Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hatyai- Gap's Garten (German Restaurant)

is a highly rated place for tourists and Westerners who lived here. They serve great German food as well as having a good selection of German and Belgian beers. They serve great German food as well as having a good selection of German and Belgian beers! The restaurant is slightly out of city area and is situated @ 516/1Soi Chuntarajanusorn and the cost from city center by tuk-tuk to this restaurant is 50 baht per person. Address: 516/1 Soi Thammanunvithi Road (turn into Chantanajanusorn Road) Tel: +66 (0)86 963 6551 (German/English)

Hatyai- Kan Eng Restaurant 甘英饭店 กันเองร้านอาหาร

Famous `Chinese-Thai Style`s restaurant Hatyai with affordable prices and nothing over commercialized. The dish on menu are all prices and printed with pictures and English. Most of the staffs can speak a little Hokkien and Mandarin to assist you in your ordering. Kerabu Mango (mango salad) is a `must try` dish. Reasonable priced and always crowded. Address: 50/3 Kimpradit Road Tel: 074-246138 ; 074-232798 Open: 1030 hrs - 1400 hrs / 1700 hrs - 2100 hrs (It is just a 3 minutes walk from BP Grand Tower Hotel or 6 minutes from town center)

Top 10 street food at Hat Yai

Those who have been following me on Instagram and Twitter know that I just got back from Hat Yai, Thailand. Although four days were a bit too much for the town, my girls and I had a blast. What was the highlight of the trip? Well, the food, of course. The trip was all about eating off the streets. Agreed that there are a lot of good eateries and many fine dining restaurants too, but the pleasure of eating from stalls off the road is completely different. It helps you connect with the food at a different level. Let me take you through my recent street food journey. 2017-05-24_13.13.08 Local food – Let the hunt begin… Lyf&Spice goes food hunting Where: Hat Yai, Thailand What: Street Food and local delicacies Fried Chicken: Well, this was the first thing we had as soon as we reached Hat Yai. Sausages, prawns, chicken fritters and chicken legs were being sold at a number of stalls. We opted for whole chicken legs that easily weighed close to a kilogram each. They were available in two sizes, costing THB 70 and 80. Such juicy, tender meat with crispy exteriors deserves a standing ovation. It was no short of brilliant. Oh, and did we mention that they were deep fried? 🙂 They ought to be delicious right? 2017-05-14_01.12.38 Whole chicken legs Pork crisps: Stalls, road-side vendors and a lot of restaurants serve pork in various forms all along the streets of Hat Yai. Some of the most interesting varieties however, were that of BBQ pork, pork ribs and grilled pork. I spent quite some time watching them slow-cook or roast the pork by the fire pit. 2017-05-21_01.16.53 Let’s watch ’em roast Nutella Roti: Roti canai and its variations were available in at least one stall per street – roti pisang (roti with banana), roti jagung (roti with corn), roti telur (roti with fried egg) and a lot more. To top it up, we could choose a plain crispy roti with milo, nutella or chocolate. We had to order nutella roti. Need we say more? 2017-05-24_11.51.20 Nutella crunch packed with a punch Fried Oyster: What makes this oyster fry so different from the rest? Well, it is shallow fried with an egg, just like an omelette. You get to choose from the fresh lot of oysters and order it with an egg or two. Using oodles of oil, this delicious eggy delight is gooey in consistency, but is worth a try. 2017-05-24_13.19.39 Choose what you like 2017-05-24_13.23.37 Get them fried Crispy Whole Bird: These tiny