We weren’t entirely sure of what the food scene on Koh Chang might be like but I have to say that we came away extremely impressed.
Salak Phet Seafood is set in a large covered open air space on a wooden deck extending out into a marina at the very end of the east side road on the southern tip of Koh Chang. Just outside the covered table areas are netted holding pens full of live seafood. To say what we were served was fresh is an understatement.
We find it interesting that this place isn’t ranked higher among Koh Chang restaurants on the TripAdvisor list and suppose it is largely due to its distance from the most popular hotels on the western side of the island because what we ate was about as good as seafood can be.
We ordered 4 dishes:
- Shrimp in Tamarind sauce served in its edible crispy shell
- Fried rice with Seafood (mostly shrimp and squid) with sweet spicy sauce
- Tempura shrimp
- Thai crab cakes, which were the size of 2 bites and made with very little filler. These also came with a similar sauce as the rice.
Each of the 4 dishes was terrific. With a couple beers and a lime soda it was about $40 USD for enough food for 4. Our only criticism of our experience was that the service was a bit slow but for food like we were served it wasn’t such a horrible problem to have to sit and wait in such a nice setting.
The menu at the restaurant at the Serenity Resort is not huge but offers a good selection of Thai and Western dishes that reflects the influence of Steve, the English owner and Tip, the talented resident Thai chef. The restaurant is primarily oriented to serving guests staying at the small resort but those staying at one of the other nearby resorts are welcome to walk up the beach and stop by for a meal or to take advantage of Happy Hour as well.
At our first meal Tip introduced her-self and discussed our preferences for spice levels and asked about any allergies or special needs and also graciously offered (with a little notice) to prepare just about anything we might want on or off the menu
A nice list of included breakfasts along with a supplemental breakfast menu is offered. Very good French Press coffee in a pot large enough to satisfy two coffee needy Americans is left on the table. We were delighted to see properly cooked (crispy) bacon and a delicious English sausage as breakfast options.
We mostly ordered straight ahead Thai dishes at other lunches and dinners but enjoyed a very nice bar-b-que spread requested by another group of guests one evening. Everything including the homemade ice cream and banana fritters was delicious.
At lunch one day we enjoyed a beer battered fish and chips that wouldn’t have been out of place on the streets of London and a club sandwich as a nice break from two months of Asian cuisines.
We also enjoyed the comfortable seaside seating at happy hour at the restaurant’s full service bar
The Souk is located in a small moderately priced resort of the same name and only a short walk down the beach from the Serenity Resort. If you ask around among the locals you’ll hear praise for the food & beverage skills of owner and head chef Eddie as well as an appreciation for very cool vibe of the place.
The main seating area is a deck with a garden on one side and the beach on the other. Reasonably soothing techno jazz was playing at an appropriate decibel level in the background. We enjoyed very friendly service and well-prepared cocktails.
The two of us shared an order of crispy spring rolls, gaeng som soup and Panang gai and it was as good a meal as we had in Thailand on the entire trip. In fact, we enjoyed our first meal so much we came back for dinner on the next evening as well and it was equally as good. . With complimentary fruit as desert, the entire meal for 2 each evening was under $20 USD.
We noticed that the diners at The Souk were (on average) a bit younger than we saw at the Serenity.
While it might be a little bit of a stretch to include in our discussion of Koh Chang restaurants, any discussion about our food experience on Koh Chang would be incomplete without mentioning the class we took at the Blue Lagoon Cooking School with Chef Ya. It was a very comprehensive hands on lesson in a really lovely location. This class did not begin with a visit to a market but rather a slightly technical discussion of different varieties of rice and types of ginger.
We were able to choose a number of dishes that we wanted to prepare and were aided not only by Chef Ya but also by several other support members in the kitchen doing prep for us. And I have to say that with Chef Ya’s guidance, we were able to prepare an extremely tasty meal.