An Unforgettable Thai Seafood Feast in Mahachai at Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่)

By Mark Wiens Mahachai
Thai seafood

Khao pad boo (crab fried rice ข้าวผัดปู) at Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่)

A couple days ago I met up with my friend Ramon for an expedition to Mahachai (มหาชัย) to search for seafood… what else could we want!?

Mahachai is a small town about an hour and a half from Bangkok, located in the province of Samut Sakhon. It’s positioned at the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand, and for this reason it’s one of the main seafood distribution centers of all things from the sea.

Anyway, you go to Mahachai to eat seafood, in fact, even the air in Mahachai smells fishy!

We met a local friend who directed us to a restaurant known as Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่).

Just from the location, the ambiance and the fact that the restaurant was located in the bottom of a small private apartment looking complex, I knew it was going to be good.

We started things off with a big platter of khao pad boo (crab fried rice ข้าวผัดปู), one of the better plates I’ve had. It was cooked on an extremely hot wok, leaving the rice scorched and dry. Plus there big chunks of sweet crab and egg tossed throughout.

Price – 170 THB

Moo pad sataw (pork withs stink beans หมูผัดสะตอ)

Moo pad sataw (pork withs stink beans หมูผัดสะตอ)

I’m addicted to stink beans, there’s nothing I can do about it.

I could eat them every meal for the rest of my life.

So I couldn’t resist ordering the moo pad sataw (pork withs stink beans หมูผัดสะตอ). It also had bits of chopped shrimp within it, and the dish was excellent as expected.

Price – 150 THB

Goong pad pongkari (shrimp in a Thai yellow egg curry กุ้งผัดผงกะหรี่)

Goong pad pongkari (shrimp in a Thai yellow egg curry กุ้งผัดผงกะหรี่)

Next up was goong pad pongkari (shrimp in a Thai yellow egg curry กุ้งผัดผงกะหรี่).

The shrimp were of utmost freshness, firm and cooked to perfection. The light curry was rich, oily, and perfectly coated on each curled up beauty.

Price – 250 THB

Thai seafood in Mahachai

Meuk pad kai kem (salty egg with squid หมึกผัดไข่เค็ม)

I’m honestly not always the biggest fan of kai kem (salt cured egg), and I’ve had pla meuk pad kai kem (squid stir fried with kai kem) a number of times in Thailand, and I don’t always care for the sand texture of the salted egg yolk.

But we ordered a plate of meuk pad kai kem (salty egg with squid หมึกผัดไข่เค็ม) and it ended up being one of my favorites of the meal.

The egg yolk was somehow silky smooth, and it provided an intensely rich, salty, and creamy sauce for the high quality, non-rubbery rings of squid. Amazing!

Price – 150 THB

Brown-marbled grouper (ปลาเก๋าทอด 3 รส)

Brown-marbled grouper (ปลาเก๋าทอด 3 รส)

Next up, we couldn’t have a seafood meal without a number fish joining us.

The pla kow tod 3 rot – which I believe is a Brown-marbled grouper (ปลาเก๋าทอด 3 รส), was a nice fat fish that was basically dug out into strips, deep fried to a crisp on all surfaces, and coated in a sweet Thai chili sauce.

Price – 250 THB

Goong dten (กุ้งเต้น)

Goong dten (กุ้งเต้น)

Far different from the normal goong dten, the Thai dancing shrimp (กุ้งเต้น) that are so famous, they do a different version (maybe a made-up version of genius) at Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่).

They were jumbo prawns, roasted over fire, butterfly cut, then lathered in a near life-changing delicious sauce of chunky garlic, fresh and dry chilies, and mint leaves.

Those chunks of garlic and chilies were incredible

Those chunks of garlic and chilies were incredible

Along with the squid, this speciality of Mahachai is worth the effort to eat here. I could hardly contain myself.

Price – 250 THB

pla krapong tod nam pla (barramundi fish fried with sauce ปลากระพงทอดน้ำปลา)

Pla krapong tod nam pla (barramundi fish fried with sauce ปลากระพงทอดน้ำปลา)

Then we had another fish…

… this time around a pla krapong tod nam pla (barramundi fish fried with sauce ปลากระพงทอดน้ำปลา).

The trophy was deep-fried to a crispy, and served with lovely green mango and chili fish sauce.

Price – 350 THB

Goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น)

Goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น)

Lastly, by the time we were already patting our stomaches and rejoicing from the food, out came the final dish: goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น).

I won’t say it was as good as the version at Somsak Boo Op (สมศักดิ์ ปูอบ) – that’s my standard for the dish, but it was pretty good and the fresh jumbo prawns were marvelous.

Price – 200 THB

Pure enjoyment at Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่)

Pure enjoyment at Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่)

The Bottom Line

The bad news is Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่) is a ways outside of Bangkok, and nearly impossible to get there without a car. The good news is, the food is worth turning it into a Thai seafood meal pilgrimage.

It won’t let you down!

Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่)

Phone: 034-426646
Open hours: 10:30 – 20:00 daily
Prices: Dishes are about 150 – 250 each, and the seafood is amazing!

ที่อยู่ 197/13 อาคาร ติดวัดเจษฎาราม ถนนเจษฎาวิถี ตำบลมหาชัย อำเภอเมืองสมุทรสาคร สมุทรสาคร
โทร. 034-426646
เปิดบริการทุกวัน 10.30 – 20.00 น.

How to get there:

Ran Ahan Pi (ร้านอาหาร ไผ่) is located in Mahachai (มหาชัย), about 1.5 hours from central Bangkok. The best way to get there is to either have your own car or to rent a car for the day. It would be convenient to go if you take a day trip to Mahachai for some sightseeing and then eat here for lunch or dinner.