There are 3 premier seafood joints in Koh Samui, Sabieng Lay, Tarau Samui and Krua Chao Baan, the last being the most prolific. It'd been highly recommended by friends, and it was right on Lamai Beach where we were staying.
The open-air restaurant is a rustic scenic seafood shack along the seashore (try saying out loud ten times), so even in the heat of the day, breezy with a faint scent of sea spray. Like any other seafood joint on Thailand's beaches, prices are marked up for tourists and spice levels watered down. Still, the price points are cheaper than what we're offered in Singapore, the seafood's swimmingly fresh, and Thai food deliciously authentic. In any case, be sure to ask for "really spicy" if you want a truly authentic Thai flavour.
The Fried Pork with Chilli & Basil (THB150/S$6) was moist and robust and punchy.
The ubiquitous Tom Yum Kung (THB150/S$6), generously dotted with fresh bouncy shrimp and straw mushrooms, was a tingly lively balance of the spicy and sour.
The Green Curry with Chicken (THB150/S$6), sumptuous and creamy, was laced with plentiful green beans, baby corn, baby eggplant and cauliflower for crunch.
A must-try, the Deep-Fried Snapper with Garlic & Pepper (THB400 per kg/S$16) had beautifully crisp skin, and still moist flaky flesh. We picked this clean off the bones.
The Prawn Phad Thai in Omelette (THB135/S$5.50) was just so-so, but immediately elevated by copious lashings of the excellent green curry gravy.
Krua Chao Baan
438/18 Moo 1, Maret
Tel: 077-418-589, 087-893-7766, 089-009-5560
Open daily from 10am to 10pm