Pearl of Samui in Walton-on-the-Naze is my favourite local restaurant – it’s our regular haunt for any celebrations or foodie nights out. Recently I visited with Paul and his parents to celebrate a birthday, so I just had to review it and share their wonderful Thai food!
Pearl of Samui has a fairly small premises, however there is still a lot of seating and options for larger groups. The restaurant is situated very close to the sea, just off of Walton’s High Street, yet you wouldn’t know once inside – the gorgeous combination of various decor make you feel like you’ve stepped into Thailand itself. There’s some beautiful pieces of artwork adorning the walls, and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Usually it’s fairly quiet in the early hours of the evening, but becomes much busier as the night goes on.
Thai food is one of my favourite cuisines for its aromatic herbs and spices and beautiful flavour combinations. Pearl of Samui serves authentic meals that have a real taste of Thailand, and features such a great range of starters, mains, desserts, and sides (plus a very good range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to pair it all with).
For our most recent venture we decided to order starters and mains – we keep saying we’re going to try dessert but never get around to it because we’re full before we’ve even finished the second course! The diversity and richness of the different ingredients within Thai food makes it super filling (something which I always forget whilst I’m ordering everything I possibly can from the menu).
For starters we chose a couple of classics – prawn toast and satay chicken (my favourite combination), plus a serving of spicy chicken wings. I didn’t try the chicken wings due to my chilli allergy, but the prawn toast was made to perfection as always and the satay sauce was wonderful with the chicken. I always love the presentation for the starters, with dishes served on thin rectangular plates and garnished with fresh salad vegetables.
I decided to be daring and ordered the mussels served with Thai herbs which were wonderfully cooked and full of flavour – I’d never thought of mussels as a particularly Thai dish but they worked so well with the selection of herbs added to them. I also discovered that they work rather well with satay, too!
I always try and go for something different when I visit Pearl of Samui but this time I had to revisit the Pad Num Mun Hoi, which I’d eaten the last time. The dish is a stir fry, cooked in oyster sauce and served with broccoli, peppers, green beans, mushrooms, and a choice of meat. I opted for duck, and Paul’s Dad ordered the same but with chicken. I think this one is my favourite meal that Pearl of Samui serve – the oyster sauce gives it a wonderful tang, and I love how colourful and full of veggies it is, making it feel quite healthy.
Paul’s Mum went for the sweet and sour chicken, served with pineapple, onions, and pepper, and Paul decided to be daring and go for the Kaeng Daeng, more commonly known as Thai Red Curry. The chef certainly didn’t hold back with the chilli, but Paul really enjoyed it and loved the heat.
For our sides we opted for a couple of different types of rice – egg fried rice and special fried rice. We liked both, but the special fried rice was especially filling as it contained chicken and vegetables… It probably could have been a main in its own right! As for drinks we just went for a bottle of house red which, despite the very reasonable choice, was the perfect drink to pair with the meal and full-bodied in flavour.
Another dish I’d recommend is the Mussamun Curry, which is a curry with a thick sauce made from tamarind, potatoes, onion, and ground peanut. I’ve had this a couple of times as well and love it for its nutty flavour, but as it’s quite rich I’d make sure that you are a real peanut lover before you order it!
As well as being a dine-in restaurant Pearl of Samui offer takeaway, where you can order the same beautiful dishes that you can eat within. We’ve only had takeaway once with them but it was far superior to something like fish and chips, with food as good as if we were dining out. They serve each dish in plastic containers rather than the disposable foil ones, meaning that you get lots of handy free storage boxes when you eat – I’m always a fan of takeaway services that use reusable containers for their food because it leads to a lot less waste.
It’s important to note that the restaurant is unable to offer delivery for their takeaway food, so if you plan to order then make sure you’re able to drive there to pick it up.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve visited Pearl of Samui now, but we’ve never had a meal that was anything less than excellent. The staff are always lovely – chatty, friendly, and ready to assist with any dietary requirements, and I can’t fault the food at all. A perfect place for fans of Thai cuisine to visit, plus you have the bonus of gorgeous sea views right outside.
Are you a fan of Thai food, and if so what’s your favourite dish? Or, is it a cuisine you’re yet to try? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and pin!
You can read some of my other local eatery reviews here: