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Hat Yai | Food And Restaurants Page 9

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Food at Hat Yai's floating market

Food at Hat Yai's floating market

 

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Hat Yai Food and Restaurants - Page 9

Hat Yai Restaurant Listings Page 9

For a general overview of the food scene in Hat Yai see Hat Yai Food and Restaurant Listings Page 1. The following restaurants are some of the places I've eaten at in Hat Yai.

Steak Cafe (NOW CLOSED)

Steak Cafe, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 318 Sripoovanart Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Mobile: +66 (0)81 969 1249; +66 (0)85 894 0989
Map: Map 4

Comments: When I first found this place it served some decent Western food at reasonable prices. However, when I tried to find it again I couldn't. Many restaurants in Hat Yai only survive for a short time and then they close. This is one of them.

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Steak Nai Suan

Steak Nai Suan, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 51 Moobaan 1, Tumbon Taakaam, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Mobile: +66 (0)87 826 8164, +66 (0)84 633 3947
Map: Map 2

Latitude: N 07° 05' 12.4" (N 07° 05.206')

Longitude: E 100° 33' 29.8" (E 100° 33.497')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: There are quite a few Thai-style steak restaurants in Hat Yai. Some will suit Western tastes and some won't. Some concentrate on being cheap, while others concentrate more on the taste of the food.

This is one of the better places but it is quite a long way out of Hat Yai. It is located on the old road between Hat Yai and Songkhla (Karnchanawanich Road). As you go towards Songkhla from Hat Yai, it is on the right.

I've only been there using personal transport. However, a lot of public transport in the form of buses, sawng-thaews and minivans pass the reastaurant every day as they go between Hat Yai and Songkhla so in theory it should be easy to get to if you don't have your own transport.

Apart from the fact it is located next to a busy road, the setting is quite pleasant and if you have been stuck in Hat Yai for any length of time it feels good to get away.

They serve beef, chicken, pork, fish and lamb steaks. They also have Thai-style sausages and a good selection of Thai food. I order the lamb every time because it's quite difficult to get in Hat Yai. What gives this place an advantage over many of the other steak houses is that everything is barbecued on a charcoal grill.

It's a big place on a lot of land. As you go in you see the restaurant, but this is only half as there is another identical restaurant on the other side.

As long as you don't mind travelling a little way to get there, it's well worth a visit.

From Tuesday to Friday the opening times are 10:00-14:00 and 16:00-21:00. On Saturdays and Sundays the restaurant is open from 10:00-21:30. It is closed on Mondays.

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Sugar Rock

Sugar Rock, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Sugar Rock, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Sugar Rock, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Sugar Rock, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 528 Thammanoonwithi Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Mobile: +66 (0)93 670 2670
Map: Map 2

Latitude: N 07° 00' 16.5" (N 07° 00.275')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 9.9" (E 100° 29.167')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Restaurants in Hat Yai come and go with such regularity that it's virtually impossible to keep this website up to date. Throughout these pages you will find the suffix 'NOW CLOSED' use for lots of restaurants that weren't successful and subsequently went out of business.

However, there are a few old, established restaurants that have been around for years. Sugar Rock is one of them, having been in business since 1988. Only Thai food is served and there is only a Thai menu, which is both good and bad.

Most foreigners can't read any Thai and therefore it is impossible for them to fathom out a Thai menu. On the other hand, when Thais create English menus it is because they plan to target foreign customers. And whenever Thais target foreign customers they mark up the prices significantly.

I can read Thai and like places that don't have English menus because I know I'm not getting ripped off.

It's quite a large place and the food, if not spectacular, is perfectly fine. Prices are reasonable. Sugar Rock is located on Thammanoonwithi Road quite near to the Prince of Songkla University branch of Tesco Lotus.

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Sumatra (Halal)

Sumatra restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 55/1 Rattakarn Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 246459, +66 (0)74 232747
Mobile: +66 (0)81 690 0260
Map: Map 1

Latitude: N 07° 00' 34.0" (N 07° 00.575')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 03.0" (E 100° 28.062')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Not only are there a lot of Muslims living in southern Thailand, but also quite a few visitors to Hat Yai from Malaysia are Muslim (the majority of Malaysian visitors seem to be Chinese).

One benefit is the added colour the Muslim culture adds to Hat Yai and another is being able to enjoy Muslim cuisine. A benefit to Muslims is that finding Halal restaurants in Hat Yai isn't difficult.

Sumatra is located next to the Pakistani mosque in the fresh market area. It's also very close to the Hat Yai Holiday hotel. The restaurant is fairly large and offers standard Thai food as well as a few Muslim specialities. Everything is Halal, of course.

I don't know if it gets busy at certain times but whenever I have walked past there are very few customers there. The food is OK but the kaaw gairng is either a little overpriced or they decided to charge me extra because I was a farang.

