Light Up Your Night At Baan Dam
Hua Hin is famed for its fantastic variety of seafood served hot and fresh on plates in high-end restaurants, street cafes and, of course, at the night market. But at all these locations you pay a little extra without getting a clear view of the ocean, which even from the market is just a stones throw away. For those in the know, a little excursion out towards Hua Hin Airport and Soi 5 will lead you to the quaint little restaurant Baan Dam (Black House).
Sitting majestically just metres from the ocean is a traditional Thai house built during the reign of King Rama VI almost a century ago that is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best oceanfront restaurants in town. The best time to dine at Baan Dum is around 5pm when the sun has slowly retreated and the views over the Gulf of Thailand are picture postcard.
If possible try to book at table right at the edge of the garden to get the best of the cool sea breeze that sweeps in off the sea. The menu offers the best catches of the day from freshly landed fish, crabs, prawns, squid and a variety of shellfish. You can also choose from a veritable array of Thai vegetable dishes, soups and much more.
We started our evening meal with Fried Morning Glory in Oyster Sauce and garlic paired with Fried Sea Bass with Black Pepper, Onion, Bell Peppers and Spring Onions served with steamed rice. I particularly enjoy fried fish with black pepper and zesty onions and bell peppers as the crunchy vegetables are the perfect match for the smooth tasting fish. A little splash of fish sauce with freshly chopped Thai chilies adds a little fire to the dish.
Next up we ordered Larb Pla Kra Pong (Sea Bass) and freshly steamed prawns in a red chili sauce the flavoursome Isan larb being served with sticky rice and fresh market vegetables. Thai food is renowned for its use of the five main flavours, namely sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami, and the chefs at Baan Dum are adept at getting the balance just right. Bite-sized pieces of sea bass are coated in a spicy larb concoction and fried until the outside is crisp to the bite while the fish is tender but sharp to the taste buds.
While a similar meal downtown would set you back in the region of Bt1,500++, at Baan Dum the same meal can be had for just under Bt1,000 plus there is a live band instead of the noise of traffic to add to the enjoyment of dining by the sea. With limited outdoor seating, be sure to book in advance or arrive early to get the best seat in the black house.