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Monday, May 26, 2008

Laem Charoen Seafood


BANGKOK AMAZING GOURMET
.

Laem Chareon Seafood
@ Prachautit

On a sunning-shine-up afternoon we went to Laem Chareon Seafood with friends from Hong Kong to sample their famous seafood dishes prepared from only the freshest ingredients mainly from Rayong, that admired by the locals.

Laem Chareon Seafood is originated from Rayong (a seaside province southeast of Bangkok), with its first Bangkok branch opened few years ago in Meng Jai intersection of Bangkok’s Huay Khwang district, where we visited yesterday.

This three decades famous seafood restaurant drew my attention since the first time I went to Koh Samed passing by Rayong, my local friends brought me there for lunch before we boarded the ferry to the island; since then, I never complained again that along the Rayong coastline was lacking of a decent seafood restaurant to allow food connoisseurs like us to enjoy the seafood caught fresh by fishermen in the area.

One of our friends at the table is a super fan of cockles, so we started with the Hoy Kraeng Lua (quick-boiled cockles) and the Yum Pla Khao-san (spicy silver rice fish salad with Thai herbs). These ultra small fishes known as pla khao san (or silver rice fish) are a harvest off Rayong beaches, fishermen usually sun-dried them to sell near the fishermen pier. At Laem Charoen the tiny fishes were being deep-fried and dressed with yum sauce made of fish sauce, chilies, lime juice and cashew nuts together with mint, onion and tomatoes. They promote a taste of little spicy and hint of sour in good balance, and the mild salty and natural sweet of the fishes themselves weren’t overpowered by the sauce, an ideal dish to start the meal with a glass of beer. The cockles were delicious. They were fresh and naturally sweet in taste working out in harmony with the house’s sauce; we ordered another round of the quick-boiled cockles and also the Yum Hoy Kraeng (spicy cockle salad with Thai herbs). In a Thai restaurant, almost every dish (except the soup) has its own sauce/dip to enhance the taste. Sauces in Laem Charoen made from her own recipes, with special care of fresh ingredients included lime juice, chili and herbs having Laem Charoen’s taste different. In another word, the sauces/dips were marvelous.

To have my friends evolved their palate from tumyumgoong to chao-baan’s (villagers) tastes, we took the Gaeng Kua Poo Khai Nor Mai Dong (spicy & sour soup in preserved bamboo shoots and coconut curry with blue swimming crab and crab roe). My friends were lucky to sample this popular Eastern seaboard specialty while even many Thais have not. But not all of them like it. The soup was pungent hot with a strong smell of fermented shrimp paste and bamboo shoots, if you like it, it tastes aromatic or if you don’t then your taste buds sting. So for beginners to Thai food I do suggest you may keep a distance from the gaeng kua poo khai nor mai dong and stick with the commonly welcomed tumyumgoong (spicy and sour prawn soup).

One of the house specialties is the Pla Kapong Tord Nam-pla (deep-fried Thai white sea bass marinated with fish sauce). Our fish was fresh, crispy on the outside and tendered inside getting along perfectly with the sugarcane thickened fish sauce, without the unwelcome smell of aged fried oil like many other seafood restaurants do by saving cost.

More dishes to go with rice were, the Goong Pad Phong Karee (wok-fried prawns in yellow curry sauce), Hoy Chen Pad Kaphrao (wok-fried sea scallops with holly basil in hot and sweet sauce), Pad Yord Mara (stir-fried bitter gourd leaves), and Pad Pak Todmea (stir-fried snow pea sprouts). The prawns were CP grade but the curry was really good, not too thick and creamy, also yield a rich taste of the yellow curry instead of taste of a mixed-of-everything like some other seafood restaurants do. The sea scallops with holly basil was pungent hot and well done although the scallops were below my expectations, and not recommend to people with a tourist palate.


