We discovered Ying by asking our hotel staff to recommend a restaurant she would go to for local authentic food. Although she replied back there is none is Karon, the nearest to it would be Ying.
We couldn't agree more. Ying do not only serve great food but they are so attentive and welcoming. We went during the humid season and every time we entered they would turn on the fan for us, give us a frozen piece of wet cloth to cool us down and offer us a table of choice. They recognised us on our second returning and were even more delighted to accommodate us.
The only disappointment with the food here is the ridiculously small portions but the cheap prices make up for it, more than half the price of those on Karon Beach road so you can order two and not feel bankrupt.
I have no idea why people said their seafood wasn't fresh as the prawns we had were the most bounciest throughout our whole visit in Karon. They were really fresh and served so generously too, like 5-6 prawns per dish. Food were flavoured and seasoned perfectly, relying on the fresh ingredients of spices and herbs to bring out flavour rather than salt. Their Tom Yum Goong for example was the best we had in Karon, rich and spicy. Even the simple dishes like morning glory was cooked with effort and full of wok energy- they take their time to cook it perfectly. Mum's favourite dish was the papaya salad. The fish sauce was made to perfect, not sweeten like some unauthentic restaurants who westernised their meals to accommodate foreigners. In fact, none of their dishes are sweetened but all savoury like Thai people like it.
For recommendations other than the ones mentioned especially for one dish meals, go for the shrimp paste fried rice. It's the best fried rice I have ever came across for a long time. Rice fried with energy with a lovely savoury flavour from the shrimp paste. But what makes it special is the different textures of crunches coming together from the fresh ingredients around it, mostly raw like the cucumbers and other veg which you just mix in before eating. It's pretty fun and tasty too and a lot healthier than most fried rice as the vegetables aren't fried. You can type 'Thai shrimp paste fried rice' in a search engine to see what the dish looks like.
Another dish which is off the menu would be Tom Yum Noodle soup, just ask them to add a choice of noodles in your soup and its the most delicious meal ever. It is so appetising and fulfilling due to the sour and spicy flavours plus all the vegetables and prawns in there.
To be honest, we never had a bad meal in there at all, just disappointed with the portions when they get smaller than the previous visit. But the bill always end up cheaper than most places even when we order lots. Drinks are amazing too, all freshly made with the real fruit, even the strawberry shake amazingly. I recommend the drinks too.
Give it a go, especially at lunchtime for free fruit platter for desserts!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.