Exploring Food in Thailand: Top 5 Restaurants in Hat Yai

Bird’s nest, chicken feet and more…


My previous post was all about street food in Hat Yai. While you get literally everything to eat off the streets, there are some dishes and corresponding restaurants worth a mention.

The food mentioned might not appeal to everyone. It’s an attempt to bring forth the ‘lesser loved’ food to the readers. It’s just a means of giving you an insight into the food and culture associated with the city.  ❤

Let’s pick the best 5:

1. The Nest:

What to eat: Bird’s Nest

This was by far the most bizarre yet fun food quest. A bird’s nest is served as a broth to which gelatin, preserved fruits and jellies could be added. However, seekers of the true form, would prefer it a little dirty, i.e. with the contents of the saliva and bird’s throat retained. The nest is formed by the swiftlet bird that uses its saliva to build a nest. The saliva gets solidified upon air exposure, causing the nest to harden. Call it weird, but it tasted good –> mild in flavour, jelly-like consistency and best had plain or with black Chinese tea. I’d recommend having it without the toppings, to retain its natural taste. I tried it at some stalls, as well as at The Nest.

Bird’s nest and Chinese black tea
Care to share?

2. Crepe Café:

What to eat: Nutella crepe

This is a paradise for crepe lovers with heavenly desserts and food made with love. The host crafted a beautiful crepe masterpiece laced with cream and strawberries in a bed of nutella. If you are looking for a sinful indulgence, go ahead and order one with an additional scoop of ice cream. Choose from banana, chocolate, butter, mango, kiwi and other flavours. Order a beverage to keep you company. They come in fancy glasses. The café wins hands down, when it comes to food and beverage presentation. Need we say more?

Strawberry nutella crepe
Salmon fried rice

3. Baan Khun Bhu:

What to eat:  Crab salad

Although it is famed for its crab dishes, more so crabs without their shells, we tried a som tam variation instead. Chopped raw mangoes, infused with fresh veggies, peanuts and diluted chilli sauce covered the fragments of crab in a bed of peanuts. It was really spicy, no doubt, but worth trying out for its pungent yet interesting flavour play. A platter of sweet corn salad was needed to soothe our tingling taste buds. Besides this, they also serve grilled chicken, rice, fish preparations and other items from the Isan cuisine.

Crab som tam

4. Lee Gardens Plaza:

What: Breakfast and chicken feet soup

Whether you are an in-house guest at the hotel or visit here just for their breakfast, you are in for some delicious morning spread. The coffee shop (next to the lobby) is perpetually packed with people. Delicacies include chicken feet soup, traditional Thai fried rice, street-style noodles, herbs and greens, fried chicken and a lot more. Although they have waffles, toast and a bunch of other bread-based items, we would recommend the rice and noodles, soup of the day and herbs. No better way to start your day, isn’t it?

Chicken feet soup, rice
Complete set with noodles, soup, rice and fruits

5. Hamid Restaurant:

What: Fried rice

Situated in one of the main streets of Hat Yai’s central area (around Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel), this restaurant offers good food and a warm ambiance. Anything that you order here is cooked to perfection. However, we have to list out our top picks. Here goes: Thai fried rice with chicken or salmon, tom yam soup, pad thai with chillies, and the list goes on. It might be priced slightly on the higher side, but is worth every penny.

Chicken fried rice, Seafood noodles

** Special mention:

To our delight, Food Park, the food court of Central Festival Mall exceeded our expectation. You have to get a card to order your food from your favourite counter, pick a bubble tea and relax as you get a good view of the mall.

Chicken rice

Pic: Chicken rice – delightful flavour, slightly peppery and creamy in texture

Other places to check out:

  • Greenway night market – fusion food, street-style noodles
  • Hat Yai Central night market – street food
  • Attention Café – chocolate waffle, oreo crepe
  • Black Canyon – gelato espresso, pad thai
  • The Village Café – beer, cakes
  • Shabushi – sushi (check out for deals of the month)

And here’s a visual treat especially for you guys…

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Read – Drool – Enjoy


This post first appeared on Lyf&Spice 

Travel Notes & Beyond

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