Food Page 4

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Fresh fish at Lampo beach near Hat Yai

Fresh fish at Lampo beach near Hat Yai

 

 

Hat Yai Restaurant Tip

Over the years my opinion of which local restaurant serves the best Western food has changed. This is important to know because no matter how much foreigners enjoy Thai food, there will always be occasional cravings for food from home. My current choice for the best Western food in Hat Yai is Gäp's Garten.

Food - Page 4

Hat Yai Restaurant Listings Page 4

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.

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Dynasty Restaurant at JB Hotel
Dynasty Restaurant at JB Hotel, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: 99 Jootee-Anusorn Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 2
Telephone: +66 (0)74 234300

Latitude: N 07° 00' 47.8" (N 07° 00.797')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 32.5" (E 100° 28.541')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: When I first came to live in Hat Yai in 2003 I stayed fairly close to JB Hotel. I enjoyed the Western food at the hotel's Palm Court restaurant and also enjoyed eating at Dynasty Chinese restaurant, which I found to be a very special experience.

Dynasty is decorated exquisitely and the elegantly dressed staff provide very attentive service. However, on my recent visits I haven't been quite as impressed with the food as I used to be. It's also not that cheap.

Diner Comments:

  • Just last month, I wanted to celebrate my friend's birthday which was on 16th July. At that time, I was in Singapore so I flew in for 2 days, a short stopover trip and I stayed in Hansa JB hotel. We celebrated his birthday with his family and some Thai friends (one of them, a lady chef who works in one of the popular restaurants in Hatyai). The dishes served at Dynasty Chinese restaurant were way, way below standard and just not worth the price at all.

    We ordered altogether 7 dishes, namely, special 4 dish-combination, sea cucumber with Chinese mushroom, a fancy name dish (which I can't remember) but it was actually like siew mai, tim sum, Peking duck, wrapping and the rest of the duck meat done in black pepper sauce, broccoli scallop and we ended the night with fried thick rice noodle with seafood. The Peking roast duck should be served whole duck in front of us but we were short-changed. None of those dishes were good at all, tasteless I would say. I do not want to be too harsh on my comment, I will never visit this restaurant again. They are just not good in making authentic Chinese dishes or did the change in management had anything to do with the F&B division? (July 2012)

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Ep's Bake House
Ep's Bake House, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: Niphat Uthit 1, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 3

Latitude: N 06° 59' 59.1" (N 06° 59.985')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 11.3" (E 100° 28.188')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: There are a number of small cafés in Hat Yai that sell coffee and cakes, and they are very good. The drinks are tasty and the cakes are as good as any sold in European countries.

Ome Bake is probably the cheapest but there is no air-conditioning and it is quite a long way out of town. Ep's is similar but a little more upmarket. It is air-conditioned and fully up to European standards making for a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.

Most of the cakes are chocolate but there are fruit cheesecakes and sometimes even lemon meringues.

It is located on Niphat Uthit 1 very close to the original Lee Gardens hotel - not Lee Gardens Plaza. Coming out of Lee Gardens hotel, turn left then right and you are there.

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Fresh Orange Juice
Freshly made orange juice, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: Phetkasem Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 2

Latitude: N 07° 00' 32.8" (N 07° 00.547')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 25.7" (E 100° 28.428')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: No matter what the claims of the manufacturers for different brands of packaged orange juice, nothing tastes the same as real fresh orange juice. If you doubt this pop into this little shop in Hat Yai to taste the difference.

It's just a tiny business and the idea couldn't be simpler. Each day they buy about 200kg of oranges. The oranges are cut in half (by hand) and squeezed (also by hand) using a manual juicer. That's it. The orange juice is bottled with absolutely nothing added to it.

Small bottles are Bt30 and large bottles Bt50. It is impossible to get better tasting orange juice than this.

The shop is located on Saeng Sri Soi 4. From the Suphasarnrangsan end, turn into the Soi and the shop is a little way down on the right-hand side.

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Fuji
Fuji restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: Various
Map: Map 2

Comments: Fuji offers a fabulous Japanese dining experience. The food is authentically prepared and delicious. There is an army of waitresses who are very efficient and polite.

The cleanliness in Fuji is of hospital operating theatre standards. The dining area is spotless. In the kitchen the chefs all wear surgical masks while preparing food. I once met one of the chefs who told me that every month the kitchen is sprayed to eliminate any pests. This is one restaurant in Hat Yai where you won't find ants in the salad or see rats running around as you eat.

