A Tale of Two Dinners

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Thailand Fly & Drive – Part 13 (Khao Kho)

Finding a good restaurant to eat at while on holiday can be quite a hit and miss, especially when you visit a place for the first time. Nowadays, it is slightly easier thanks to the abundance of reviews available on Google, Tripadvisor and other websites. Even with these tools to help, you sometimes run into problems. In this blog post, we tell the tale of our two dinners at Khao Kho, our first night’s dinner at Laab Nuea Restaurant and our second night’s dinner at Khun Aew’s Kitchen. Both restaurants do not have their English names listed on Google. Both have ratings higher than 4 star. But our experience was vastly different.

Dinner 1 – Laab Nuea Restaurant (4.2/5 Rating on Google, 5/5 Rating by the Lion)

We arrive in Khao Kho in the late afternoon on the first day, just in time to check into our hotel, enjoy the sunset, and look for food. We decide to just go to one of the nearby local restaurants, highly rated by Google. We did’t even know how to pronounce the Thai name!

It turned out that we were in luck. The food was really delicious! There was English text in the menu (thankfully) and we ordered generously because we were hungry. The prices were very reasonable, and our entire dinner (including drinks and 3 ice-cream cones) turned out to be just THB735. My personal favorite was the Spicy Stewed Pork, but every dish was tasty and had that feeling of home-cooked goodness!

The service was great too, the staff were friendly and kind to our kids. One of the staff even came up to me to caution me that I had left my car headlights on. I was really grateful for this, and quickly went to turn them off. This was just the start of our long road trip and we definitely couldn’t afford for our car battery to get drained out. The Google rating might be 4.2 star, but for me, the restaurant gets 5 stars out of 5! I flagged out the restaurant in Google maps and made a note that we definitely want to come back the next time!

Dinner 2 – Khun Aew’s Kitchen (4.5/5 Rating on Google, 2/5 Rating by the Lion)

For our second night, we were considering going back to Laab Nuea for dinner. On hindsight, we probably should have, but being on holiday also means we should try out different food places. If we don’t try, we will never know. This restaurant had a better rating on Google and many positive review by the customers, but little did we know that it would turn out sour for us.

The hotel has a very pleasant, open layout, and is guarded by soldiers from the Queen’s Guard. It has a decent sunset view, though not completely unblocked. There are interesting spots to take some nice shots.

There is an English menu, and one guy (seems to be the owner?) that speaks decent English, but even with that, there was to be plenty of miscommunication.

We ordered Pork Omelette, Tom Yum Prawn, Chicken Wings, Seafood Salad, and we wanted to order the Spicy Wild Boar, under the guy’s recommendation we changed to another Pork dish which was non-spicy for the sake of my boy.

The food took quite some time to be served. The pork omelette came out and I took a bite and it was prawn omelette. When I highlighted this to them, to my surprise, they came out with a newly cooked pork omelette to serve us. Then, I thought that it would be on the house, but they charged us for both omelettes. By that time I was already too tired to complain….

Then, the roasted pork dish came out looking awesome, but the meat inside was ice cold, as though it had just been taken out from the refrigerator. We brought this to the staff’s attention, then they took it back and completely overcooked it. When it came out again it was completely burnt and utterly inedible. To the owner’s credit, when I complained about this, he struck it off my bill and I didn’t have to pay. That’s the only saving grace. I would have rated it 1 star otherwise.

The environment here is nice, but food is really overated and over-priced. The five dishes (including two omelettes and excluding the failed roasted pork dish) came up to a whopping THB975. Our previous night’s dinner was so much cheaper and so much more tasty, and with better service to boot.

Even with the lovely sunset, this dinner was a difficult pill to swallow….

Well, like I said, if we don’t try we will never know, and now that we have tried, for sure I’m not going to be coming back to this restaurant. Not even under the Queen’s orders…. 😛

I took this picture before we had dinner, but all the dinner disappointments certainly left me with a very “sianz” feeling…

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