Located in Hua Hin, tucked off Route 3218 just before the pass over the hill, lies The Banana Ketchup.
The Restaurant came into existence because of Chef Ox’s Caribbean heritage. He is a man who has always loves to share and especially wanted to share with people here in thailand what the Caribbean islands have to offer in term of cuisine and cultures. The idea behind Caribbean food is that they are spices and herbs in it, which gives it quite a unique flavour.
Prawns and rice
The first experience was the unique smell and aromatics, it’s warm and comforting, like a familiar location or event. It suggested a complex taste coming. And it was, the preparation of the rice, balanced by the softness of the cream and the sharpness of the lime I had just freshly squeezed. This is not a spicy dish per se, unless you ask it to be that way. It’s gentle and very easy to access, but has a strong narrative nevertheless in its flavour profile.
Burger and fries
Starting with the ‘fries, which are actually sweet potato fries commonly found in the Caribbean. Sweet potato has long been a staple of the islands and chef Ox presents his special sweet potato fries, which are salted and herbed with delicious slightly spicy sauce.
The ‘burger’ is held together with an “Bokit” (deep fried bun) pocket, instead of a bun. It altogether feels light on the palate as opposed to a burger. I found this quite to my liking, it’s tasty and it’s convenient. I could only imagine these becoming more popular!
Even something as simple as the beans we found to be perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of softness without being mushy, and still present their own unique taste. Along for the ride was a trio of mash, taro, potato and sweet potato. These provide the sustainable of carbs, echoing how important these foods were to island life. Then there is the jerk chicken itself, cooked for many hours with a basting of special sauce. This was quite phenomenal, definitely an epitome of the heights of a well prepared and executed jerk chicken. The spices synchronised perfectly to provide a bit of fire amongst the deeply rooted flavour. To say this is the piece de resistance would be an understatement, it’s worth the drive for this alone. Most likely the best jerk I have had in Thailand. If you are still looking to add a bit more fire, the side sauce they offered is a novelty to me, combining spice and chilli, without going too far.
This was another new experience for me, but an absolutely delightful one. Once again it’s light in its approach, almost refreshingly light. It’s made entirely from vegetables is is an option for vegetarians. The sauce that it comes with is quite delicious, and again a unique taste profile for me, but a perfect accompaniment to the Accra.
This really needs to be experienced to convey the full understanding of the magnificent food that abounds here. We observed that chef ox, as well as been a multitalented photographer art director and linguists, relentlessly pursues with the same fervour his passion in the kitchen. He is meticulous and assiduous about presenting and perfecting a wonderful experience. He is a baker and food lover, who believes the power of food to bridge communities and cultures. You really understand the people when you eat what they eat, you are ready to embrace their culture. A point extremely well made.
Location : 38 Hua Hin 96 Alley, Hua Hin, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110