Public transportation in Pattaya is cheap and it doesn’t cost you more than 10 baht (~RM1.20) to get yourself from one end of the city to the other. Just hop on the many Baht Buses that ply the roads 24 hours a day. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest and most enjoyable activity you can do in Pattaya.
So although Pupen Seafood Restaurant is located way out of central Pattaya (30 minutes by car) you can definitely get here with minimal cost by hopping on a Baht Bus.
But before making your way here, you should consider this first: can you tolerate flies? Because Pupen Seafood is shockingly full of them. If you are a hygiene freak, stay away.
The restaurant compound might look clean and nice and all so we didn’t expect them to have a fly problem. As soon as the first dish hits your table, you will be surrounded with flies. SO MANY OF THEM. You will be so occupied with chasing them away that the meal becomes impossible to enjoy.
In fact, we got so tired of chasing the flies that we decided to abandon the remaining dishes the flies happily ‘landed’ on. That said, the locals don’t seem to be bothered by the flies’ presence, they just continue to eat like it’s nothing.
So I guess that’s the reason I am writing about this place – to warn you guys about the flies. It might not be the restaurant’s fault entirely due to its seaside location, but they could have lit candles or installed fly traps to reduce the menace. At least do something about it.
If you are wondering, the seafood here is actually affordable, fresh and delicious. So it was only frustrating that we couldn’t enjoy it properly. We spent a total of THB1,150 (~RM140) for this lunch and here’s what we ordered.
Claypot meat crab and vermicelli with ginger and pepper sauce @ THB450. Pupen means ‘live crab’ and they have plenty of it, so crabs are sort of a specialty here. Even at the smallest size, the crab is a lot larger and meatier than what you get in KL.
Steamed squid with spicy chili and lemon sauce @ THB260. As you can see, they are not stingy with the portion and this could probably be shared among 3-4 pax easily. The squids are cooked just right and the sauce at its default heat level is tongue-numbingly spicy.
Fried seafood in yellow curry powder @ THB200 – good value for money as you can find a whole soft shell crab and even scallops in it.
After seeing this raw shrimp in fish sauce dish being offered in so many restaurants in Thailand, I finally took the plunge and tried it. I can tell you it’s not for the faint of heart. This has got to be one of the spiciest things I have eaten in my life.
Besides seafood, you can also order pork satay or mango stick rice from the stalls operating in the restaurant.
After the meal you can visit the live seafood tanks where they keep the crabs and lobsters. One look is all you need to tell that the crabs are much superior, size wise.
The mascot of Pupen is a huge blue crab in front of the restaurant. Even if you don’t understand a word of Thai, this is how you will know you have reached the right place.
And here are some sights you will see along Jomtien beach leading to the restaurant. I thought they are quite unique and worth a stroll if you are not in a hurry to get back to the city.
Pupen Seafood Restaurant
62/1 Moo 1, Chai Talay Road, Na Jomtien Subdistrict, Pattaya
Business hours: 9.30am – 10.30pm