Traditional Dishes From Eastern Thailand
However, it is not your typical hotel restaurant. The owner of Aana Resort, K. Siriluk, also has two restaurants in Bangkok. Both of which have received commendations from the Michelin guide. Her most famous restaurant is ‘Sri Trat‘ on Sukhumvit Soi 33. This is popular for it’s revival and re-invention of traditional dishes from the eastern Thailand. All are made using her family’s own recipes which have been handed down through generations. Some use the original ingredients, others are given a more modern twist.
When Aana Resort was being renovated in 2019 and early 2020, she decided that instead of having a normal hotel restaurant with the usual Thai dishes and basic western menus, she would offer people the chance to try some local delicacies.
There are lots of restaurants of Koh Chang that serve food from other areas of Thailand – especially Isaan. But virtually none that sell dishes that have their origins in this part of the country. So for most diners, the menu is full of surprises. And even in Bangkok, dishes from this corner of the country are hard to find.
That’s why Baan Ta Klua is on this list of recommended restaurants. It’s not the best Thai food on the island. But I’ll guarantee that there’s something new and untried for even the most avid Thai foodie to try.
For example, how about friend mangrove leaves?
These are plucked fresh daily from the banks of the river by the restaurant. The leaves are rolled around lightly seasoned pork mince into a cigar shape. Then deep fried and served with a sweet dipping sauce.
Another eastern Thai dish, that’s one of my favourites when we go to the excellent Chanthorn Pochana restaurant in Chanthaburi is the delicious ‘Moo Chamuang’. This is a thick, rich, sweet and sour stew made with pork belly and Chamuang (Garcinia Cowa) leaves.
Other interesting dishes include banana flower salad, a clear chicken soup with cardamom, fish cooked with salacca fruit & fermented shrimp paste and crispy shrimp heads with chili. There are , of course, plenty of more recognizable dishes. But if you do come dine at Baan Ta Klua then then main attraction is to try something new in a pleasant open air setting by the river.
There’s a decent range of drinks, local beers are just 80 Baht and cocktails are from around 150 – 200 Baht. Plus a small wine list and various aperitifs and short drinks. There are also four ‘specialty’ cocktails which are unique concoctions using herbal infusions and local fruits. We tried a couple and I think they still need a bit of work, a bit too sweet for me.
After dinner, the hotel staff will take you on a (free) firefly tour by boat up the river. This is a short, 10 – 15 minute, trip into the mangroves where you’ll be able to see fireflies in some of the trees by the river bank.
One plus that should be mentioned, unlike most hotel restaurants, the menu prices are inclusive of service charge and VAT – there ae no hidden extras.
Open daily from 11:00 – 22:00
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: Riverside at Aana Resort, Klong Prao. Free car parking in the resort car park.
These restaurant reviews are just my thoughts on a place at the time I visited. I’ll mention if I know the owner well or get any freebies. But for the most of the time I am happy to play tourist and don’t mention this site at all. Obviously it isn’t possible to sample every dish on the menu and the type of food you have for lunch will differ to evening. In addition, owners and more importantly chefs, can change and your experience may differ from mine. If it does, post a comment below.