When it comes to things to do in Khao Lak, I enjoy eating at restaurants most of all. Not surprisingly, Thai food is the most common cuisine found in the area; however, many other cuisines are also represented. This morning, I am leisurely strolling down the main road of Bang Niang, heading southward approximately 100 metres away from the Bang Niang Market. A new restaurant called “Isaan Food” recently opened its doors. Isaan is a large state in the north-east part of Thailand, bordering with Laos and Cambodia. It has a population of around 22 million people, many of whom work in the vast rice-fields. I had the pleasure of tasting the shop’s delicacies at its opening a few days earlier, and was delighted with the quality of the restaurant. Khao Lak has many eating establishments, including cafes, bars and nightclubs, but until “Isaan Food” opened, there were only 2 restaurants that specifically served food originating in Isaan. Bang Niang has now contributed a third Isaan food restaurant in the Khao Lak area!

N.B. THIS RESTAURANT IS NO LONGER OPERATING.

Isaan Food Restaurant in Bang Niang, Khao lak

Several different dishes are served, including those that are derived from Isaan as well as those that are more commonly originate from the large Thai cuisine in general. The main feature of this restaurant is the Isaan Hot Pot, known as “Jim Jum” in Thai which translates as “dip and drop” in English. The name of the owner/cook of the restaurant is EAT (really!) – she speaks sufficient English to engage in conversation should you be unclear as to what to do with an Isaan Hot Pot! Basically, customers are presented with a clay pot containing water that is placed on top of a charcoal stove. Food, such as chicken or pork and vegetables such as lemon grass, basil, kaffir lime, and galangal, are cooked in the pot.

I vow to return to again taste some more of the treats in the “Isaan Food” restaurant, but for now I had better make a fast exit if I am to get back home without getting drenched. Khao Lak weather is unpredictable in July, and there are threatening black clouds overhead.

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