The original branch of Fuji was in the basement of Lee Gardens Plaza. A second branch opened in Carrefour on Phetkasem Road. It's still there but Carrefour was taken over by Big C and it is now known as Big C Extra. A third branch was then opened at Tesco Lotus near the university, not Tesco Lotus in Hat Yai Nai.

The big flood in November 2010 completely wiped out everything in the basement of Lee Gardens Plaza and it seems that a decision was taken not to reopen Fuji in that location. You therefore need to go to Tesco Lotus or Big C Extra.

In recent years there has been a big Japanese restaurant craze in Hat Yai. Lots of restaurants selling Japanese food have opened. Most are smaller and cheaper than Fuji but despite all the competition Fuji is still packed every day and always busy.

I think this illustrates that although Fuji is the most expensive, it is still the best. The restaurant operates a loyalty card scheme. It is somewhat confusing but if you accrue enough points you then get a discount on your food.

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Futai Steak House
Futai Steak House, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: 104 Soi Jongjaroen, Klong Rien 2 Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 4
Mobile: +66 (0)86 746 9588
E-mail: futai_steakhouse@hotmail.com

Latitude: N 07° 00' 09.0" (N 07° 00.150')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 02.3" (E 100° 29.039')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Thais, the same as everyone else, get bored with eating one type of food and they have quite an appetite for Western style food. A number of small steak houses have sprung up as a result, and I have listed some in these pages.

This one is a bit out of the way but it's very clean and the food isn't too bad at all. The only problem is that it's a way out of town and if you aren't familiar with Hat Yai it might be difficult to find.

However, all tuk-tuk drivers should be able to find Klong Rien 2 Road easily enough.

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Gäp's Garten
The new Gäp's Garten, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

The old Gäp's Garten, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

The old Gäp's Garten, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 516/1 Soi Chuntarajanusorn, Thamanoonvithi Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 4
Mobile: +66 (0)86 963 6551 (German/English); +66 (0)84 729 3542 (Thai)
E-mail: gapsgarten@yahoo.de

Latitude: N 07° 00' 15.4" (N 07° 00.256')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 10.1" (E 100° 29.169')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: If you visited Gäp's Garten when it was located near JB Hansa hotel, the first thing to note is that the restaurant moved to new premises in December 2012.

To find the new location, go along Thamanoonvithi Road heading away from central Hat Yai. Just after Udom Seuksa school there is a restaurant called Daza on the corner on the right. Turn right just before Daza and Gäp's Garten is located a few yards down the Soi on the left.

The new premises used to be a loud music bar called Baan Baaroy. It was taken over by another business, which subsequently closed, and it is now in reliable German hands.

The original Gäp's Garten was quite small. The new location is huge in comparison, but the new location has a very pleasant ambience. There is seating inside and outside, and also car parking spaces.

In my opinion, this is the best place in Hat Yai to get Western food. The owner, Jan, who originates from Baden-Baden understands the restaurant trade as a result of his father running a restaurant in Germany. He knows how to prepare good Western food and he understands what customers want, especially foreign customers.

The menu includes many German dishes that are well-known internationally and cooked exactly as they should be. The owner spent two years teaching his girlfriend how to prepare German dishes properly. I took some friends who live in southern Germany to Gäp's for a meal and they also vouched for the authenticity and quality of the food.

The food is served on gigantic white plates and the attention to detail is even evident in the ornate cutlery that the owner has chosen. The tastes and smells are so authentic that I am always reminded of trips to Germany while eating there.

A free salad is on offer with the type of salad dressings foreigners are accustomed to, and not the sugary sweet dressings that Thais smother their salads with.

The portions are designed intentionally so that customers leave feeling full. For example, huge portions of French fries are served instead of the five skinny chips you get at a Thai steak house.

Imported German beers and other German beverages, such as Kirschwasser, are available. There is also now a selection of UK beers, such as Fullers. Considering that the drinks are imported, they are priced very reasonably.

The owner normally organises a mini Oktoberfest to coincide with the large event in Munich, and there is also something at Karneval (Fasching) which takes place 40 days before Easter.

Negative points? Not really, but if you arrive at a busy time you may have to wait a while for your food to be served. A lot of work goes into each dish and the food takes a while to prepare.

This type of food (unlike Thai food) cannot be made by throwing all the ingredients into a wok and stir frying for five minutes. It takes time.

I used to think that Gäp's was a little expensive, but now I have changed my mind. On several occasions I have been to Thai steak houses for a very mediocre meal and been charged around Bt300. At Gäp's there are lots of dishes for around Bt200. They taste great and really fill your stomach. It's actually not expensive when compared to other restaurants in Hat Yai.

