Chai Chet restaurants have undergone some considerable changes over the last year with closures and relocations, but as is the nature of Koh Chang, street diners have quickly sprung up to offer alternatives.
The plazas VJ Plaza and Coconut Plaza were previously at the centre of things, but with the closure of The Hungry Elephant and Strawberry Moons, there is now considerably less choice. The highly respected Italian restaurant Marco’s and Jo’s remains the one to make a beeline for, down at the far end of VJ’s, though both Yes and Goya Cafe have been around for a few years too, so must be doing something right. Outside the supermarket, the noodle soup stall and somtam centre is also more than passable.
Across the street from VJ Plaza, the cheap Thai diners all do a good trade, with our pick the one next door to Blue Resort, Pakarang Restaurant, a seafood or curry over rice shop (metals trays in the glass cabinet, choice of 2 for 40bt to 50bt). It has a couple of ATV vehicles at the front, though that aspect of its business has now almost wound down.
Back at the northern end of Chai Chet, Max’s Bistro is popular with the expats and in amongst the beer bars, you’ll find the Palm Beach, relocated from the beach as a result of Flora I Talay’s expansion. Lay Lay Tong did not survive the move and has now closed. A few doors down from Thai Hill Garden Resort, Suwan Garden Restaurant serves up excellent curries from the counter at the front.
Down on the sand at the southern end, Flora i Talay and Koh Chang Paradise have some decent in house diners and a second Nong Bua Seafood from White Sand Beach has also opened up by Pajamas Hostel. This branch, a chic affair much in contrast to the delightful shabbiness of its sister, has so far received some glowing reviews.
Finally, Raan Somtam Udon is an old uninviting low level building opposite the beach walkway, where the food naturally enough is great.
For a decent cup of coffee, the Koh Chang chain, Marin, has a large and wonderfully cooling a/c shop on the corner of Coconut Plaza.
Chai Chet Restaurants – Our Favourites
Pricing Code/Per person in Baht (B) excluding drinks:
B= under 100; BB= under 500; BBB= over 500;
Please click in an image to enlarge
Nong Bua Seafood
Per Person: B-BBB
At the southern end by the beach walkway, new sister restaurant to the hugely popular White Sand version, same menu of classic Thai dishes centring on seafood at great prices, but this one is a very relaxed and chic affair. Going to be very popular with locals and tourists alike. Full bar, some western choices.
Marco and Jo
Per Person: BB
Tucked away in VJ Plaza in the middle of Chai Chet, highly recommended Italian restaurant run by Marco and Jo. Fresh lasagne, ravioli, pizzas, sangria, tiramisu, homemade bread and a friendly taverna style atmosphere – a little corner of Italy.
Raan Somtam Udon
Per Person: B-BB
At the southern end opposite the beach walkway, no nonsense Thai local restaurant, concrete tables, serving whole bbq chicken on the spit, somtam as spicy as you like, laab, sticky rice and drinks. Full menu also available. Excellent Issan cooking, used extensively by the locals.
Per Person: BB-BBB
At the far northern end as you enter the Chai Chet area, South African run bistro offering Western and Thai food, with weekly pasta nights (Tuesdays) and bbq specials (Fridays). Wide selection of grilled meats, salad bar, fresh breads. The place to go for a western fix. Popular. Full Bar.
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