When asked where has been most memorable place I've ever dined at, my answer will always be the Rom Mai Yai Restaurant, in Phrae, Thailand. Earlier this year I was incredibly lucky to be invited on my first ever press trip, a trip to discover the hidden gems of Thailand. Thai food has always been my favourite cuisine and if I was ever in the predicament where I would have to chose my last ever supper, it would probably be something that involved cashew nuts and tofu or a tofu Thai Red Curry. The people of Thailand know how to pack tonnes of flavour into their dishes without it being overpowering or too hot and although they love their meat, it is easy to make a vegetarian version of a lot of their dishes and I found all the restaurants I visited in Thailand to be very accommodating.
During my trip I visited a lot of Thai restaurants, but the Rom Mai Yai restaurant in Phrae forever sticks in my mind because it is probably one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever seen. When Travel Bag got in touch and asked me to write about my favourite restaurant abroad to celebrate their new interactive travel maps, I knew Rom Mai Yai was the perfect place to talk about.
The restaurant is situated in the north of Thailand in a province called Phrae. Phrae isn't one of those places that automatically springs to mind when thinking of a trip to Thailand, but this town has so much to offer with so many temples, historic places of interest and wonderful places to eat. This particular restaurant is placed over a giant pond with seated booths dipped in water so it feels like you're floating in the water as you eat and in this pond were gigantic Koi carp of many different colours swimming around. The restaurant is large with outdoor and indoor seating areas, a very large outside bar and even their own ice-cream and smoothie bar. When we visited, there was a man playing acoustic guitar and singing whilst we ate and drank the night away, I wanted to stay there all night.
As a vegetarian I often find it hard to find food and before I travelled to Thailand, I spent hours wondering what I would eat. Of course when you visit a different country, the food is never the same as your local takeaway. It's authentic and with authenticity comes different ingredients and different styles of cooking, as a vegetarian you have to be slightly cautious. But as mentioned previously the Thai people were ever so accommodating and the food at Rom Mai Yai was exceptional. I dined on stir fried morning glory, traditional hot soups, tofu stirfrys and deep fried tofu as well lots of jasmine rice. There was so much variety and I loved every mouthful.
Although the Rom Mai Yai is a little bit off the beaten track and hard to find, I would say to anyone visiting the area that is worth seeking out. It really is a hidden gem of Thailand and well worth the trip.
Where has been the best place you have eaten abroad?