There are some more expensive dishes, such as the Schweinshaxe, but this type of dish will be about the same price anywhere, and at Gäp's it will taste a lot better.

The restaurant is open every day from 4pm until midnight.

I recommend Gäp's highly, in fact it is my top recommendation for good food in Hat Yai.

Diner Comments:

  • Price of food is compatible to Penang standard. The main platter doesn't comes with veggies, we are entitle to have a plate of salad for each main dish ordered. I ordered the crispy pork knuckle and fried pork kidney with sour cream (seldom find this dish in Penang) Service is ok. (June 2011)
  • Finally found this place but not open till 4pm. Will go back on my next trip. I had some cakes at a nearby cake shop. I see there wasn't any tourist from Malaysia or Singapore around that area except us. I have been following your recommendation when I am around Hatyai. (April 2011)
  • Good: Authentic tasteful German cuisine at affordable prices, perfect service, friendly owners.

    Bad: You might get drunk on that great German beer too fast. Watch out! (again and again and again)

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Gobpii Guwan
Gobpii Guwan coffee garden, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: Close to Tong Poon
Map: Map 4

Latitude: N 07° 00' 21.7" (N 07° 00.361')

Longitude: E 100° 29' 02.9" (E 100° 29.048')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This pleasant coffee shop with a garden is located near Tong Poon Vietnamese restaurant and the Pink Resort love motel, thus giving you a few options for things to do before or after your coffee.

The 'coffee shop with a garden' concept is similar to Chill Chill except that the garden is more open and there are no bonsai trees. The opening hours are 4pm until midnight.

They only serve coffee and cakes and there is nothing more substantial if you are looking for food.

One minor annoyance (obvious really in a garden setting that opens just before dusk) is that mosquitoes are abundant. Cover up or wear some repellent to ward them off. Other than that, it's a nice place.

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Gun Eng
Gen Eng restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: 50/3 Kimpradit Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 4
Telephone: +66 (0)74 246138, +66 (0)74 232798

Latitude: N 07° 00' 10.8" (N 07° 00.180')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 24.4" (E 100° 28.407')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: First, let's get the transliteration out of the way. The restaurant refers to itself in English as 'Kaneng' but 'Gun Eng' is a more accurate phonetic transliteration.

This restaurant is very well known to Hat Yai locals and to the many Malaysian visitors who visit Hat Yai often. Thai and Chinese food is served, but I should remind you that Chinese food in Thailand is a little different to Chinese food as served in Europe or North America.

This kind of eatery is much favoured by Chinese diners: large with big, round tables. Chinese tend to eat in large groups. Before I was married I often used to eat alone and restaurants like this are totally unsuitable for solitary diners.

I ate at Gun Eng once, and I was taken as a guest. I am not fond of Chinese food in Thailand so had a few doubts but the food was very Thai and very good. Without being ungrateful or disrespectful to my hosts, it wasn't too expensive either.

The nearest landmarks are the two BP hotels - the BP Grand Tower and BP Grand Suite (Map 3) - and the restaurant is located opposite a Chinese temple.

Diner Comments:

  • Good place to eat if you're a Singaporean or Malaysian. This place served food chinese style just the way the chinese love it. Lots of oil with lots of rice to soak it up. Large variety of dishes to choose from, from run of the mill chinese stuff to the more exotic Thai spicy stuff. (December 2012)

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Hamid Restaurant (Halal)
Hamid Halal restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: 73-75 Prachatipat Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 3
Telephone: +66 (0)74 243008

Latitude: N 07° 00' 20.3" (N 07° 00.339')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 17.5" (E 100° 28.291')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Asians like to eat in big groups but most large restaurants in Hat Yai intended for Malaysian tourists cater to those of Chinese ethnicity. This one, however, caters to Muslims.

There are a number of Muslim restaurants in Hat Yai but this one is a little more upmarket and is located in the prime tourist area of Lee Gardens Plaza. It's a stone's throw from Lee Gardens. Because of its location - and because the restaurant tends to attract tourists rather than locals - the prices are a little high.

There is a good selection of food on the menu including Western, Thai and Malaysian dishes. Naturally, everything is prepared to Halal standards so this is not the place to go if you fancy a bacon sandwich.

The staff are very friendly - I know because I often chat to them as I walk past if they're not busy.

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Hia Kui (see Samila Seafood)
Hia Kui seafood restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: 173/3 Supasarnrungsun Road, Sairngsee Soi 2/4, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 2
Telephone: +66 (0)74 351353, +66 (0)81 092 2029

Comments: Hia Kui, a long-standing seafood restaurant in Hat Yai, had a change of ownership about half-way through 2009. It is now called Samila Seafood and belongs to the same people who run the Samila Sea Sport restaurants.

