It won’t stop you heading to Kowloon City, but Krua Walaiphan is one of the best Thai restaurants on Hong Kong Island
It’s a well known fact that with its large and established Thai population, most of Hong Kong’s best Thai restaurants reside in Kowloon City. Looking to change that narrative is Krua Walaiphan. This Sai Ying Pun joint serves up great Thai fare courtesy of chef Walaiphan Hanyut, who co-owns the restaurant with Renee Dancel. Both previously worked at the excellent Chachawan in Sheung Wan, so our expectations are high.
The decor is no frills, with a small semi open kitchen sitting within a narrow, but still fairly large, casual space. We start with lap moo (minced pork with spring onions, shallots, coriander and mint, tossed in a sour and spicy dressing served with lettuce cups) and a som tum (papaya salad). We request the som tum extra spicy and the chefs don’t mess about. It arrives vibrant with red birdseye chillies and is blow-your-face-off spicy – exactly what we’re after. As for the papaya, that’s fresh and crunchy. The lap moo is a crowd-pleaser too - it's not too oily and the fresh herbs help really boost the flavour.
Once the mains arrive it’s clear we’ve definitely over-ordered. The green curry, stir fried chicken with cashew and pad see ew (stir fried noodles) are all generously portioned. The green curry is served with fresh basil, green beans and pea aubergine, an ingredient often omitted in Hong Kong versions of Thai curries. They provide a bitter pop when bitten into, which balances the slight sweetness of the thick, creamy curry. The chicken, though tasty, is a little soggy for our liking. The meat is sliced too thin and the batter could’ve been crispier. Still, it’s rare to see this dish on a menu in Hong Kong and we polish it off. The pad see ew with pork is packed full of veg and the fat rice noodles are stir fried to sticky perfection.
It's a solid addition to Sai Ying Pun's ever-growing food scene,
|Venue name:||Krua Walaiphan|
29 High Street
Sai Ying Pun
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri midday-2.30pm and 5.30pm-10pm, Sat and Sun midday-10pm|
|Transport:||Exit C, Sai Ying Pun MTR Station|
|Price:||Meal for two around $500|
|Do you own this business?|