Phuu Nim and Baan Phuu: Crab Face Off

My littlest sister recently came to visit. She was only here for ten days so in order to lure her away from spending all her time in a mall we hired a car and drove to Trat for two nights. We found an excellent cheap hotel deal on Agoda. So for $70 bucks a night we went to stay at a Centara resort half way between Trat and the Cambodian border. All the rooms are suites so include bedroom and living area. But what's best is that it is soooo quiet. I've always loved this area of Thailand, while all the knobs and Aussie brawlers hang out down in over crowded beaches of Phuket and Samui, the beaches in Trat are basically empty.

centrara trat 2

centara trat

If you drive further down the coast near the Cambodian border you can find empty beaches with Thai style salas made for lounging and snacking in the shade. The one draw back of the resort however is that because it is sooo quiet there are not many tasty local vendors. If you are going to stay here I suggest renting a car to explore the area, also because the food at the hotel is not very nice at all. So, after one bad meal there we hopped in our rental and found our way to Phu Nim - translation "Soft shell crab"

Phuu Nim

This restaurant reminded me very much of a Khmer restaurant, maybe it was the way they wrapped the cutlery in pink toilet paper, or maybe it was the heavy wooden furniture everywhere?

plate phu nim

The soft shell crab we ordered wasn't great, the old tasted stale and overall it just wasn't very well executed
phu nim

Tom yum po taek, was ok, except I put too much extra chili in it and made it a bit too spicy for everyone at the table
phu nim po teak

We ordered a large fried rice, for comfort mostly I suppose, it was enormous. The restaurant seems to be a family style place for banqueting by locals above all else. Thankfully my sister's boyfriend who just turned 21 has the appetite of a 21 year old male
phu nim rice

The crab egg dip with crudite, I think it's called Phuu Lon??? if anyone would like to correct me, was nice-ish but had a slightly bitter flavour
phu nim crab egg crudites

Fish, thumbs up...but accompanying sauce was a horrible chinese style sweet and sour sauce that came with the owners recommendation
phu nim fish

The best dish was the fresh mud crab we picked out ourselves from the live tanks. I managed to negotiate my way through my terrible Thai tonal ability to ask for it steamed. It was meaty, sweet and delicious. And even though the meal wasn't great it was still much better and cheaper than the hotel could offer. Phu Nim is a little hard to find though, but it's the first decent looking restaurant overlooking the sea on the way to the Cambodian border after Centara. There are no signs in English, just look for a typical Thai seafood restaurant with lots of wooden furniture
phu nim crab

Baan Phuu
Before we headed back to Bangkok we had to stop at Baan Phuu for lunch again.


suan phu

And we had to order the wing bean salad again, which tasted even better than I remembered it

wing bean suan phu

Plus two plates of soft shell crab that were basically inhaled on arrival
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Crab egg dip again, which was sooo good compared with the previous evening, it was difficult to stop eating it and meang made with fresh chopped up shrimp
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Finally, for something different I ordered a green curry with shrimp. I don't often order green curries because they are such a standard Thai dish that is so often disappointing, but this one was quite possibly the best Thai green curry I have ever tasted, hands on my heart. I don't know who the cook at Baan Phu is but may he/she live long and prosper
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2 comments:

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    Both look like nam phrik khai poo, crab egg 'dip'.

    The soft shell crabs at Ban Poo look awesome, but the wing bean salad looks a bit unusual in my opinion...

    Hope to make it to Ban Poo at some point.

     

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