The restaurant looks exactly the same - apart from the sign outside - and serves the same food.

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Hong Kong Roast Duck
Hong Kong Roast Duck restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: Sripadungvithee Road (opposite Ambassador Hotel), Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 4
Telephone: +66 (0)81 990 1105

Comments: There is plenty of Chinese food in Hat Yai but a lot of it is not to my taste. This restaurant is an exception. The choice of food is extremely limited - duck or duck - but it tastes great. I normally just go for the straightforward duck on rice which they serve with a delicious plum sauce. It's really cheap and worth seeking out.

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Irish Pub
Irish Pub, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Irish Pub, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 92/2-3 Sanehanusorn Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 3
Telephone: +66 (0)74 239168
Mobile: +66 (0)85 628 4878

Latitude: N 07° 00' 05.3" (N 07° 00.088')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 19.4" (E 100° 28.323')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: In my home town in the UK a lot of traditional independent pubs have been demolished and replaced with houses. Meanwhile, the High Street has become cluttered with pseudo Irish themed chain pubs that have the atmosphere of public toilets and attract chavs and thugs. It's really sad to see what has happened.

I've been to Dublin and experienced real Irish pubs, which are fantastic, but my natural tendency is to avoid mock Irish pubs. However, I am pleased to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by this place.

I sometimes question my decision to live in Hat Yai because of the dire Western restaurant situation. There are so few places that offer real Western food as I know it, and most of the time when Thais prepare Western food it just isn't the same. Any new restaurant that serves good Western food is therefore welcomed warmly.

The selection of food on the menu is very good. They have steaks, burgers, sandwiches, soup, pizzas and other British favourites. I took the opportunity to order Cottage Pie, which is something I haven't eaten for years and impossible to find elsewhere in Hat Yai. They also have some Indian Madras curries. This isn't the most authentic Indian food you will find, but with the dearth of Indian food in Hat Yai this is something else that is very welcome.

I'm not a drinker, but they have a selection of Irish beer on tap and the soft drinks are good. The interior decoration has been done very well and my wife was impressed with the toilets. I always regard the condition of toilets in Thai restaurants as being a good indicator of the overall condition and cleanliness of the restaurant.

There are also rooms to rent on a monthly basis. I was told that the rooms have A/C, but they are very basic. There is no fridge, no TV, and no hot water. The cost per month is Bt3,700 and the deposit is Bt7,400. There is a three month minimum stay and if you don't stay for at least three months you won't get your deposit back.

If you want some decent Western food in Hat Yai and don't want to spend a lot it's a good place to visit. The location is just behind the BP Grand Tower hotel on Sanehanusorn Road. The other end of Sanehanusorn Road where Central and Lee Gardens are located is the very centre of Hat Yai's tourist district.

Depending how fast you walk, you can walk to the Irish Pub from the central tourist district in five to ten minutes. The location is actually very good. It's close to the centre of town, but whenever I have visited I have been able to find a parking space right in front of the pub.

The Irish Pub opened around the beginning of 2013. For Western expats in Hat Yai who crave Western food, and also for Western tourists passing through Hat Yai, it is a very welcome addition to the Hat Yai restaurant scene.

Diner Comments:

  • Agree about VFN, but as a real Irish man I was appalled to see the Union jack flag in one corner, French themed posters all over the walls and Scottish plaid table coverings !! That said, it is a cheap watering hole and very clean. (December 2013)

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Jae Lek
Jae Lek restaurant, Hat Yai - Click for larger image
Address: 190/3-4 Niphat Uthit 2 Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 2
Telephone: +66 (0)74 246710, 244466

Latitude: N 07° 00' 02.4" (N 07° 00.040')

Longitude: E 100° 28' 14.2" (E 100° 28.236')

Google Maps: Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Located just opposite the Kosit Hotel, this is an excellent restaurant serving Thai and Chinese food. The sour pickled mango they serve as an appetiser is one of my favourites.

Jae Lek's omission from this guide for such a long time was my mistake. I thought I'd added it years ago but for some reason I didn't. This is an unfortunate side-effect of old age.

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Food Page 1

B's Sweet to Baan Khun Bpu

Food Page 2

Baan Lalit to Chill Chill

Food Page 3

Ching Sin to Daychaa Fried Chicken

Food Page 5

Jaelin to Long Oey

Food Page 6

Mariko to Pairin

Food Page 7

Palm Court to Samila Sea Sport

Food Page 8

Saneha to Sor Hueng

Food Page 9

Steak Cafe to Yor Island

 

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