Sala Mexicali

I love Thai cuisine so much that I don't eat anything but Thai food even when I am out at 'farang' restaurants, but occasionally I find a place where I make an exception, and Sala Mexicali is one of those.

I had driven past it hundreds of times never even considering stopping there, then one day a friend suggested dinner there. I said 'okay' but my heart was saying 'oh I am not going to enjoy this' but as always I figured there would be something Thai on the menu (yes I really am that hooked on Thai food!).

That day I arrived to find the small restaurant looking rather 'my style' by that I mean open air, no air conditioning, thatched roof and lots of plants which made me relax about things. Since then I have been back several times and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it or to take friends or family there. It's a relaxed atmosphere and one other benefit - it has a reasonable sized parking area just in front.

The menu was not overly expensive and seemed even better value when the large portions food turned up. Expecting Tacos and not a lot else I was surprised at the variety of their menu and on that first visit I chose Jamaican Jerk Chicken and since then I have ordered this several times as it was so good. Last visit for a change I took the Potato Skins and Croc Cakes both of which were really good. In fact I haven't ordered anything there that has been a disappointment!

You can see their full menu and nutritional information on their website as well as a location map. Sala Mexicali is located on the road from Rawai to Chalong on the left just after the Soi Sai Yuan intersection if heading north. If your going there during high season it may be worth booking a table as they fill up pretty quickly! 

Like their website suggests 

"If you are traveling from Rawai or Nai Harn back to the Chalong Circle, there is typically a big traffic jam near the circle from 5pm to 7pm. Pro-tip: Stop into Sala Mexicali for dinner and don't get all stressed out in traffic."

Sounds like a good idea to me!

Kao Yam Tang Leuak - ขัาวยำทางเลือก

The Second Hand Book Restaurant, Phang Nga Road 
(What's it really called?)

I remember this place when it was just a book shop, then it got tables and chairs and started selling noodles, but now it has my favourite too, 'Kao Yam' and has been added to my list of favourite places for lunch! Kao Yam is a traditional Southern Thai dish, probably originating from Malaysia or Indonesia, made from a selection of finally sliced vegetables and herbs, dried shredded shrimp, sour mango or similar and 'budu' sauce (บูดู). Kao Yam is renowned for its complete nutritional value.

 A big plate full for only 45 Baht! 

 I first discovered 'Kao Yam Tang Leuak' (Alternative Kao Yam) at an OTOP Fair. Registered as an OTOP product and guaranteed by a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification, it caught my eye because the ingredients, all natural, looked fresh and healthy and the packaging great if you wanted to take some home to eat or as a gift for friends or family.

You might not notice the shop but it is right next door to the Bangkok Bank in Phang Nga Road, and if you're a noodle fan then why not order both. 

Sorry about the dismal photo but I only get a day off when it rains!

They are open until 4pm every day except 1st and 16th of the month (lottery days), and you can always call them and order in advance or to check they are open.

You will also find them among the many food stalls at some of the local fairs and festivals. Just look for their sign.

Choom Chon 40 Hong, Kra Road - ชุมชน 40 ห้อง ถนนกระ

I have just added another favourite dining spot to my list!

I have passed this road so many times and said to myself 'I must go there soon' but tonight I actually got there.

This community was originally formed about 20 years ago to house council workers but as years have gone by people from outside have moved in and opened businesses. Now the street is lined with tables just before sunset and seems to have become a popular dining spot for the locals. I arrived at opening time 17.30pm.

I went to what must be the smallest of the restaurants, it only has 3 canal side tables and is run by a wonderfully friendly family with 'Mum' doing the cooking and her son serving. I ordered with no idea of the prices as I hadn't noticed the sign above the restaurant and was amazed to find out just how cheap and tasty it was. One plate of rice, one bottle of water, one plate of food (see photo below) all for 79 Baht, and what an unusual location for Phuket. Beer and other drinks are available too. This restaurant boasts WiFi but the signal was not strong enough to get across the road although I think they will be improving on that soon.

Now some of you may be wondering if the canal smelt bad, well today there was no smell at all and the only worry I had was that I might accidentally knock my phone into the water! (So I put it away safely in my bag under the table)

Choom Chon 40 Hong is in the part of Kra Road that runs along-side Bang Yai Canal on the opposite bank to the Transport Office. It can be approached from Saphan Hin or from the bridge where Poonpol Road and Kra Road meet just close to Poonpol Night Plaza. You can see a map here: