Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล) is one of the most well known and established restaurants in Koh Samui that serves mostly Thai seafood dishes.

Although they have been featured in many guidebooks, and so you’ll notice quite a diverse spectrum of people dining here, the restaurant is also very famous for Thais, especially Thais on holiday in Koh Samui.

The restaurant is located right near Hin Ta Hin Yai (หินตาหินยาย), the famous Grandfather and Grandmother rock monuments in Koh Samui, on the south end of Lamai Beach.

One day in Koh Samui, Ying and I decided to go big for lunch…

menu at Sabeinglae Restaurant
Menu at Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล)

Menu at Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล)

The menu is new and modern with nice pictures of many of the dishes, which makes ordering quite easy.

We got a copy of both an English and a Thai menu, however when I compared the two menus there was an entire section of the menu they left off the English menu – perhaps they didn’t think non-Thais would enjoy the dishes only written in Thai?

Most of the dishes we ordered were from the Thai section of the menu and most of what I tried are supposedly the local Koh Samui dishes, and the speciality dishes at Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล).

Alright, let’s start with lunch…

Thai squid curry
Wai khua (วายคั่ว) – excellent squid cury

Wai khua (วายคั่ว)

The first dish Ying and I ordered was wai khua (วายคั่ว), a dish of baby squid cooked in a thick coconut milk gravy.

Along with a spoonful of rice, this was the first thing I tasted, and it was extremely good. On my first bite it really reminded me of an octopus curry I ate in Zanzibar years ago, that I had been dreaming about eating ever since.

Price – 160 THB

Koh Samui food
This was my favorite dish

The squid itself, which was some kind of local baby squid, was incredibly soft and tender – almost to the point of pieces of chicken soft – just a smoother and less stringy texture.

The coconut gravy was thick and creamy, slightly sweet, and really fragrant with lots of shallots and lemongrass.

Although I started off with the wai khua (วายคั่ว), I think it was my favorite dish of our meal here. Highly recommended if you eat at this restaurant in Koh Samui.

Thai seafood salad
Yam Sabeinglae (ยำเสบียงเล)

Yam Sabeinglae (ยำเสบียงเล)

Unfortunately things didn’t stay as good as they started off.

We next ordered the Yam Sabeinglae (ยำเสบียงเล), a house style seafood salad, very similar to any Thai seafood salad.

The Yam Sabeinglae (ยำเสบียงเล) included a mixture of blanched and steamed seafood like shrimp, squid, fish, and a few shellfish in the mix as well.

It was then topped with a generous amount of crispy shallots, and some green onions and mint leaves.

Price – 200 THB

Thai seafood
A good mix of ingredients, but could have been improved

What’s really unfortunate is that they used fake lime juice in the dressing.

At Thai street food stalls they sometimes use fake lime juice to reduce costs as they sell their dishes for $1 or so, but Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล) is a real seafood sit-down restaurant.

Upon my first bite, my wife and I both could recognize the fake lime juice.

So, the seafood in the salad was still good, but it could have been drastically improved had they used real lime juice.

Perhaps just an unfortunate off day when they couldn’t get limes at the market? Possibly.

krill paste pork
Moo khua koy (หมูคั่วเคย) – pork with krill paste

Moo khua koy (หมูคั่วเคย)

Another signature dish at Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล), and one of the recommended dishes to eat is something called moo khua koy (หมูคั่วเคย) pork fried with krill paste (shrimp paste).

Again, it looked really good, with nice pieces of pork, a brown glaze sauce, fresh chilies, and shreds of kaffir lime leaves sprinkled on top.

Price – 120 THB

restaurants in Koh Samui
It was very sweet

But it was extremely sweet. Like dessert sweet.

I did like the shrimp paste flavor, and the citrusy zest of the kaffir lime leaves, but it was way too sweet for my personal taste buds.

Pla daeng neung manao (ปลาแดงนึ่งมะนาว)

One of my favorite things to eat in the world is fresh fish, and when I saw the fresh tanks of fish swimming around, and then noticed the selection of live seafood on the menu, I couldn’t resist.

I went for a red snapper and I ordered it cooked in one of my favorite Thai ways, neung manao (นึ่งมะนาว), steamed with lime juice.

Thai steamed fish
Can’t go wrong with steamed snapper

The fish was fantastic, and although they may have used some fake lime juice in it as well, since it was cooked, it was much less noticeable in this dish as it was in the salad.

First of all, you can’t go wrong with a fresh red snapper. The meat was soft yet not mushy.

I also liked how they added a generous amount of garlic and chilis, both of which were half cooked and half raw, spread out all over the top of the fish.

Finally a handful of sliced Chinese celery was thrown on top for good measure.

Thai fish
This was my kind of dish

The pla daeng neung manao (ปลาแดงนึ่งมะนาว) sauce was sour, slightly sweet to balance, and beautifully garlicky and chili filled.

It was a pretty good version of pla daeng neung manao (ปลาแดงนึ่งมะนาว).

Price – 600 THB (but they price by weight so depending on how big your fish is)

prices at Sabeinglae
Our total price at Sabeinglae

Total price for our meal

Our total price for 2 of us eating came to 1,165 THB ($32.58), which is not a cheap meal.

But partly it was so expensive because of my impulse desire to eat an entire fresh fish, which I’m not regretting.

Sabeinglae Restaurant เสบียงเล
Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล), Lamai, Koh Samui

Watch the full meal on video:

(Or watch it on YouTube here)

Conclusion

Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล), located just south of Lamai Beach, is one of the most famous sit-down restaurants on the island of Koh Samui.

The restaurant specializes mainly in seafood, and while they have an entire menu of Thai dishes, they also have a few local Koh Samui speciality dishes and even some western dishes included.

I tried a couple dishes that could have been better, but everything else was good and fresh. I think overall the food was quite good.

The wai khua (วายคั่ว) squid curry and the steamed fish were both excellent.

My favorite style of restaurant in Koh Samui are the local curry and rice restaurants, but if you’re in Lamai, Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล) is well worth a visit for a sit-down seafood meal.

Sabeinglae Restaurant (เสบียงเล) – Koh Samui

Address: 438/82 Ring Road (Thanon Sawoy), Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310
Open hours: 10 am – 10 pm daily
Prices: About 300 – 500 THB per person and less if you don’t eat an entire fish for 2 people like we did
How to get there: If you’re at Lamai beach or the Grandmother and Grandfather rocks, you can walk to Sabeinglae.

ที่อยู่ ถนนสาย 4169 (หาดละไม ใกล้หินตาหินยาย) เทศบาลนครเกาะสมุย , เกาะสมุย , สุราษฎร์ธานี 84310 ที่อยู่ ถนนสาย 4169 (หาดละไม ใกล้หินตาหินยาย) เทศบาลนครเกาะสมุย , เกาะสมุย , สุราษฎร์ธานี 84310
เปิดทุกวัน 10.00 – 22.00 น. เปิดทุกวัน 10.00 – 22.00 น.
โทร. 077-233-082, 077-233-083 โทร. 077-233-082, 077-233-083

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  • Crossfire

    6 years ago

    Oh no…the fake lime juice has struck again. I’m a huge fan somtam, yam, larb type dishes (anything lime really) since I was a small kid. It pains me that a lot of restaurants use fake lime juice these days in Thailand. It just tastes bad. I can’t bring myself to eat dishes that have been ruined by fake lime juice.

    The pla neung manao looks good though. Very colorful but I’m still weary of the fake lime juice. I’m so sensitive for it.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hehe, glad we feel the same about the fake lime juice. It’s understandable that some street food vendors use it to reduce costs, but shouldn’t happen at a restaurant of this scale.

      • Antonia

        5 years ago

        Sorry, but what is fake lime juice? What’s it made from? Just curious as I’ve never heard of it.

        I know if you use the pasteurised bottles of lime juice the flavour can be significantly different than fresh limes….

        I learn so much from this blog, thanks!