There are numerous Khao Lak restaurants to dine in when visiting the Khao Lak region of Thailand. Depending on which meal you intend to indulge in, i.e., breakfast, lunch, or dinner, for each option the choice of establishments is almost endless. When it comes to eating breakfast, however, my favourite restaurant is the Cultivated Banana located opposite the T.O.T. Internet facility on the main road of Bang Niang, about 800 metres north of the Bang Niang market on the other side of the road. It’s an easy 10 minutes’ walk from the market, or if you are coming from the Khao Lak centre (properly designated by the Thai authorities as La On), a taxi journey will take less than 5 minutes.
The thing that makes the Cultivated Banana unique is the Chinese-like dumplings, and other assorted delicacies, that are steamed on small dishes in a large pot at the front of the shop. These food morsels are all incredibly tasty, especially when topped with soy sauce, or, if you are more adventurous, topped with some of the different spicy liquids that are presented in small glass vials. But be warned, what commonly goes as medium spicy in Thai restaurants in Western countries like Australia, might just burn your insides out when the supposed same level of spice is designated in Thailand! I have succumbed to such temptations on several occasions in Thailand restaurants, but, fortunately, have survived to warn others. I have even seen Thai people gulp down voluminous glasses of iced water in attempts to mollify the ensuing discomfort after eating spicy foods!
Of course one does not have to be led into temptation, and, indeed, I usually order either rice soup with chicken (khau tom gai) or rice soup and prawns (kau tom gung) when I eat at the Cultivated Banana. Sometimes I ask for an egg to be added (sai khai), or if you do not want an egg, just say “mai sai kai”. In any case, the friendly lady who runs the restaurant speaks enough English to enable you to get what you want. The menu also has a large American Breakfast which comprises toast, eggs, tomato and sausages!
Eating at the Cultivated Banana is one of the things to do in Khao Lak that has proven to be most enjoyable. The restaurant is open every day from 5am to 11am.