little whole birds were fried and kept at the counters along with other fish and chicken fritters. While there could be a lot of species, the most commonly found ones are the quail. Cripsy, crunchy and tasty in every bite, they felt almost like fried chicken. However, just one was not enough for a meal. We had them as a snack with iced tea. 2017-05-24_12.43.09 Tasty li’l quacklings Fish on stick: Do not underestimate the worth of sausages, fish balls, chicken and other meat on a stick. They are the perfect snack on the go. Every vendor has their own style of making it – some fry it, while some slow-grill it. Additionally, they have different sauces to offer, thus making every fritter or meat on a stick taste different from the other. Beware of the hot sauces. If you can’t tolerate chillies, ask them for a sweet sauce. 2017-05-21_01.15.33 What’s your pick? Street Noodles and Rice: Delicious stir fry noodles or Phad Thai with our choice of meat used to be our hot favourite when hungry. Tofu, bean sprouts, chillies, garlic, vegetables and sweet sauce complete the dish. The ones I had at Hat Yai were too sweet for my liking, however the element of freshness and lightness is what made us have them for dinner, twice in a row. I found the rice in Thailand to be quite fragrant and delicious, thus, never hesitated to order fried rice with egg, chicken and sea food. 2017-05-23_17.16.31 Phad Thai 2017-05-23_17.09.51 Fried Rice – Thai style ABC: We had a lot of variations and close cousins of ABC or Air Batu Campur/Ais Kacang. ABC, the famous summer-soother is made of shaved ice and contains a lot of fresh and dried fruits, jellies, cendol, red beans, corn, peanuts etc. and is topped with ice cream after drizzling some condensed milk or coloured sugar syrup on top of the mound. Bringing about a twist, are some sago, sweet potato and coconut milk variations with a common factor – shaved ice. We tried bubur cha cha with shaved ice, coconut milk, sweet potatoes, purple yam, taro and a lot of colourful jellies, and laicikang that had laici or lychee fruit in a pool of shaved ice, jellies and basil seeds. 2017-05-24_12.21.49 Bubur cha cha 2017-05-24_12.23.57 Laicikang Mango Sticky Rice: This mango season, the king of fruits teamed up with its pale counterpart, sticky rice, and the duo nailed it. The most refreshing dose of supper I have had in a while. After clubbing, when the streets were still ablaze, we used to gorge on this chewy delight before hopping onto bed. It was served in a take-away container with coconut milk strapped up as an option. The best way to have it would be to pour the milk on the rice and then mix it with mango – and that’s exactly what we did. 2017-05-24_13.26.21 Indulging in mangoes after dinner 🙂 2017-05-23_17.07.39 Mango sticky rice 10. Pulut Pisang: This is the best sweet something to eat on the go. It comprises of ripe, cooked bananas wrapped in pandan leaves and steamed. The delicate pulp comes to life as you open the leaves and take the first bite. It is quite a heavy snack, which you will realize once you’re done eating -> mushy, greasy, satisfying. 2017-05-24_13.24.59 Untie the strings and unwrap your surprise… 2017-05-23_17.11.40 Ripe banana core Bonus mention – Iced Milk Tea: Oh, this has to be my favourite. While the other friends opted for other versions of tea, I would order a tumbler of milk tea ice, as they call it. It tasted just like the Indian chai back home, but of course, as an icy variant. A lot of cafes and small outlets sell this, but you must try the ones that the local vendors make. Besides this, we also tried regular iced tea, carrot lime slush, mixed fruit juice etc.