To conclude our lunch, we ordered the Seasonal Fruit Platter (water melon, pineapple and tangerine). Usually I don’t take desserts in Thai restaurants as they are always too generous for adding sugar and a lot of sugar. But at Laem Charoean, I had to order the Sala Loy Kaeo (sala fruits in syrup) not because at Laem Charoean the mentioned desserts were not sweet, but because sala fruits are famous crop from Rayong so I would like my friends sampling them.

Laem Chareon doesn’t require our sponsorship to its decoration; instead, we were convinced almost every penny was paid for the food and service. The shop layout is simple but clean, nothing fancy but bright as we opt for the goodness of Laem Charoen’s fresh seafood. Surprisingly services were attentive and prompt in a local-level managed restaurant. Our meal ended up was a pleasant one!

Laem Chareon Seafood Restaurant ****

577 Prachautit Road

Huay Khwang, Bangkok 10310

Tel.: 02.274.3619

Open daily: 11am - 10pm

Pay (food only for two): around THB 1,000 with seafood



* Update on 04-October-2008 > Now Laem Chareon Seafood has a city branch, right at the Central World Plaza. I haven't tried the food in this new branch yet. Honestly, I don't quite trust those branches in a shopping mall. So I will still support Laem Chareon's Huay Khwang or Ramintra branch if not the Rayong main branch.
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55 comments:

Anonymous said...

This blog is very good. No wonder my friend in LA recommended us to read this blog. It is really good. The guy in this picture must be Mr. Thaisclub. We all impressed with your blog Mr. Thaisclub. My friend told me your name is Mike.

Thailand Club said...

Thanks!

in the sea said...

Where is this restaurant? From the name, it looks like it's at Charoen Krung? By the way, I am now in Seoul and I really need to tell you how good and original of Arirang on Sukhumvit Plaza, soi 12, Sukhumvit Road is, as I told you. Haha.... interesting to raise comments for a Korean restaurant in this Thailand gourmet blog.

Thailand Club said...

Laem Charoen Seafood is in Bangkok's Kaset-Navamin Highway and Rayong (total 3 branches).

It is ok to mention Arirang here, because Arirang (corner Sukhumvit Soi 12) we are talking about is in Bangkok. And I am going to show my reader soon.

BTW, have a nice trip!

Anonymous said...

It is nice if we can eat various kinds of good food in Bangkok, including Korean food. I cannot believe a guy in Korean will appreciate Korean food in Bangkok.

in the sea said...

I'm from Hong Kong actually, but just now on trip in Seoul. I ate a lot of good Korean food here, and like the diverse variety of their food culture and also how they balance the food nature and the taste. That reminds me of the famous Korean drama Dae Jang Keum大長今. By the way, the same production team of Dae Jang Keum is making another TV series and is a big hit now in Korea, called "Lee Shan" (李山). It's about the 朝鮮 dynasty in 200 years ago. Taiwan GTV is soon to broadcast it and later on over 18 Asian Countries (incl HK) will show it. I think the Sukhumvit Plaza may have a few more nice Korean restaurants. Next time I will go and find it out which is close to the taste I get it in Seoul. At last, that's why the blogger said Thailand is going to claim herself as the gourmet for World cuisine. It's quite true. At least I can find a nice Normandie restaurant in Oriental Bangkok, which has the same taste I tried in Paris, Nice and Cannes. For Chinese food, they have Crystal Jade. For Vietnamese food, mind me to say Thang Loong again if they still keep up, and Xuan Mai for the Vietnamese home cooking. Then for Japanese food, lots to name, same for Italian. Mmh, I need to find out if there is a good place for Nasi Goreng (Indonesia Fried Rice) and Laksa and Ba Ku Teh (肉骨茶)....etc.

Fillet-O said...

Ba Ku Teh doesn't comfort the Thais palate, many Malaysian (in Bangkok) had tried and failed

Latest one in Sukhumvit 55, there is a Malay cafe serving Laksa, can bring u there if u want

Anonymous said...

