Dining at the market does not only mean heading for one of those food stalls that can be found in markets big and small across Hua Hin. They are likely to serve ‘fast food’ Thai style, some excellent, some questionable, but a feature of eating out both locally and throughout Thailand. In this case we are talking about a very different dining experience; The Market Bar & Restaurant.
The Market Village is the best known large shopping complex in Hua Hin. That’s where you’ll find this Mediterranean style all-day restaurant. There have been some changes to the already extensive menu lately and we were invited to check out the chef’s selection for a dining experience with the real ‘Market style’. This style is described as Italian but for me ‘Mediterranean’ gives a better idea of what’s on offer. Perhaps the compromise is to say Italian food with a greater Mediterranean influence. Thai food is also on the menu but not on our chef’s selection for this visit. Italians, like other Mediterranean cultures, know how to really enjoy the experience of eating.
They relax out doors and socialise while dining for hours. At The Market it’s clear that the clientele prefer to sit outside to relax, especially when it’s a perfect balmy evening. The ‘piazza’ in front of the Market Village also provides something of a town square atmosphere with the sounds of live music wafting towards the restaurant. All together a very pleasant backdrop, far away enough away from the busy main road so that traffic noise is not an issue. Our selected menu was three-fold. ‘The Market Salad’; a mixed salad with Palma ham, melon, gorgonzola and raisins. ‘Pizza, The Market’; with cheese, tomato salsa, Palma ham, rocket and parmesan cheese. Then finally, ‘Sea bass, the Market’; with linguine, tomato salsa, balsamic cream, rocket and parmesan shavings. Apart from the name ‘The Market’ to signify it’s a house specialty, there were other themes that ran through these selections.
Themes can link menu items rather than just random flavours, allowing the palate to move from one dish to another (and back!) without confusion. In this case tomato salsa, Palma ham and parmesan cheese provided that link. This was a light but very satisfying choice for two. Delicate flavours punctuated by stronger taste sensations. Gorgonzola added a ‘bite; from the blue veins and Palma ham, one of the world’s gourmet treats, adding a sweet, salty, moist and succulent flavour to fill the mouth with a complex and satisfying sensation. Nothing about these flavours in conflict. Sea bass as small fillets, moist and succulent, linguine (Italian – ‘little tongues’) was al dente and firm to the bite and a pizza base which was thin and slightly crisp.
This was a meal to linger over, to enjoy with a chilled glass of impressive house dry white wine and take in the surrounds. The Market also has many specials to consider apart from the extensive menu. Sea bass is already a firm favourite with diners ordering it in droves!
If you are ‘in the market’ for a very relaxing and flavorsome dining experience, The Market Restaurant & Bar should be on your favourite’s list. Where: The Market Restaurant and Bar; alongside the car park entrance just outside Market Village. When: 9 AM to 10 PM Our Menu: The Market Salad 280 THB, Pizza; The Market 300 THB, Sea bass; the Market 350 THB. House wine ‘special’ 90 THB per glass. Phone: 081 174 4647