84/8 Moo 8, Seethanu, Ko Pha Ngan
T: (0873) 817 598
Ko Pha Ngan is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Pha Ngan as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Pha Ngan's different areas.
“Cheap price but nice” are the words strung up in bamboo lettering at the entrance to the ever-charming Mama Pooh’s on Ko Pha Ngan. This popular joint is favoured by travellers, locals, yogis, and basically everyone in between.
The bamboo salas with thatched rooves make this restaurant an ideal spot to come and stay for a while. Better still, the food rocks. The adorable chef, Mama Pooh, whose short, round figure is a testament to her own cooking, doesn’t speak a lick of English.
Luckily, the extensive (and we mean extensive!) menu has numbers beside the dishes, making the ordering situation a breeze. The pad Thai with chicken (70 baht) is easily the best on the island. She also does a delicious no name vegetable (60 baht), a dish that curiously pops up on menus Thailand-wide as an appetiser, but, as always, Mama Pooh does it best. Her deep-fried fish fillet with garlic and pepper sauce (190 baht) is another favourite. Go there hungry — Mama Pooh is well-known across Ko Pha Ngan for doing some of the biggest portion sizes on the island, and at these prices, that means great value for money.
Catering to the nearby yoga schools, Mama Pooh also offers a “tasty nutritious yogic vegetarian food menu”, which features about 20 Thai dishes made without MSG, fish sauce, or sugar.
The floor may be made of dirt, and sometimes it can take as long as 45 minutes (or on occasion, even longer!) to get your food, but when the sweet Mama Pooh starts singing a tune in her melodic voice as she prepares your dish, the atmosphere instantly brightens.
Insider tip: if coming for lunch, make it brunch, and head here around 11:00 to 11:30, when Mama Pooh’s is still relatively quiet. She’ll whip up your dish in 10 minutes, and you’ll be eating before the first lunch customer even has a chance to sit down. This is definitely a can’t-miss spot.
To find it, head north towards Ao Chaopao. It’ll be on your left, just before you hit Lake Hut which overlooks Laem Son lake. This is a popular spot for those staying at Golden Rock resort (about a five-minute walk north) and also Nice Sea (about a 10-minute walk south).
By Kaila Krayewski
Last updated on 24th March, 2015.