Thank you "Sea" and "Fillet-O" for your comments. Please mention more good food in this blog. I go to Thailand almost every year for the past 6 years with my girl friend but I did not eat half so much food as this blog has introduced. All I went is Koi, Blue Elephant, shark fin in Chinatown, local Thai restaurants. I never think the Korean food, French food, Italian food or Chinese food can be good too. Thank you for this blog. I should have read this realier. This blog is from my banker friend in LA.

in the sea said...

Hehe... personally I don't like the Ba Ku Teh much... except the one in Balistier Road (next to the famous Wen Tung Gee 文東記 chicken rice), Singapore. Laksa, ok, let me try if it tastes "foreign" or "local"... haha.. If I like it, then it's a "foreign" taste for sure! OK, I think it's probably because the Ba Ku Teh is not spicy enough, and it's not "yam"(sour) enough either. I think we should introduce the pepper one Ba Ku Teh.

Actually, lots of good restaurants in Thailand to recommend.

in the sea said...

Mr. Filet-O, is your nick name derived or inspired from Triple-O's?

Keaton said...

yes, bangkok is the world capital of gourmet like Tea mentiond; before we landed, we never thought that the food is so delicioussssssss here; in term of service, quality and money worth, Bangkok wins

don't miss the pressed duck at Le Banyan (Sukhumvit Soi 8), pizza flambe at Bacco (Sukhumvit Soi 53), and pork lung soup at Crystal Jade (Siam Paragon), resort-style al fresco seafood dining at Waterside (in Bangkok), they are gorgeous

they were in Tea's gourmet tour i joint few weeks ago

btw, when r u going to show those restaurants to ur readers

Fillet-O said...

hey, not inspired from triple-O la (although my favorite burger); my nick is fillet-O-fish, blogger.com just shorten my nick

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of you here. Mr. Thais Club shall be the spokesperson for Thailand gourmet food industry or Thai Tourism. He is better than Mr. Wu.
Keep up the good work Mr. Club.

Thailand Club said...

to anonymous and all of you, THANK YOU, and your support to this blog is my best motivation to go on

the reason I started this food blog is to show REAL gourmet I sampled (without one single advertorial) to friends and friends-from-friends visiting Thailand, time for tourists are precious, I don't want any of you wasting time by false-on-purpose informaton (coz restaurants paid them), advertorial, paid review... as many guide books and online reviews do; all reviews I done in anonymous, no owners/managers noticed my purpose of sampling their food and almost no one know I write articles, they understand I do property and travel business(restaurants that owned by my friends I do review on the day they were absent), every single meal I sampled were paid meal

to Keaton, yes I will show Waterside (the al fresco seafood joint near Kaset-Navamin Hwy u talked about) and others soon, please give me time, I am so busy with my V.VIP tours lately, u know the ministers had just visited and my uncle will visit soon, when I can squeeze half an hour, I will update my blog (u know I type ultra slow don't u?) smile :)

Stella said...

Mr. Blogger,
I think the Thai Gov't shall pay you by advertising for them free of charge.

in the sea said...

Mr. Blogger, way to go! I think next time I should teach you how to type with 10 fingers. I really need to thank my elder sister. She insisted to teach me 10 finger typing when I was 15! Yes, at that time that was the hard hard keystroke typewriter. So It trained my typing speed and stroking technique. Hehe, I already typed 3-4 keyboards to be dead.

Yes, I agreed with you. For those tourists who don't travel to BKk or Thailand as often like some of us, it is the best for them to know more without any other commercial factors. Oh, friends, please don't mention Mr. Wu in this blog. I am sure Mr. Blogger wouldn't want to downgrade this blog.

Fillet-O said...

yes, in the sea and thaisclub, tourist has money to spend, but no time to be wasted, so I always slump on those commercial reviews and advertorial articles

Anonymous said...

Easy job - before going there, you may need to check with some local friends or some of your friends who have local friends for food finding. Can't say those shops on the advertisements are all bad. They just want to make known of themselves.

in the sea said...

I think if you can be adventurous, you can check if the restaurants or the shops are crowded with people and from the clientele you may notice, as well as the food on the tables. Then you could decide to try it or not. I don't read magazine often; so this is the key point I often have in mind whenever I go to some new places.

