A hidden gem at Chalong Beach, Phensiri Thai Restaurant is a traditional southern Thai restaurant on the island of Koh Samui. The place is simply decorated in a simple woody resort style, but the food is anything but simple. They specialise in serving reasonably-priced fresh seafood caught by the local fishermen paired with local ingredients.
This place is at the top of my must-eat list every time I come to Koh Samui for one reason – the fact that they make their own curry paste, shrimp paste and freshly squeezed coconut milk, all without preservatives. Their seasoning game is on point too, making every dish a joy to taste.
One of the dishes that came highly recommended by the staff was the crab meat curry with betel leaves, which also happens to be a signature dish of southern Thailand.
Think large chunks of crab meat in a curry gravy with just the right amount of heat – and just imagine how well it pairs with steamed rice and fresh vegetables.
Moo Ko is another dish that we can't get enough of. It is also a traditional southern Thailand dish, and each region has their own take on it. The dish features pork belly that's fried till crispy, and topped with garlic and coriander. It never fails to amaze us how the pork belly still remains juicy and tender!
Yum Nam Chup Kung (or Spicy Shrimp Salad) may not be a familiar Thai dish to many, but trust me when I say you have to order it! It's a simple dish, just cooked shrimp mixed with their fresh homemade shrimp paste, with a sprinkling of fresh chillies on top. The taste is a mix of sweet and sour, and it's another dish that pairs well with steamed rice.