In addition to paying more than I expected, the staff weren't very friendly either so this place has now been removed from my Christmas card list. You may have a different experience.

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The Supper

The Supper, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

The Supper, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

The Supper, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Sinbenjapolpatana Rd, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110
Mobile: +66 (0)91 048 8340
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 06° 59' 45.6" (N 06° 59.760')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 19.2" (E 100° 28.320')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: There are lots of Thai-style steak houses in Hat Yai. They are all fairly cheap and they all follow the same formula. The food is satisfactory, but the taste isn't great and I often leave hungry because they only give you five French fries.

This steak restaurant is different to the rest. They offer combination platters and for Bt259 you get a lot of food. There are pork dishes and non-pork dishes for Muslims and people like me who don't eat pork in Thailand.

If you don't want a large combination platter you can just order a single steak. They also offer appetisers, Thai dishes, salads, desserts and have a good selection of drinks.

The service was also very quick. I often find in Thai restaurants that Thai dishes arrive quickly, but Western dishes take a long time to prepare. This isn't the case at The Supper.

The restaurant is open from 4pm until 10pm and closed all day on Tuesdays.

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The Swan

The Swan, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Thamnoonvithee Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 15.9" (N 07° 00.265')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 20.8" (E 100° 28.347')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: I 'discovered' The Swan when I first came to Hat Yai in 2003, but then avoided it for many years because it attracted a lot of farang types who I didn't want anything to do with.

Several years later I gave it a try for lunch and the food is quite good. The owner, Khun O, lived in England for about six years during the 90's and has a good understanding of English pubs and pub grub. Lots of British favourites appear on the menu, including a few curry dishes.

Prices are quite high compared to the local restaurants selling Thai food, but they are cheap compared to the UK. I much prefer the Western food here to the Western food served at Post Laser Disc. Thai food is also served.

The interior is decorated like an English pub with lots of English football memorabilia on display. It is located on Thamnoonvithee Road closed to the intersection with Saengchan Road.

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Taaworn Ocha

Raan Taworn Ocha, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 6/13 Niphat Songkhrao 1 Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 233097, +66 (0)74 350860
Mobile: +66 (0)81 541 9656, +66 (0)81 277 2358
Map: Map 1

Comments: Foreigners tend to enjoy Thai food after midday but most farang stomachs prefer toast, eggs and sausage in the mornings, rather than rice and curry.

This isn't a problem in areas of Thailand with lots of foreigners but it can be a little problematic in Hat Yai. There are a few places that do a fairly decent English breakfast and this is one of them. Raan Taaworn Ocha is located almost opposite the Hat Yai Hospital building on Niphat Songkhrao 1 Road.

For breakfast they do various combinations of eggs, sausages, toast, French toast, sausages and coffee. Their freshly squeezed orange juice is also good.

Despite the Western food breakfast menu, this is very much a Thai restaurant. There is no sign outside in English saying 'English Breakfast' and very little English is spoken inside. If you manage to find it, ordering is easy because they have photographs on the menu!

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Tai See Hee

Tai See Hee, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 12/14 Lamai Songkroh Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110.
Telephone: +66 (0)74 462238
Map: Map 4

Comments: I first became aware of this restaurant from its prominent advertisement on the local free map (which is testament to the power of advertising). It is very popular with visiting Chinese Malaysians but I haven't eaten there myself. I include it only because of its apparent popularity.

Their advertising style is a bit of a mystery. In the time-honoured Thai tradition of writing advertising copy in Thaiglish, they claim 'Clean food good taste in Low Price'.

They claim to serve delicious Betong Chinese food. Betong is an area in Yala province which I believe has quite a large Chinese population. Presumably the Chinese inhabitants of Betong developed their own cuisine which this restaurant now serves in Hat Yai?

The business card says 'Original of Betong Chicken Slide'. Now, perhaps those clever Betong inhabitants created a chicken dish which they named 'Chicken Slide', which Tai See Hee now serves in Hat Yai? I don't know. I'm guessing again.

The final mystery on the business card is 'Guaranteed by Mae Choi Nang Ram'. What is guaranteed and who/what is Mae Choi Nang Ram? How does the guarantee work? If I don't enjoy the 'Original of Betong Chicken Slide' will Mae Choi Nang Ram give me my money back?

If you have answers to any of these questions, please let me know.

Update: A reader living in Malaysia who visited Hat Yai was able to throw some light on these mysteries. Thank you!

Firstly, a classic Thai spelling mistake. Apparently, the restaurant should be advertising 'Chicken Slices' (or perhaps 'Sliced Chicken') and not 'Chicken Slide'.

Secondly, I am told that Chinese food in Betong is famous. However, it always makes me suspicious when you have to be told something is famous. If it's that famous you should know already, shouldn't you?

