Amazing seafood at Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord in Prachuap Kiri Khan

Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

Let’s face it, eating fresh and inexpensive seafood trumps all other reasons to go to the beach. Who are we kidding to pretend otherwise? Luckily enough, as well as whole host of other reasons to visit Prachuap Kiri Khan, this cute town an hour south of Hua Hin also serves up the ocean’s best each and every night of the week.

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Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

The height of the seafood action in Prachuap has to be at Krua Lung Peuk Pa Lord, an unassuming setup around half-way down beachfront Chaitalay Road, marked in two ways. Firstly by a modest sign that in English reads only ‘Seafood’. And secondly, and more importantly, by two chiller decks worth of eye-catching fish and shellfish resting casually on a bed of ice. Bizarrely, the restaurant’s name roughly translates as ‘Uncle Squid’s and Aunty Straw’s Kitchen’. When you’re looking for nothing but the best, that – along with the nightly crowd that consistently packs the place out – is a sign to run with.

Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

This family-run operation does a pretty good job of efficiently managing its restaurant, and the mix of locals and tourists is testament to that fact. The tourists are primarily families, out for a filling and good value evening meal with a relaxed atmosphere, while the locals include friendly groups who settle in for a night of excellent stir-fried, steamed and curried fish and shellfish accompanied by a bottle of whisky and plenty of ice and soda. You can enjoy your meal at Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord, head down to the main night market to see what else is going on, and be pretty sure that this lot will still be there as you pass on your way back to your guest house.

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Crab at Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

What about the food? It is standard Thai coastal fare, but well executed and keenly priced. Choose the fish, prawns, crab, whatever you want – either by name or by going up to the front and picking out precisely the specimen you fancy eating – and then decide how you want it served: steamed, fried, stir-fried, in a curry, the choices are endless.

Pad pak bung fai daeng at Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

Thai favourites that will serve you well here include pla rad prik (from 200 baht), a deep-fried fish (pla kapong sea bass is good, as is pla tubtim tilapia) doused in a mildly spicy, relatively sweet and very addictive tamarind sauce and dressed with chilli peppers. This is a dish I am fussy about – buy it to take home from a market, especially in Bangkok, and the sauce will have dried up or congealed, the fish will be chewy and it just won’t do itself justice. My firm favourite remains a homemade version to a personalised recipe, but this one at Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord is the best I’ve tasted in a restaurant setting.

Pla rad prik at Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

Kung che nam pla are an obvious choice – generously-sized raw prawns, lightly marinated and served with plenty of lime and raw garlic cloves, plus a fiery chilli and garlic dipping sauce. Shovel a prawn into your mouth – tail and all – with a healthy dose of everything else, and prepare for an explosion of flavours.

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Kung che nam pla at Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

I’ve seen several mentions online recently of slightly fusion varieties of kung che nam pla, where the prawns are served heavily dressed in a chilli and lime sauce, and even one where wasabi makes it into the mix. The jury is still out on those for me, but I’m pleased to report that here things are done the classic way.

Scallops at Lung Meuk Pa

Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord also does a pretty good job of scallops grilled in butter (100 baht for a set of around ten), even if these were ever so slightly overdone – and thrillingly, they are one of the few local seafood restaurants I’ve come across in Thailand to serve raw oysters still in the shells. Most places commit the sacrilegious crime that is scooping the flesh out of the shells, leaving them to fester for hours and then serving the flavourless remnants over further-diluting ice. I make no apology for being a member of the masses who love their oysters in the shell, with all the little bits of grit that occasionally involves digesting. Sadly you won’t find any tabasco here – you’ll have to make do with the usual accompaniments like fried garlic – but be grateful for small miracles and enjoy what are well-priced (100 baht for a set of around ten), plump and fresh-tasting oysters.

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Oysters at Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

The dish that stood out for me on a couple of recent visits to Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord was a new one for me. Pla kapong pad cha, a sea bass dish which of course you can again have served up with any fish of your choosing, is a flash-fried medley that’s heavy on the flavours of both krachai wild ginger and prik thai on young green peppercorns. It is a zingy affair that, as other food bloggers writing about it have commented, really sums up that oh-so-Thai balancing act of the five flavours. This rendition was stupendous and I ordered it twice in three nights.

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Pla kapong pad cha at Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

With excellent, expertly prepared seafood, a convivial atmosphere and the sea breeze on hand to round things out, Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord has to be on your hit-list in Prachuap – don’t leave without eating here at least once.

Chaitalay Road (the beachfront), Prachuap Kiri Khan; 081 943 6860
www.facebook.com/seafoodprachuap
Daily, 10.00am-10.00pm

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