Where to eat in Kata, Phuket

As you can imagine, in a country known for its fabulous food, there are plenty of restaurants to try. Deciding where to eat dinner every night is the biggest challenge when you’re on holiday in Thailand, which should make you realise how amazing your holiday is going to be. Kata is teaming at night with people standing outside their restaurants trying to tempt you in with offers of discounts, free drinks and amazing seafood on display so you can pick your own. It’s a frantic business, conducted with great enthusiasm and energy. We tried different restaurants, but did have two favourites that we went back to as we felt the need to sample more of their menu. Here’s a selection of the restaurants we visited and what we feasted on. I haven’t included Re Ka Ta as it already has its very own blog post (see previous post).

When in Thailand you simply have to eat satay – and lots of it. We ate in our hotel the first night (jet-lag reducing strategy), which was where we tucked into the first of many. These chicken satays were tender and flavoursome and the satay sauce had a real chilli bite. I loved the way they were served, skewered into a large chunk of juicy pineapple.

The juiciest of chicken satays with spicy peanut sauce

Our hotel was set at the top of a very steep hill and one of our favourite restaurants was pretty much the first one you got to at the bottom of that hill. Set on the beach, it was called Kata B-B-Q and had a wonderful selection of tasty dishes. Our first port of call on our first visit to the beach on arrival, it immediately had a sentimental place in our hearts. We went there several times for a laid-back lunch. Their satays (both chicken and pork) were amazing.

The best prawn cocktail with huge, fresh prawns

Perfect pork satays – and not a small portion, either

One of our favourite places was called Mama. It’s just off the street in a really busy area packed with dining establishments, market stalls and plenty of vendors plying their trade. I even managed to do some of my Christmas shopping while I was having dinner. Oh, and they do a mean gin & tonic, too.

Thai mackerel salad with Thai herbs – fresh, crunchy and zesty

Our favourite curry of the holiday – chicken massaman

Rock lobster salad with tomatoes and garlic

Across the way from Mama was Natalies which was also good.

Prawn tempura with sweet chilli dip

Deliciously satisfying wonton soup

Chilli condiments to spice up your life

A little further down the road, but well worth the extra walk, we discovered the Kata Palace. Their four Thai chefs (all local) cook up a storm of food including basic European fare, traditional Thai and a great range of seafood. Rock lobster is everywhere in Kata (it’s kind of like crayfish but sweeter and a bit meatier) and I love it. Delicately flavoured with the most perfect texture, it worked perfectly with the cleverly crafted sauces the chefs came up with.

Rock lobster with oyster and lime sauce

Thai yellow chicken curry

Rock lobster with brandy

Tiger prawns with red curry and coconut sauce

Looking at these wonderful pictures is making me hungry – and I’ve had lunch. Looking back over them I realise how much seafood we ate, a real treat at great value prices. If you love seafood, you’re simply going to have to it them every day when you’re in Thailand.

It’s also reminds me that I really have to perfect a satay recipe that would be good enough to serve in a restaurant in Thailand – it’s going to take some practice! Watch this space.

We stayed in the Andaman Cannacia hotel which was lovely with spacious rooms and great views. It was at the top of a very steep hill, though, so be prepared for a serious walk at the end of the day or pay a maximum of 200 baht (about £4) for a tuk tuk to take you up there. We found walking down it was fine but the thought of walking up after a lovely dinner and a bottle of wine didn’t appeal at all! Taxis and tuk tuks are easy to find everywhere in Kata, just look for their little huts along the street with drivers watching Thai boxing or football while they wait for trade. You should agree your price with the driver before you set off, and hold on tight…the roads can be hectic.

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