I had the most amazing trip to Phuket this week at this lovely resort called the Racha. If you haven't already seen photos of the Racha, you should take a look - it really looks like you were in Santorini, albeit that you were actually in a little offshore island off mainland Phuket, called Ko Racha Yai. Think white sun-bleached beaches, azure skies, turquoise waters - the way a beach holiday should be. The Racha is definitely a place one should return to again and again to get a little slice of paradise, and my last trip was made all the more enjoyable by the presence of my closest friends who went with me. Thank God. After having to leave the island (due to work commitments as usual), M and I stumbled onto this lovely restaurant which was recommended by the management of the Racha, called Kan Eang, which is apparently a very famous local restaurant here in Phuket. It's predominantly a Thai-Chinese seafood place, and so M and I sat down by the sea, alfresco, yearning to eat up a storm. And a storm it was.
As you can see from the photo, it's got a fairly chill, rustic vibe about the place, with a lovely sea view. I started off with some fresh oysters (i just adore oysters), but this was quite a mistake, as the oysters were actually a bit muddy-tasting and not at all briny. It got much better once I added the condiments which were a hot garlic-spring onion concoction and some raw garlic, which helped to mask the muddy-taste of the oysters. Definitely not for me though. (4/10)
But from there on, everything was smooth sailing. Young coconut to wash down all the lovely morsels that were to arrive....First up was live tiger prawns, BBQ style. You could not imagine how large these prawns were - the photo below shows you the size of those beauties in contrast to a mound of rice: that's how large they were. And very tasty too. They were very fresh (live seafood is always good) and sweet, retaining its firmness, and imbued with a slight BBQ flavour from the method of cooking. There was lots of roe in the prawn heads, which made for delicious sucking. (8.5/10)
We then had a live black garoupa steamed Kan Eang style which is basically the Thai way of steaming fish, i.e. with a bit of lime, soya sauce, etc - sour and savoury at the same time. This was just delicious. The meat was incredibly sweet and fresh and tasty and the gravy was a joy to slurp and went surprisingly well with rice. Steamed to perfection. (8.5/10)
The other tiger prawn dish was grilled with garlic and butter and that was very good too: the richness of the butter and the garlic permeating through the fresh prawn meat. Also something highly recommended. (8.5/10)
We then had some curry: crab in coconut gravy. Not too bad, although we were getting quite full by then. (7.5/10)
I didn't take a photo of the vegetables, but the local vegetables (can't remember the name now) cooked with dried shrimp was just delightful to eat. Not a tad overcooked, crunchy, and the dried shrimp gave it the umami which coated the vegetables very well. Another excellent dish. (8.5/10)
Save for the oysters, everything else was top notch. An excellent place to have seafood if one gets the chance to go to Phuket.