Top 5 Restaurants in Hat Yai

Bird’s nest, chicken feet and more… 2017-05-22_21.11.52 My previous post was all about street food in Hat Yai. While you get literally everything to eat off the streets, there are some dishes and corresponding restaurants worth a mention. The food mentioned might not appeal to everyone. It’s an attempt to bring forth the ‘lesser loved’ food to the readers. It’s just a means of giving you an insight into the food and culture associated with the city. ❤ Let’s pick the best 5: 1. The Nest: What to eat: Bird’s Nest This was by far the most bizarre yet fun food quest. A bird’s nest is served as a broth to which gelatin, preserved fruits and jellies could be added. However, seekers of the true form, would prefer it a little dirty, i.e. with the contents of the saliva and bird’s throat retained. The nest is formed by the swiftlet bird that uses its saliva to build a nest. The saliva gets solidified upon air exposure, causing the nest to harden. Call it weird, but it tasted good –> mild in flavour, jelly-like consistency and best had plain or with black Chinese tea. I’d recommend having it without the toppings, to retain its natural taste. I tried it at some stalls, as well as at The Nest. 2017-05-23_17.05.21 Bird’s nest and Chinese black tea 2017-05-23_17.03.45 Care to share? 2. Crepe Café: What to eat: Nutella crepe This is a paradise for crepe lovers with heavenly desserts and food made with love. The host crafted a beautiful crepe masterpiece laced with cream and strawberries in a bed of nutella. If you are looking for a sinful indulgence, go ahead and order one with an additional scoop of ice cream. Choose from banana, chocolate, butter, mango, kiwi and other flavours. Order a beverage to keep you company. They come in fancy glasses. The café wins hands down, when it comes to food and beverage presentation. Need we say more? 2017-05-19_17.35.34 Strawberry nutella crepe 2017-05-23_17.13.51 Salmon fried rice 3. Baan Khun Bhu: What to eat: Crab salad Although it is famed for its crab dishes, more so crabs without their shells, we tried a som tam variation instead. Chopped raw mangoes, infused with fresh veggies, peanuts and diluted chilli sauce covered the fragments of crab in a bed of peanuts. It was really spicy, no doubt, but worth trying out for its pungent yet interesting flavour play. A platter of sweet corn salad was needed to soothe our tingling taste buds. Besides this, they also serve grilled chicken, rice, fish preparations and other items from the Isan cuisine. 20170514_123937-01 Crab som tam 4. Lee Gardens Plaza: What: Breakfast and chicken feet soup Whether you are an in-house guest at the hotel or visit here just for their breakfast, you are in for some delicious morning spread. The coffee shop (next to the lobby) is perpetually packed with people. Delicacies include chicken feet soup, traditional Thai fried rice, street-style noodles, herbs and greens, fried chicken and a lot more. Although they have waffles, toast and a bunch of other bread-based items, we would recommend the rice and noodles, soup of the day and herbs. No better way to start your day, isn’t it? 2017-07-03_13.30.40 Chicken feet soup, rice 2017-07-03_13.29.48 Complete set with noodles, soup, rice and fruits 5. Hamid Restaurant: What: Fried rice Situated in one of the main streets of Hat Yai’s central area (around Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel), this restaurant offers good food and a warm ambiance. Anything that you order here is cooked to perfection. However, we have to list out our top picks. Here goes: Thai fried rice with chicken or salmon, tom yam soup, pad thai with chillies, and the list goes on. It might be priced slightly on the higher side, but is worth every penny. 2017-05-24_11.55.07 Chicken fried rice, Seafood noodles ** Special mention: To our delight, Food Park, the food court of Central Festival Mall exceeded our expectation. You have to get a card to order your food from your favourite counter, pick a bubble tea and relax as you get a good view of the mall. 2017-05-22_21.11.52 Chicken rice Pic: Chicken rice – delightful flavour, slightly peppery and creamy in texture Other places to check out: Greenway night market – fusion food, street-style noodles Hat Yai Central night market – street food Attention Café – chocolate waffle, oreo crepe Black Canyon – gelato espresso, pad thai The Village Café – beer, cakes Shabushi – sushi (check out for deals of the month)

