This is our 10th blog post here at Samui Unmasked. And I’ve been waiting until now to write about this local joint, Mr. Eung’s Restaurant, that holds a very special place in my heart. This is a place that I hope, even with Samui’s ever-changing landscape, stays open forever. And ever.
But before we get to the review, a quick quiz……what was the best sit-com from the 1980’s? Please don’t say Growing Pains or Full House, as I would lose too much respect for you. Night Court? WKRP in Cincinatti? Maybe….both were excellent, and Johnny Fever may be my favorite sit-com character of all time. But neither of them is correct. Nor was it Family Ties, and it certainly wasn’t Alf!
I’m sure those of you who, like me, are children of the 80’s, have already guessed it. Cheers, of course! Here’s a little trip down memory lane for ya:
So what does ‘Cheers’ have to do with this blog review? Well, Mr. Eung’s Restaurant is the little place is the North-East of Samui where everybody knows your name. It’s the local hangout of the growing communities of Plai Lem and Choeng Mon. And it’s probably the one restaurant I’ve been to more than any other over the years in Samui.
Is it the absolute best food you’ve ever had? No, but it’s damn good. Is it the cheapest place you can find? No, but it’s pretty damn cheap, and provides amazing value. So what is it about this place that makes it so special?
Look no further than its owner, Mr. Eung himself. He’s a charismatic, middle aged, funny, all-around-great-guy. He’s handsome too, but I’ll let him tell you that! And….he makes his place fun and easy to hang out. Go here for lunch, dinner, or just a couple of drinks in the afternoon or evening. I’ve been here when it’s completely empty (other than the resident dog) and also when it’s packed full of customers. I have enjoyed it immensely every single time.
Mr. Eung’s Restaurant is housed in a classic, old-style Thai structure made from bamboo and with a thatched roof. It’s completely indoor/outdoor and probably has about a dozen tables in total. When there, you will often find local members of the expat community who live in the area popping in, which is always a good sign that a place is worth visiting. And every time one of the locals shows up, immediate laughter and good times erupt with Mr. Eung at the center of it all.
On this particular day, we went in as a group of 4 for dinner. I was with 2 of my buddies who live in Plai Lem and a 3rd guy who seems to be staying in Samui longer each passing year. Funny how that happens!!
We ordered some of Mr. Eung’s classics. The Thai Spicy Beef Salad is ridiculous in here. Done perfectly it’s got that tang that makes your tongue dance and that zip that makes your lips sing. Tangy tongue and zippy lips I guess you could say. Definitely one of the best Thai Beef Salads I’ve ever had.
We also got Pad Krapao – the spicy ground pork with holy basil served over rice. Pad Krapao is one of those Thai dishes I never get sick of and eat it at least once or twice a week without fail. Comfort food and on this day, Mr. Eung did it up just right. Yum.
I’ve been to Mr. Eung’s alone or with one other person many times and I am always happiest going with a bigger group, so make sure to take all your friends when you head here.
On this night, we took advantage of having four of us and ordered 2 kinds of fish. A deep fried one with a sweet sauce and then my favorite of all time – the steamed fish with lemon-chili. This one is served in one of those fish steamers where, heated with little tealights beneath, it bathes in the soup made up of lemon and Thai chilis, partnered with some other herbs and spices that all together make magic happen. I find the white snapper is always a great bet for this style and tonight did not disappoint.
We also had a Massaman Curry, some of Mr. Eung’s homemade spring rolls and beers. Lots of beers.
If you stay long enough (and we did), you’ll inevitably meet Mr. Eung’s alter ego, Lisa. She’s a sweet lady with a great sense of humor. I won’t go into detail here as I don’t want to ruin all the fun. Head there yourself, here’s a Google Map Pin to get you there. The food is very reasonably priced with dishes ranging from 90 Baht and up. When you get there, say hi to me….there’s a good chance I’ll be there, enjoying the local spot Where Everybody Knows Your Name.