Find a place to stuff your face...
As we haven't blogged in a while, we thought we would share a few of our favourite places to find a (delicious) bite to eat on our beautiful island.
Koh Phangan isn't short of places to eat. You can find incredible food for surprisingly little money.
Almost everyone who visits the island will, sooner or later, find themselves at my first port of call, which is Phantip Night Market in Thong Sala.
This is a very popular place to come for both locals and tourists. This is probably due to the fact that it is full of stalls selling delicious food for incredibly low prices. You can browse the stalls, pick up a few different dishes, and then sit in one of the covered seating areas to enjoy your food. There are also small independent kitchens, selling a wide variety of Thai and foreign dishes. I live on the island, and this is one of my regular places to go for my evening meal during the week. As any islander will tell you, its far cheaper to eat out in Thailand than it is to buy and cook the food yourself.
Next up is a legendary little place for a late night snack, called Lexy Pancakes, situated on the Ban Tai road.
It's open from 7.30pm until 5am, so perfect if you've been out to a party, or just if you fancy a midnight snack.
Lexy does brilliant burgers and near perfect pancakes. I can't quite put my finger on what she does to make them so delicious, but they're well worth trying out. She also serves a full selection of soft drinks and booze. As you may expect, the prices are incredibly cheap. You shouldn't leave the island without trying the naughty but oh, so very nice snacks here.
Another week night staple of mine, that is also situated along the Ban Tai road is a traditional Thai restaurant, called Baan Paen.
This place is small and family run. The Thai food (from around 50 baht) on offer here is truly delicious, and very cheap. They specialise in noodle soups (from 30 baht), but sell a whole variety of different dishes, including some Western fare too. If hunger strikes whilst you are around Ban Tai, definitely head here.
Staying in the Ban Tai area, and this time heading a bit more up market, our next stop is the fabulous Fisherman's Restaurant. A beautiful place to just sit and relax in, especially in the evening. The dishes served here, as the name suggests, are all heavily influenced by the sea, but there are dishes for non fish lovers too! The restaurant is located directly on a sandy beach, and you can't really get much closer to the source of all of their fish, as you are mere feet from the sea.
The lighting and general ambiance all contribute to the romance, and you can also sit in actual fishing boats, which I thought was a truly memorable touch. The food is some of the best I've had on the island, and is accompanied by a varied drinks list, including some excellent wines. As a true Brit, I would have to recommend the Fish and Chips, but my wife thoroughly enjoyed the whole red snapper as well. Go for a treat, and I promise that you won't just visit once...
Our final stop for this blog entry is an Italian owned and run pizzeria called Fabio's. The restaurant is situated past Ban Tai village, in Ban Kai. just before you head into Haad Rin.
Fabio's has been serving delicious and authentic Italian food since 2007, and has won many awards. It is also approved by the Ospitalita Italiana organisation. I've only had the pizza at Fabio's, as I'm a self declared pizza-holic. The pizza on offer here is, without doubt some of the most incredible that I have ever tasted IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. That's right - I've lived in London (for most of my life), Edinburgh, York, China, Japan and various European countries - and Fabio's serves up some of the best pizza I have ever tasted. It's made in traditional pizza ovens, using ancient Neopolitan methods, resulting in a thin, crispy wood-fired base that is as delicious as the toppings that are lovingly placed on it.
The pricing is very reasonable, and one pizza is enough for two to share...unless you're like me, in which case order one just for yourself. A definite creamy bonus at Fabio's is the free Creme Brulee that is presented to you once you've paid your bill. An added touch that I think confirms this restaurant as my favourite place for an evening treat on the island so far. Please go and experience it. You'll remember it for a long time. I'm hungry just typing this.
Well, there you are. A small selection of some of the places to stuff yourself on the this beautiful island.
Each one that I've mentioned will leave you with a full belly and a big smile on your face. What more do you need?