When Kristin and I arrived in Surat Thani, we were introduced to a number of restaurants by the teachers already here – some through a personal visit, and others by word of mouth. A few of these have become favorites we visit at least weekly. Others we haven’t tried yet. Until last week, “Vietnamese Aflutter” was in the latter category. We tried to go a few times, but could never find it. We were told by various teachers, “It’s somewhere down near the pier,” or “It’s right under the bridge,” or “It’s way down Na Muang Road. There’s a big sign – you can’t miss it.” Once we finally followed a teacher here, none of these turned out to be quite correct. It is in fact on Don Muang road, next to the river, a little ways past the Donnok bridge heading away from town. But no clear sign marks “Vietnamese Aflutter.” This name only seems to be written on a side wall indoors. Instead, white lettering on a glass front vaguely indicates “Vietnamese Food,” much like the place on Amphur (maybe this is a common thing?).
In any case, the menu is in English here, except for a couple mysterious pages they apparently skipped, so you should have no trouble finding something to satisfy your cravings. We shared quite a few dishes with some other teachers and enjoyed everything we ate. Highlights include the Saigon half moon (a flaky shell stuffed with minced meat, herbs, and spices), any of the various spring roll variations (both fresh and fried), the fried rice (with bacon!!), and the fried bananas (served with something like coconut-flavored butter). Overall, this place is definitely a step above the other Vietnamese spot. The food is better. It’s priced almost the exact same. And the menu is in English and has great pictures. If you’re on Amphur and need Vietnamese food NOW, that restaurant will suffice, but if you have the time, I echo the other teachers’ recommendations to make the trip to Vietnamese Aflutter.