Telephone: 086 6904042
Open: Daily 11am-11pm
Address: Laypang Beach (north end of Bang Tao beach)
Style: Thai casual beachfront, with a view
Price range: Reasonable when compared to resorts and upmarket restaurants nearby. Prices have risen since 2008 but Som still represents good value. Try homok, a local delicacy of fish and red curry in coconut paste (180 baht) thai chicken satay (100 baht) chicken in soy sauce with mixed veg and cashew nuts (140 baht) white snapper (60 baht for 100 gm) and the star attraction, tiger prawns (350 baht). sandwiches with fries, ham and tomato (100 baht) duck breast (350 baht) singha beer (60/120 baht) fresh young coconut (50 baht).
Specialties: Fish and seafood.
WE FIRST went to Som (Thai for orange) about two-and-a-half years ago and decided that, with about 900 Indian travel agents from the Travel Agents' Association of India about to descend on the nearby resorts at Laguna Phuket, it was time to check out the piece of Phuket beachfront that they will actually see. If they are busy, it may be all of Phuket they get to vet. The beauty of Som is that it's two storeys, so from the upper floor you get a superb vista across the sand and the symphony of the sea thundering in comes through loud and clear. Down below, there are three couples enjoying this monsoon day as though it was the middle of the high season, frolicking in the huge waves and napping on loungers. One swimmer waves to the waiter, standing next to the table. He says she's a Russian, and they come to eat at Som every day. A wise choice. From up here Bang Tao looks superb, even with scudding clouds. The sun bounces off the waves and they glimmer like ten thousand budlights at a karaoke. A Phuket baguette arrives brimming with egg and ham and the waiter proves this is five-star thatch by putting the bottle of beer in an ice bucket. Is there a better spot for bikini-watching on Phuket? Nah. Elevation, as U2 and Bono could tell you, makes all the difference. We hope all 900 Indians get to try the Som, and that they don't all come at once.
What the owner says: Khun Som says they were closed in May because visitors fell away after the strife in Bangkok but they are now back to being open every day and hope that business is bright this coming high season.
How to find it: Drive or ride into Laguna Phuket, turn right at the intersection towards the Sheraton and the Banyan Tree and keep going to the beach, then turn left. You'll find the Som after a swing to the right, then left. If you are cheeky, park in the Sheraton guest carpark and walk through, but it is quite a trek. You may hear the resort restaurant waiters grinding their teeth as you pass by. Turn right at the beach. Look for the orange flag flying out front.
Parking: Catch-as-catch can along the rippling beach road.
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