Thailand Club said...

you guys are right, advertisements can be part of the source, i do read sources from magazines and tv shows, later invite my guinea pig(s) to sample the food, Thai food with local friends, French cuisine with friends from the Embassy, Japanese food with friends from Tokyo, etc...

the bottom line, is, all review shall be done in anonymous, if a meal received free or even get paid to write, then the whole review is lack of neutral, no more trust-worthy from us

this is the reason i do this food blog, as i have lots of time to do the guinea pig part (on top of i am a food lover), but tourists don't have, every minute for them are gold

Anonymous said...

My friend told me she did not think Thailand has good food until she went there to try. Now after this blog I beleive it more.
The first time I went to Thailand was 1995. The second time I wnet was 2004. They changed a lot and the food and shopping mall is so gorgeous after 9 years from my first visit.

Anonymous said...

I think you may consider to bring those friends with cooking or food tasting habit. Without the motive, it's hard for them to judge. Also eating is quite subjective. Some like it hot and some like it sweet. So my point is the cooking technique on how to make something nice and to combine the ingredients.

in the sea said...

There was a time I may have some prejudice on some food, but it's hard to control as we are only human. Like I don't take lamb. Occasionally I will try it by checking how good the chef may have done that.

Thailand Club said...

anonymous, thanks for the suggestion

Stella said...

I like the food tasting idea suggested by Anonymous. It is better than wine tasting.

in the sea said...

Don't bring me for those tasting..hehe.. as I am quite easy going, as my picky friends said so.

Anonymous said...

Seeing all the comments here is as interesting as seeing this blog. I am addicted to this now and I am checking this blog once a week.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous,
Seeing this once a week? Now I see this blog 3 times a week.
Regards,
Mitchell

in the sea said...

Yes, interesting to see all the different comments. I don't browse blogs much, except this one and the one of mine I have been working on. Mr. Blogger, keep up.. keep up!

Stella said...

3 times a week Mitch?
Now I have to read this everyday. Reading this blog(and another one from Sea)is my daily life already.

Anonymous said...

Mitch and Stella,
Are you the two lenders from LA that I know?
From,
Cindy

Yai said...

I also browse this blog at least once a week, reading the comment is fun.

Anonymous said...

yes, more than a blog. Now it came to a part for recognising people here, and they are on another side of the World. Mr. thailand club, time for you to consider to unite all these people here for a grand "eating" tour in BKK and we all took a picture to say who is who.

Thailand Club said...

haha good idea

Stella said...

Thanks blogger for this comprehensive view of all photos in one glance. I like it.

Anonymous said...

Yes Mr. Anonymous,
Your idea to get all readers to have a reunion is good. I think we need to occupy the whole restaurant. See how many comments we have. I think only 20% of the readers 00will make comments(as some readers don't know how, and some don't write, and some lazy like my kids).

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see how people behave. Some people talk loud but write less. Some other people talk less and write a lot. Some may be half and half. It's good to have a one view look at all the food. Also it's more tempting, like buffet. Good work!

in the sea said...

eating tour is ok enough. Nowadays the word "Grand" has been abused. Just look at the hotel and places, often starting with Grand. I would suggest all the readers here nominate 10 restaurants for their wish to try in the tour. The Mr. Thailand Club take the most preferred choices, say 7-8 restaurants. If that's the case, I was thinking if I should pick those I have tried or those I haven't tried. Actually should be "haven't tried" as this blog's subject is "unseen".

Thailand Club said...

good idea all my dears, so when this blog hits 120 posts (probably in August), then all of u pls help select 10 most wanted restaurants of yours based on this blog reviewed

and get ur ticket ready, we may hv a reunion (reunion?) in March-April 2009

:)

Stella said...

It is hard to pick only ten best restaurants. I like all the them. I even like those not mentioned here yet.

in the sea said...

Stella, not too many people may have a holiday longer than 4 or 5 days; so 7-8 restaurants should be good enough. Afterwards, you can still try the others if you want for a stay behind. Yes, we can plan for that and March 09 can be really quick instantly.

