Koh Phi Phi: Eating Out
Koh Phi Phi is a pretty popular destination for holiday makers and travellers, so you are never going to be stuck for somewhere to eat outside of your hotel or hostel. For the second instalment of our time in Thailand, we thought we'd share with you the places we enjoyed eating the most, and possibly help narrow down your many options if you ever decide to make the trip.
Jasmin Restaurant, Laem Tong Beach, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
There's a really good vibe about this restaurant. We liked it so much we went back a couple of times for food and cocktails. The prices are very reasonable, with a decent menu made up of mainly seafood and Thai dishes. Everything is cooked fresh in massive woks in the open kitchen, and there's a BBQ that gets fired up in the evenings.
Across the two nights that we ate there, we ordered the likes of spring rolls, tempura vegetables, pineapple rice (I only want my rice with pineapple now, thanks), basil chicken, BBQ prawns, and other dishes that I forget. On the first night, after ordering, the lady of the establishment (concerned for our cardiovascular health I assume) came to our table and tried explaining to us that what we'd ordered was a lot for two people. We told her not to worry, and polished everything off in turn before perusing the desserts.
There are no pretensions about this place. The walls of the family-run restaurant are lined with photographs taken over the years, of friends and visitors to Laem Tong beach; testament to the lovely people and the honest food they cook. One night, a particularly sweet waitress noticed that my long hair was being whipped all over the place by the wind, so she took her hair down and offered me one of her spare bands. The business also does a lot for the local Sea Gypsy community, particularly the school and its kids. There's a plaque above the bar thanking them for all their work and support.
And if you're not convinced by all that, you've at least got to drop in for one of their boozy smoothies.
Oasis, Ao Loh Bagao, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
One evening, we decided to explore a little and walked the path from Laemtong Bay down to Loh Bagao, which is a cool little village of bamboo and thatch buildings, hosting bars, shops and restaurants. We arrived to find there had been a power cut that had affected the whole village, and so we ate by candlelight at Oasis.
Here I tried my very first fresh coconut, and my first Pad Thai; both excellent experiences. In fact, it's only writing about it now that I'm remembering just how good the food was, and for simple fare, how nicely presented. I think it's also a pretty popular bar, of an evening when they have power and lights, so it's impressive that they manage to serve both purposes so well.
Definitely worth a visit if you're looking for good Thai classics in a nice atmosphere. They also supply you with mozzy repellant on your table, which is a bonus!
Aroy Kaffeine, Ba Keao Bay, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
How I'd have loved to dine here! Aroy Kaffeine is a cafe bar, also in Loh Bagao village. The stylish Thai woman who manages the place is very cool, and clearly knows what's up, when we consider the extensive Belgian beer offering. Unfortunately, Aroy was closed on our first visit due to the powercut, but we did manage to swing by after an afternoon walk with a few baht in our pockets and drink some incredibly good smoothies and milkshakes.
Looking out on to Phi Phi's very own 'Golden Gate Bridge', this place is currently ranked TripAdvisor #1 restaurant on Koh Phi Phi, and I know for sure that we missed out in not grabbing dinner and drinks there. As such, I am imploring--no, demanding--that you go here if you are ever on Koh Phi Phi. I know you won't regret it.
Eleven Two & Co., 112 Thalang Road, Phuket Town, Thailand
And finally, we have Eleven Two and co. This place isn't technically on Koh Phi Phi, it's in Phuket Town on the mainland. Call me obsessive, call me determined, but I found this cafe on Instagram before we even left for Asia, and even though there was no real need for us to go in to Phuket, I planned our return to the airport to include dinner here.
We had a lot of hours to kill once we'd climbed off the return ferry at Rassada Pier, so we walked the 50 minutes in to town, to discover the delights of Eleven Two and co. and pass the time in comfort. We were not disappointed. Just follow their Instagram feed and you'll see what I mean.
They serve a mixture of Asian dishes with western influence thrown in here and there. Dishes that particularly stick with me are the cheesy gyoza and the soft mango crêpe (am I crazy for knowing I was going to order this crêpe weeks in advance?), but we also devoured things like Pad Thai, hot wings and prawn pineapple rice.
Another element to this cafe, which is right up my street, is that it also has a little boutique selling clothes, jewellery, art and handmade wares by independent designer-makers. Eleven Two and co. definitely strikes you as "the place to be" if you're in Phuket. If it was in London, the hipsters would be flocking for brunch! A truly creative vibe, and the food and drink are great. Don't forget to order a coconut milk latte!
Our nighttime journey back to Hong Kong was slightly less knackering and uncomfortable than the way there, but still not a classic. We were extremely happy to be received again by Mark's sister, Melissa, who took us straight for an excellent breakfast and gave us the keys to her apartment so we could sleep whilst she went to work.
More on our remaining time in Hong Kong in a final, upcoming post.
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