Exploring Nong Thale, Krabi

At the southern province of Thailand lies a lovely stretch of land and water towards the west coast, the beautiful town of Krabi. This limestone laced shore by the Andaman Sea has breathtaking beaches and a variety of things to do. From spending relaxed vacations and chilling by the hammocks to day tours to nearby islands and shopping for touristy items in the flea markets, there is a lot to see on a trip to this part of Thailand. About 4-5 days are good enough to explore the island. A good mix of beachy bays, rocks, hills, caves and parties, Krabi sure is a perfect blend of a small town and oceanic shores. Why Nong Thale? While Ao Nang is really famous for its beaches, location and connectivity, let’s explore the relatively less famous but unspoilt shores of Krabi’s underrated “Nong Thale”. Nestled in a relatively quiet area, its natural scenery, untouched waters and soothing waves in fact, make it better than the rest of Krabi in a number of ways: Better scenic views Peaceful and quiet atmosphere Non-commercial beaches Private, untouched shores Clean water ATM, car rentals and other facilities nearby A number of hotels and resorts to choose from Good bars, restaurants and massage parlours around the area Breakfast with a view Breakfast with a view Day tours: There are a lot of places nearby. Take a tour to the places below, keeping at least 4 hours in each place (and 1-2 hours travel time): Phi Phi Islands Hong Islands Maya Bay Railay Bay Ao Nang Things to do: Though people say there isn’t too much to do at Nong Thale and advise you against it, take a look at the list of things you can actually do and then decide for yourself. Bike around: Rent a bike and ride around the small town’s lush green stretches. Ride aimlessly to the end of the roads. Visit the market: Head to Nong Thale’s market area to shop, eat and drink. Foot massage: Indulge in a relaxing and rejuvenating foot spa at one of the countless massage parlours along the market stretch. Bargain and ask for a head and back massage to be included in the same price. Walk and click: Walk uphill till you reach an amazing dead end to a National Park and click all along. Party all night: If you really want to dance, you will have to venture out to Ao Nang that has discotheques that play music around 10 pm onwards. For grooving and chilling at the bars, enjoying good music, confine yourself to the Klong Muang area of Nong Thale. Biking around Klong Muang Biking around Klong Muang Bars and restaurants: Most of these bars open only in the evening. It is advisable to go there post 9 pm for more fun, music and life. Some of the interesting themed bars and restaurants that I came across are located at Klong Muang and Mueang Krabi District: Lazy bar Sunset Bar Eden Bar Summer Beach Bar Cocktails Sawasdee Banana Leaf Thai Restaurant Coffee Club Though there are several restaurants and cafes lined up along the road, serving Thai and Indian cuisines, a special mention of the ‘Coffee Club’ has to be made – a cute little cafe with a cosy entrance and coffee tables spread out to at least six covers, Parisian cushion covers and coasters, a seating area outside and a quaint corner with a bench, wooden birds, plants and vases to accentuate the theme and feel of the cafe. Coffee Club, Krabi Coffee Club, Krabi Getting around: Taxi Shuttle Hire a car Rent a bike to move around Tail boat or motor boat rides to far flung islands Carry along: Swimsuit Beach wear Snorkel and mask Sunscreen Camera Anyavee Tubkaek Beach Resort Anyavee Tubkaek Beach Resort Places to stay: Anyavee Tubkaek Beach Resort Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Hotel Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort The Tubkaek Krabi Boutique Resort Amari Vogue Krabi Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort While some of the options above have private bays and beaches to themselves, the others have a golf course and indoor swimming pool. Pick any depending on your budget and choice of stay. We stayed at Anyavee Tubkaek Beach Resort at Aumphur Muang after reading a number of reviews on Trip Advisor and booked a Jacuzzi balcony, ocean-facing view. The room was beyond perfect! A private beach in a secluded surrounding, somewhere between the sun and the endless ocean, a dip into the ocean whenever we wanted, a dock on the first floor overlooking the bay reserved for breakfast, dinner at the restaurant along the beach serving amazing Thai food and warm staff that attended to us at all times. What more could we ask for?! Sunset at Krabi Sunset at Krabi The wow moment! The point where our hearts literally stopped beating was when we reached neck-deep in the ocean, right amidst the deep blue water and calm waves to watch the sun set in the horizon. It felt as though the shore sucked the sun within, creating pink skies at first and purple-orange as the sun drowned deeper into the ocean bed right where we were…