About three kilometres south of Hua Hin facing a lovely lake that was constructed by the late King of Thailand you’ll find S. Ken’s Bistro. Words by Keith Hancock, photos by Robert Fretwell

It’s a small place offering about 40 seats, half indoors with air-con and the other half al fresco. It is a nice spot and only aa short walk from the beach here. There is a huge photo of King Bhumibol on the corner of the road.

The owner is a friendly Thai national who has experience in many different countries, including the UK, The Maldives, Doha and Switzerland. This vast experience is obvious in the way he presents his dishes, the approach to cookery, and the top rate service. The menu is a great mix of Vietnamese and international dishes, all presented with Ken’s unique style.

I really enjoyed this bight airy little place with its clean uncluttered decor. It has the feel of a Mediterranean cafe. The food was excellent with some great stand out dishes. I would strongly recommend the Tomato, Black Olive and Parmesan Bruschetta as a starter. The consisted of five good sized portions of crispy, lightly toasted French bread, with a generous topping of tomatoes and olives. I have always enjoyed this as a starter and here it more than lived up to expectations.

Among the salads was their delightful Signature Salad with Roast Duck. First impressions announce a Caesar salad, but the cream sauce of Japanese pumpkin and sesame seeds was a pleasant surprise. Standouts among the mains were the Chicken Kebabs with Sate Sauce and the Chicken Pad Sieu Yuu. I have always enjoyed sate and this was superbly done. There was plenty of chicken and the sate sauce was exactly how it should be; tangy and peanutty but never overpowering the chicken. The Chicken Pad Sieu Yuu was an excellent take on a Thai classic. For those who have never tried this dish, it is similar to a Pad Thai but has a much more smokey flavour.

This lovely little restaurant deserves success and judging by the healthy number of lunchtime diners when I was there, it will succeed. Ken brings a wealth of experience and a natural flair that many restaurants are missing. It is a really nice environment and in an excellent location. The view from the front of the restaurant is pretty special and it is not hard to understand why the Thai Royal family made this part of the country their home for so long. S. Ken’s Bistro is the ideal place for a great lunch or an evening dinner.