Thirdly, I am told that the mysterious Mae Choi Nang Ram is a celebrity food critic in Thailand so if the food is good enough at Tai See Hee for her, it is good enough for anyone.

Now we all know.

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Tai Sun Dim Sum

Tai Sun Dim Sum, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Tai Sun Dim Sum, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Raj Uthit Road, Soi 10, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110.
Mobile: +66 (0)89 879 7811
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 07° 00' 05.9" (N 07° 00.098')

Longitude: E 100° 27' 52.2" (E 100° 27.870')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: With its big Chinese influences, Hat Yai has a lot of dim sum restaurants and I have eaten at many. Most are so-so, and a few have been terrible. My opinion of the best known dim sum restaurant in Hat Yai, Chok Dee, is that it is so-so and vastly overrated.

There are a few that I like and this is one of them. The staff are pleasant and friendly, the food is good, and the prices are reasonable. They make their own dim sum on the premises, whereas many small restaurants buy it in from outside.

In addition to dim sum they also serve bak-kut-teh (the pork and herb meat-bone-tea, which is very popular with ethnic Chinese), kanom jeen (rice noodles and Thai curry) and salapao (Chinese dumplings).

One of the other nice features when you visit is that it isn't jam packed with Malaysian tourists.

It is located in the Hat Yai Nai area, quite close to the Silom Palace Hotel.

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Taste Add

Taste Add, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Thamanoonvithee Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110.
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 07° 00' 17.5" (N 07° 00.292')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 26.8" (E 100° 29.447')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Taste Add is located right at the other end of Thamanoonvithee Road to the railway station. It is a lot closer to the university than it is to central Hat Yai.

It's a Thai run restaurant that serves exclusively Western food but the food is different - and better - than the other cheap steak houses in Hat Yai. The BBQ sauce they put on their grilled chicken is superb and their other dishes are also very good.

They even serve a German-style pork knuckle (Schweinshaxe), and as well as beer you can order wine with your meal. The owner spent some time in New Zealand and understands ahaan farang. Most Thais don't, and when they prepare foreign food it is a poor imitation. Also, foreign food tends to be too sweet when cooked by Thais.

I would go as far as to say that Taste Add probably serves the best Western food in Hat Yai.

Local meat is usually used for the steaks, but imported cuts of meat are also available - at a higher price, of course.

The negative points are that it gets extremely busy at times and the food can take a very long time to arrive after ordering. The poor waitress there works incredibly hard. She can't speak or hear so don't try speaking to her in Thai - even if you can.

There is no air-conditioning and only the front of the restaurant is open which means that there is no through-breeze. There are fans inside but during the hot season (most of the year in Hat Yai) it can get quite uncomfortable. Taste Add only opens in the evening - from around 6pm - there being no lunch service.

Update: Taste Add had a bit of a makeover in January 2009. The spiral staircase that went up to the second floor seating area that was never used has been removed, as have all the pictures and posters that used to hang on the walls.

Some of the character of the restaurant has gone but overall it looks better. The poor waitress still flies around as much as she ever did and it still takes a long time from ordering your meal to it actually arriving.

The food is still very good and the slow service is only due to the restaurant's continued popularity with both foreigners and local Thais.

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Thale Thai (NOW CLOSED)

Thale Thai seafood restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Raj Uthit Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 1

Latitude: N 07° 00' 35.1" (N 07° 00.585')

Longitude: E 100° 27' 29.2" (E 100° 27.487')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This restaurant is located in an area that I don't visit often these days, but when I last drove past I noticed that it seems to have gone.

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Tong Poon

Tong Poon restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 393 Thammanoonvithee Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 357831
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 07° 00' 21.0" (N 07° 00.352')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 03.0" (E 100° 29.061')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This is another one of my favourite places in Hat Yai. As far as I know, it is the only Vietnamese restaurant in town. I have never been to Vietnam and this is the only Vietnamese restaurant I've eaten at so I can't make any comparisons or say how authentic it is but the food is delicious.

After eating thousands of Thai meals, something slightly different makes a pleasant change. The food is unmistakably Asian but distinctly different to Thai. There are lots of subtle flavours and it doesn't seem quite as spicy as most Thai food.

The restaurant itself is like a conventional Western restaurant, most noticeably it is indoors. This doesn't sound very significant but while eating in there it struck me that the majority of Thai places I eat at are outdoors. The staff are extremely friendly and gracious and although it is more expensive than dining at the average Thai eatery it is by no means expensive. Highly recommended.

Tong Poon is owned by the same people who own the Post Laser Disc bar.

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Umami

Umami, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Diana Department Store
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 06° 59' 53.5" (N 06° 59.892')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 41.9" (E 100° 28.699')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This is actually three restaurants but they all sell Japanese food, they are all located next to each other in a little cluster in the same place, and they are all owned by the same people.

You will find them at the rear of Diana Department store, on the ground floor next to the Se-ed book shop.

