It's High Tide
Updated: 2012-07-29 07:15
By Donna Mah (China Daily)
Vegetable spring rolls are among the signature appetizers at High Tide, which serves Thai food.
Donna Mah found an authentic Thai restaurant on Hong Kong's Lantau Island, the destination for some sun, sand and surf.
It was like being on holiday and dining by a beach in Thailand until the cows wandered over. Then we knew we were on Lantau Island where feral cattle wander the streets, fields and beaches.
Lantau Island is a popular holiday destination for Hong Kong people on staycations with its hiking trails, beaches, the Tian Tan Buddha, the stilt houses in Tai O fishing village, and of course, the fresh air.
The Hong Kong International Airport and Disneyland are also located on Lantau. But since the island is almost twice the size of Hong Kong Island of which over 50 percent is country park, when you're on South Lantau, the airport and Disneyland seem really far off.
After an invigorating hike on Lantau, it's important to know where a good meal can be found.
One area that is a favorite for both locals and visitors is Lower Cheung Sha Beach for its long stretch (about 2 kilometers) of beach, "Cheung Sha" means "long sand", and the quaint outdoor restaurants there.
A good place to hang out and sip a Singha beer is High Tide. It's not obvious from the name that they serve Thai food here, but their chef is Thai and they have been operating at this gorgeous location for almost three years now. Interestingly, it is the only restaurant in the area that serves Asian food.
Chef Sukjai Nuan is from northeastern Thailand and has worked for the Oberoi and Al Khozama hotel groups, and now calls Cheung Sha on Lantau Island his home. Behind the restaurant, Sukjai cultivates his own herb garden, to ensure that his dishes are authentic and made with the freshest ingredients.
Signature dishes include the curries, especially creamy red prawn curry, and green chicken curry; pan-fried spicy whole squid, green mango salad; pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles); appetizers such as chicken satay, grilled pork neck, deep-fried prawn cakes and vegetable spring rolls.
Thai food would not be complete without soups. At High Tide, they are popular for their soups served in flaming hot pots such as tom kha gai (coconut chicken soup) and tom yam kung (spicy seafood soup). There is a good selection and the spiciness of the food can be adjusted to suit your taste.
"If customers want it spiced up or down, they just have to say so. That's something our customers especially appreciate," says the co-owner and manager, Tom Hope.
High Tide also serves homemade ice cream -mango, coconut, banana and lime sorbet - made by Hope himself. It is certainly the perfect end to a leisurely meal at this rustic beach-side eatery.
When asked about what he enjoyed most working at High Tide after retiring from being a lawyer, Hope says, "I've especially enjoyed the way running a restaurant makes you part of the local community. It's also my favorite beach in the whole world - a pretty good place to have as your regular work-place."
I would have to agree that his "office" is idyllic.
Guests can expect to spend HK$150-200 ($19-25) per person. Reservations are recommended during the weekends.
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High Tide is located at Lantau Island, a popular holiday destination for Hong Kong people.
(China Daily 07/29/2012 page13)