Culturally speaking, our trip to the islands was very western with the exception of there being some Thai people there and the odd green curry. A lot of time was spent on the beach, in bars and numerous buckets of drink were consumed. As usual (aside from the sparkling company) for me, the highlight was the food. Little of which was traditionally Thai. The seafood was largely flavoured with familiar flavourings or grilled plain, but was to be fair, cooked very nicely. The standout highlight was a pizza joint on our last night in Koh Phanang, which rescued me from utter desperation.
First, on Ko Tao a lovely piece of Barracuda, which was steamed on a grill with some vegetables and served with a refreshing spicy sauce and rice. I ignored the salad, since they slap loads of this horrible dressing all over everything.
A seafood feast, which I shared with Karl. The king prawns were amazing – perfectly soft and as fresh as if they’d just been caught moments ago. Tuna was a bit overdone for my liking and the crab, prawns and squid were all great too. It was all grilled plain, so again it was chilli lime sauce on everything. Simple and tasty.
Now who’d have thought there would be an amazing Italian place in a side street in the lash capital of Thailand? Most likely, the majority of people that eat in this place have no idea how good they’re getting it and are merely looking to layer some booze on top of a pizza. We went there on a recommendation and it was not all that easy to find. Brent and The Destroyer had pizzas and just because the Italian owner suggested it, I went for the fresh homemade pasta – with salmon. For starter we shared bruschetta with gorgonzola and prosciutto and we were all delighted in surprise at how good the bread was (obviously made same day). Accordingly, we were all blown away by the main courses.
I’m not going to go into a rant about how amazing it all was. Italian cooking is simple stuff done very well through practice and experience. This was that. And timely, having long since bored of the daily rush to get drunk in Ko Phanang. I’m on a mission to find out the name of the place. And go to Rome :-)