Hat Yai has gone crazy for Japanese food, and in the last few years a lot of restaurants have opened selling sushi and other Japanese goodies.

These three restaurants are slightly different. Umami has a set menu with various Japanese dishes. Daidomon offers a Japanese buffet, while at Suki Shabu you get raw meat and vegetables which you then boil in a pot at your table.

The prices are cheaper than Fuji, but more expensive than some other places. However, in Diana the cleanliness and hygiene are a lot better than some of the cheaper places.

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Washington

Washington restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 130 Niphat Uthit 1 Road (under Kings hotel)
Telephone: +66 (0)74 237501, +66 (0)74 354100
Mobile: +66 (0)81 959 2633
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 07° 00' 13.3" (N 07° 00.221')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 10.3" (E 100° 28.172')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Washington is yet another Hat Yai eating establishment that is distinctly Chinese. It is directed very much at Chinese Malaysian tourists, but I suspect it is also popular with local Thai Chinese.

It is located just underneath a hotel that is popular with visiting Malaysians. The restaurant has large round tables that are popular with groups of Chinese dining out, and it serves very typical Asian-style Chinese food.

It seems to be quite well known locally for its Peking Duck. I haven't tried this myself yet but it looked and smelled very good. This restaurant doesn't appear suitable for those eating alone but if you are going out to eat in a large group it could be worth a try.

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Whisker Hat Yai (NOW CLOSED)

Whisker Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: Saengchan Road (between Saeng Sri and Suphasarnrangsan roads)
Map: Map 1

Latitude: N 07° 00' 35.1" (N 07° 00.586')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 19.0" (E 100° 28.317')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This was an interesting restaurant. It opened with a lot of ambition and there was a big investment, but it was fairly expensive for local pockets and it was in the wrong location for tourists. It has now been closed for several years.

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Yor Island Seafood Restaurants

Ranu Seafood restaurant, Yo Island - Click for larger image

Yon Yuuk Seafood restaurant, Yo Island - Click for larger image

Sirada Seafood restaurant, Yo Island - Click for larger image

Address: Yor Island

Comments: Apart from the constant heat, it is easy in Hat Yai to forget you are in a tropical country. Hat Yai is convenient in many respects but it is hardly beautiful.

Just a short drive away - not even as far as Songkhla town - is a small island called Yor which has all the ingredients of a tropical island. There is lush vegetation (including palm trees and fruit plantations), a small weaving industry, and a thriving fishery industry.

The island is connected to the mainland at either end by two long bridges, and the road through the island is part of a major highway. Most traffic just goes straight through but on the island next to the main road are several good seafood restaurants. (There are also good restaurants elsewhere on the island.)

These places are quite big and they look out on to the inland sea. The location is relaxing and the food is good. Locals from Hat Yai and Songkhla drive out to eat there, and these eateries are well known to groups of Malaysian tourists who arrive in their big tour buses.

Ranu restaurant even has a shop in the front that sells the bags of cashew nuts and dried food that the Malaysian tourists love to buy in Hat Yai.

Here are the phone numbers. It seems pointless providing addresses because the restaurants are all on the same road, and having an address won't make them easier to find. As you drive on to Yor island from Hat Yai, they are located after the market on the right hand side.

If you find yourself driving over the next bridge, then you have gone too far. Getting there by public transport is easy. Just take a Songkhla-bound bus or minivan and get off at the big intersection for Ko Yo.

From there, hop on a sawng-thaew to get over to the island.

Ranu: +66 (0)74 450350; +66 (0)74 357455; +66 (0)81 598 8597

Yonyuuk: +66 (0)89 466 4659; +66 (0)89 732 2312

Sirada: +66 (0)74 450235; +66 (0)74 450236; +66 (0)81 963 8135

Up until now, my favourite has been Sirada. Yon Yuuk only opened in February 2009 so I haven't had a chance to try it yet but the setting is very pleasant. Yon Yuuk seems to be more geared up for evening diners, whereas the other two seem to cater more for daytime tourists. I could be wrong but that's how it looks.

There is another restaurant on Yor Island called Go Miang. It's smaller and less touristy than the restaurants on the main road but it's right on the waterfront where you get a great view of the mangroves. There is a delightful breeze that comes off the water and even on the hottest of days it feels quite cool.

The telephone number for Go Miang is 074 450257 and the GPS coordinates are:

Latitude: N 07° 09' 28.6" (N 07° 09.476')

Longitude: E 100° 32' 10.8" (E 100° 32.179')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

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Saneha to Sor Hueng

 

Get The Best Deal On Your Hat Yai Hotel Room

Listed opposite are some of my personal recommendations for hotels in Hat Yai based on budget. I have lived permanently in Hat Yai since 2003 and my recommendations are based on a lot of local knowledge.

Each link will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.

Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.

If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand