If you’re a seafood aficionado and find yourself in Ao Nang you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Almost every restaurant in the area sells spanking fresh shrimp, crab, squid, sea bass, red snapper and much, much more but perhaps the Big Daddy of all Ao Nang seafood restaurants is Lae Lay Grill just to the north of Ao Nang.
Here, 40 metres up in this lofty restaurant, you’ll find a fabulous selection of not only seafood but Thai dishes, steaks and poultry, but the main focus is definitely on seafood, with the welcome addition of one of the most striking views in the province.
Where is it?
Up in the hills overlooking Nopparat Thara Beach. When heading north out of Ao Nang take the first right turn and follow the road up to the next right turn where the restaurant’s sign is, then go straight up the hill.
In high season the restaurant operates a tuk tuk shuttle service from the bottom of the hill.
You’ll find a choice of several levels on which to dine at Lae Lay. Each floor has a uniform beige colour scheme and buffed concrete floors along with chunky Thai-style wooden furniture, potted plants and large floor fans although the breezes are pretty cool at this height.
Drop-down plastic ‘rain curtains’ are ready in case of precipitation but on sunny days the view dominates the décor at Lae Lay as the countryside, in all its lush verdant glory, lies below, as do small offshore islands dotted in the Andaman Sea.
If you’ve ever watched a movie from ‘the Gods’ or the highest seats in a cinema you’ll easily imagine what it is like to dine at Lae Lay. With truly fabulous views this has got to be the most naturally atmospheric restaurant in Ao Nang.
Lae Lay Grill itself is spacious so there’s no hint of being crowded in and if you want you can observe the busy open kitchen to appreciate the art of preparing and presenting this colourful food.
There is, it has to be said, a slight touristy feel to the place but nothing as oppressive as some of the ‘eat and run’ food factories along the town’s seafront.
With an almost exclusively New World wine list, Lae Lay Grill still manages to cover all the bases and runs regular wine promotions. There’s nothing earth shattering here and our Domaine de L’Aube Syrah Grenache is unpretentious and palatable, fitting in well with the medley of dishes we sample.
Expect many South American and South African labels with a dash of French and Italian and please note that a 10% service charge along with 7% VAT is charged over and above prices quoted.
A good option to wine is the draft Singha Beer available downstairs.
Our table is laden down with grilled squid, baked lobster, steamed vegetables, curried crab and mussels, luscious-looking shrimps in spicy sauce, neat little pots of steamed rice along with a variety of dipping sauces. It presents a colourful and appetizing sight. The curried mussels are especially tasteful and the lobster done to a turn.
The combination of a decent wine list, impressive food, tasteful background music and a sprawling vista is definitely one that visitors to this region should try.
Someone at Lae Lay must have a sense of humour: Our dessert fruit platter comes along with a ‘bird’ that bursts out chirruping periodically. Nice touch.
Attentive and thoughtful. Staff members meet us with umbrellas at the car and escort us back.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00 daily
- Address: 89, Moo 3 Ao Nang
- Tel: +66 (0)75 661 588 - +66 (0)81 787 9799