As I mentioned in my last post, I was lucky enough to have friends visiting from Singapore this past weekend and even luckier that long term Bangkok residents and mutual friends had planned an evening at the Bangkok sea view restaurant for us all. Located in Bangkhuntien around 30km south of Bangkok the restaurant is accessed by taking a long tail boat (50 baht for adults/20 baht for children) for around 20 minutes through the mangrove swamps and out to the sea where the restaurant is built on a giant platform resting on bamboo stilts.
We arrived at the restaurant in plenty of time for sunset and whilst the unseasonal storm clouds on the horizon meant the view was not as spectacular as it could have been, the lighting at dusk was beautiful and I would really recommend venturing there early in order to have the full experience. The restaurant was mostly filled with local families and groups of friends, it didn’t seem to be the place you go to without a few people and you can either choose to sit on cushions at a low table (where most of the children seemed to be) or in one of the main dining areas filled with large tables to accommodate big groups.
I left the others to look at the menu and do the ordering and went off to explore – the small marker you can see out on the horizon in the pictures at the bottom marks Bangkok city limits which I have never seen marked in the ocean like this before! Seafood is naturally on the menu and we ordered around 8 dishes to share between the 5 of us.
First to arrive was the crab fried rice and Tom Yum Talay, the latter of which was really excellent and our friend Dao ordered it so that the spicy food lovers amongst us could add extra dried chilli and chilli paste to get the required spice hit. The soup contained plenty of prawns, squid, mussels, cockles and more and I went back for seconds (and then thirds!) as I was enjoying it so much!
Next up we had grilled squid, wing bean salad with shrimp and sea bass cooked in a black pepper sauce which was surprisingly tasty, the fresh peppercorns really make all the difference with a dish like this and there were plenty here. I didn’t try any of the squid but the wing bean salad was also very good. I love the crunchiness of wing beans and the slightly sour, spicy dressing was an interesting change to the versions I have tried in Singapore and Malaysia previously.
We also had some glass noodles which came served in a tin pan to help them retain the heat and we kept discovering more and prawns at the bottom, hidden beneath the noodles which was a nice surprise. I didn’t think the Yam pla duk foo (fried catfish salad) was as good as the one we had at Soi Polo but the different textures of having the dish with peanuts, carrots, papaya and red onion was nice and I followed Daos lead in adding some of the sour chilli sauce to bind everything together . I think at one point we had about 5 or 6 different types of chilli on the table, from the dried ones to the nam pla, thick dried chilli paste and more and it was interesting trying the different sauces with each dish.
There was as a bit of a lull while we waited for them to bring our last dish, a steamed crab which came served on a small wooden board with a rolling pin to hit it with in order to crush the shell. The meat was beautifully sweet and I managed to get away with not getting too messy and letting the others do most of the work removing the legs from the body and so on. With several large beers each (Leo) the total bill came to around 600 baht per person which I thought was great value.
They make announcements warning you when the long tail boats are getting ready to return (there is only one an hour) and we were lucky to be able to squeeze in as the boat was pretty full and people didn’t seem to keen on budging up for us. As we made our way back to the jetty the storm seemed to break and we watched the lightening from a safe distance, glad to have made it back dry! I can’t thank our friends enough for organizing such a fun night out, it was lovely to leave the hustle and bustle of Bangkok behind us and spend a night in such lovely surroundings.