order a few of these as side dishes - and it normally only costs about 15 or 20 Baht each - tasty stuff, well worth a try, but again not the kind of thing that is sold in tourist restaurants. My wife swears the Hor Mok in her home town of Chumphon is the best!
I find that searching Google for the Thai name of the restaurant often gives you some good pages with photos by Thai people - this one shows a lot of very tasty looking food! Bang Pae Seafood is certainly popular with locals - a good indicator of good food at a good price. Our total bill (family of 4) on that day was about 500 Baht. Yeh, we did not have lobster or crab or whole fish dishes - that would cost more, but anyway, it's good value.
After eating the kids wanted to go off and explore the sands exposed by the low tide. I followed. The area would probably be good for birdspotting. I saw a bunch of different birds. Tidal zones can be good for wildlife. Kids were looking for crabs, and there were small fish trapped in shallow pools of water left behind by the receding tide. The kids wandered off into the distance ...
And came running back. The restaurant is under the taller trees in the center of the photo below. Not a bad location! This is about as "untouristy" as you can get in Phuket. A lot of the east coast is like this.
Just another kilometer further up the road from the Heroines monument you can turn right down to Bang Rong - you pass a new mosque (it's a largely Muslim area) and find a busy jetty with boats heading out to islands in Phang Nga Bay. We were just there a few weeks ago when we took a day trip out to Koh Yao Noi and there's a nice little floating restaurant at Bang Rong too. So far this corner of Phuket has remained very local, very traditional. We like!
Bang Pae Seafood - Google Map
View Bang Pae Seafood Restaurant in a larger map