Beer Hima is your typical shophouse restaurant, with some live fish and crabs on display suggesting everything will be lip-smacking. Unfortunately, it seems that appearances can still be deceptive. Yet, the place is regularly packed out by 7pm—and has been for many years. You can either sit in the open-air zone, where a line of fish tanks is placed for your entertainment, or hide away in the air-con room to avoid the seafood smells and enjoy the wall lined with pictures of their dishes (some of which are actually not listed in the menu). Even though we know the seafood is fresh, we can’t help but think the dishes here lack in flavor. Most are unbalanced, many are just plain unexciting. Take the pad hoy gab kao (stir-fried clams with basil, B150) which are pretty flat. The dish was not helped by the fact that the clams were not properly cleaned on our last visit, which meant we also got a mouthful of grit. The poo ob woon sen (roasted crab with vermicelli, B1,350) is similarly disappointing. While the crab is certainly fresh, it’s much smaller than you would expect when paying over B1,000. The woon sen in the dish is pleasant without being earth-shattering, while the sourness slightly tips the dish off balance. The tom yum gung (spicy soup with shrimp and mushroom, B300), too, is fairly run-of-the-mill, if a tad sweet. The broth is altogether too light and the shrimps a tad overcooked. The only dish we feel completely comfortable to say we like is the gung pad gluea (stir-fried banana prawn with salt, B550). Striking a nice balance between salty and sweet, the prawns have an excellent crispness while the flesh remains juicy and soft. The steamed sea bass with soy sauce, spring onion and ginger (B350) is another dish that’s not too bad, even if it doesn’t taste particularly authentic. While we wouldn’t consider any of these dishes awful, none really meet our expectations. With so many places offering tastier seafood dishes, and at more reasonable prices, a visit to Beer Hima only advisable if you find yourself stuck in the neighborhood with an undiscerning craving for seafood. No corkage charge.