“My partner and I have dined at Samuay & Sons half a dozen times since we discovered it almost a year ago. After our first visit I waxed lyrical about the food in a review here, so I won’t just repeat myself.

Suffice it to say that owner/chefs Num and Joe take the idea of food very seriously indeed, from the sourcing of the best available meats, vegetables, herbs and other ingredients either locally or from specialist sources around the country, to the health benefits of those ingredients, to the flavourful combinations that they dream up, to the creative presentation and plating, and — at the end of the day — to the sheer sensory enjoyment of discerning customers.

If none of the above appeals to you, and you just want to eat stuff you are used to eating, without any delightful surprises, then don’t waste Num and Joe’s efforts — or your own time – just go where you normally hang out and give Samuay & Sons a wide berth.

But if you love to be surprised by seriously innovative culinary skills then hasten your way to Ponepisai Road in Udon Thani city and have the best food experience for probably many hundreds of kilometers around.

It is beyond me why this restaurant is not rated #1 here on TA, but I guess there will always be punters who come expecting a bog-standard duck laab or som tam and when they can’t get it feel cheated. Or the others who think paying 1,000 Baht (my bill on Tuesday) for five plates of the most serious food you’ll find north-east of Bangkok too expensive because they are used to eating at Tesco food court or UD Town market. What can I say?

A big thank you to Num and Joe who have raised the standard of cuisine in this part of Thailand, and who make my visits to Udon so much more enjoyable!”

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