Stella said...

Jonathan you are right.
Ok, March 2009. Let us hold a big event and jam the airport in BKK.

Yai said...

Why not in April, so we can eat khao chae too!

Thailand Club said...

don't worry khun yai, a few restauarnts serve khao-chae aroud the year, like the very famous Lai Rot, and more ...

but hotels' khao chae only serve in April, myself i like the hotel's one

in the sea said...

Yes, I agreed with Thailand Club that the Khao Che at the hotel is better in terms of the delicacy. Think I will try the one from Lord Jim's too if I can hit the season. I will also try the one by Lai Rot as my other local Thai friends recommend that. Actually those of my local Thai people are not that enthusiastic about Khao Che. Perhaps it's like we don't get attached to the Chinese new year cake.

Thailand Club said...

no, instead it is ur Thai friends try to show u that they r the new generation! (as only the old gereration like khao chae, the new generation don't, some teens told me they never eat khao chae before, sad for the new generation, as khao chae is so difficult to prepare and it is an art instead of just food and it is a part of the Thai culture, sad if one day no one do khao chae anymore)

actually khao chae almost fade out from the culinary scene in Thailand a decade ago, it was few years ago the government brought this back, the BMA (Bangkok Metro Administration) heavily promote the khao chae and it becomes alive again

so u may ask me what teens like to eat, oh, it is whisky voted no.1 (although whisky is not really food) in the Thai society, hv u even heard 'food can skip, but lou (=whisky) must drink'

Fillet-O said...

Oh, in this case I don't eat khao chae either, as I am in the teens catagory.

Stella said...

The fading out of "Khao Chae" is like the fading out of the Chinese Wedding Cake or Wife Cake and its similars. This is a pity.
Sometimes the younger generation will miss out a lot of good old things as not all old stuffs are bad.
They should try at least once.

Stella said...

Fish Burger,
You are that young? From your track record of the eating experience I don't think you are teen, unless you started your eating career when you were baby. Ha ha ha.

in the sea said...

My grandmom often told me not to take rice when it's cool. If she sees me taking rice in chilled water, she would definitely complain...haha. sorry! I showed the high tea set to my local Thai friends (about 40-50's). They told me those Thai snacks are very difficult to do it. Then for Khao Che, they said "oh impossible". I think it's always a matter of mindset instead of possible or impossible. I spent 3 days on making abalone. My friends said "it's crazy". Some people don't care about food, like the kids you mentioned - they would rather care about drinking. Haha - I told some of my friends who are good at drinking red wine, that I use some very fine red wine for cooking - they got stunned and grab away that bottle of red wine.

Stella, for Chinese year cake, do you want the recipe? It's easy but can you get "鄧"麵 - for Har Gou (the dumpling skin for shrimp dumpling)? Also, can you get the orange brown cane sugar (片糖)? The last thing you may hate it - it's the pork fat! Oh, one more important part - you may need to have a muscular guy or someone who has a strong arm because it requires a very strong stirring power.

in the sea said...

Oops. Stella, I mis-read. You talked about the wedding pastries. For this part, I don't know much about it because I don't like it much and yet it needs a good baking machine. As you know the kitchens in HK apt. are not spacious enough to have those big cooking stuff.

Mike said...

Stella definitely doesn't need some pork fat, as she has one at home, hahaha :)

Exercise pls!

Stella said...

You are right Thailand Club. We have enough pork fat, sugar, and oil at home from Piggy.

Anonymous said...

this one good too. look good and must taste good too. must try this one.

Thailand Club said...

yes, Laem Charoen Seafood is good, and inexpensive, just not easy to reach there

the fish, prawn and crab r always fresh, many tourist-friendly dishes on the menu (such as stir-fried yellow curry crab) as well as authentic for-Thais-only dishes, if u can bear the heat, u can try the real Thais tomyumgoong (spicy and sour prawn soup) there, and the yum dishes (Thai spicy salad) r good too