Dang Restaurant, Patong, Thailand
Rat U Thit 200 Pee Road just north of Soi Bangla is pretty much tourist central in Patong Beach, and this place looked like it fit right in. Normally I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole, but a fairly credible forum had mentioned this place on more than one occasion (number 188 across from the PS Hotel ...not to be confused with the open air Dang Seafood just a bit further up the street), so we went to check it out tonight in the hopes that appearances were deceiving. Besides, it was worth giving it a try just for the amusing name alone: "Hurry up...we have to go to the Dang Restaurant!"
Actually, one of the main reasons we came was because the fried chicken was supposed to be pretty good, to which Bangkok's Polo Fried Chicken immediately came to mind. Only after our plate was delivered did I realize that "fried" meant "stir-fried" rather than "deep-fried," thus relegating this to any gooey old plate of sauteed chicken that is pretty common across Asia anyway. Oh well...there are plenty of deep fried chicken stalls on the streets to console us later.
The rest of the menu seemed pretty typical of a place like this, although there was one item, nam prik gung saeb, that caught my eye, as the English description suggested to me that perhaps it were made from raw shrimp. When I asked about it, the lady said (in a perfectly respectful way, as if she were trying to look out for our best interests) that "It's not for you...it's for Thai people only." She couldn't have said a single thing to make me want it more, and her jaw dropped when I said that I wanted it. Only when it arrived did I realize that it wasn't made from raw shrimp, but dried shrimp, and was basically another one of those fermenting belachan-like spicy dips that one was supposed to eat with vegetables, which were blanched in this case. It was spicy and stanky, but also a bit sweet, and generally not as offensive as I would have hoped.
Well, that aside, this ended up being the tourist-friendly place that it looked like, and would fare fine if that's the kind of thing that you are looking for. Beware though that the banana pancakes that our neighbors ordered looked as if they were made with Bisquick rather than those thin crepes off the street, while the banana fritters were coated in fish & chip batter rather than those sesame dusted ones that we got off the street the other day.