This vacation, don’t settle for a nondescript meal made up of international mains that you could find in just about any other country. Instead, embark on an adventurous culinary journey, and dine only on authentic local fare.
This means settling down for a meal in a casual, fuss-free eatery dishing up servings of hokkien mee, bamboo steamers filled with piping hot dim sum, or even a plate of ants’ eggs (gulp). Don’t worry – there are plenty of dishes to opt from, even if you do not quite fancy feasting on insects, so make your way to one of these restaurants for a taste of local flavour in Phuket:
Navigate your way through the various stalls located within Lock Tien, and you will quickly come to the realisation that you have just entered a foodie paradise.
The stores sell a diverse variety of dishes, ranging from steaming bowls of pork bone soup with fried noodles (mee hoon pah chang), deep-fried tripe and fried tofu in a tangy sweet-and-sour sauce (lo bah), skewered grilled meat (satays) and spring rolls (por phee). Once you have decided on the dishes for your meal, place your orders off the menu and the vendors will deliver the items to your table.
Hong Khao Tom Pla
Apart from dishing out sumptuous fare such as a mean tom yum pla nam sai and talay pad pongari, Hong Khao Tom Pla also provides vacation makers with a fascinating insight into the local dining scene. A dining experience at this restaurant is similar to a movie scene depicting a meal in an Asian eatery – you will witness an irate chef barking out orders at his staff, and dine with a bustling crowd in a lively atmosphere.
Talad Sod Kaset
Avid foodies will agree that tucking into an array of delicious local fare is a good reason for getting out of bed early. In Phuket, make plans to to rise up in the wee hours for a feasting excursion at Talad Sod Kaset, one of the largest open markets in Phuket Town.
Navigate your way through the stalls, and you will chance upon vendors selling an irresistible selection of local sweets and snacks, ranging from savoury fare such as roti mataba and dim sum, to sweet treats like bua loy, a dish of rice balls in coconut milk, and buad faktong, a dessert with pumpkin and coconut milk.
Mee Ton Poe
When the craving for a satisfying noodle dish kicks in, make your way to Mee Ton Poe. Located by the Surin traffic circle in Phuket Town, this legendary store is well-known for its stir-fried hokkien mee, a dish containing ingredients such as yellow noodles, pork, seafood, vegetables and egg.
The busy crowds swarming here during the mid-day is a testament to the popularity of the restaurant. Be prepared to share your table with other hungry diners yearning for a tasty bite of the eatery’s flavourful fare. Fill up your table and tummy by ordering other delectable eats, such as the aromatic pork satay, as well as khao rat gaeng, a dish of curry with rice.
Do not let the fuss-free setting of Ang Seafood belie you into thinking that this restaurant dishes up average fare. A meal at this popular eatery is far from ordinary, so make sure you fill up your dinner table with seafood favourites such as the nam prik goong siap, a dried shrimp chili paste, and haw mok pla, a spicy curried fish mousse wrapped in banana leaves. Diners with an adventurous palate may want to place an order for a plate of tasty ant’s eggs.
Boonrat Dim Sum
Located along Bangkok Road, Boonrat Dim Sum welcomes crowds of eager diners with an insatiable appetite for endless dim sum dishes. Run by the fourth generation of a Chinese family, the eatery has retained its popularity throughout the years. Do not miss out on ordering the sala pao, which are steamed buns with stuffing, when you dine here.
Mala Dim Sum
Dim sum fans will be spoilt for choice at Mala Dim Sum. Arrive at the eatery, and you will find towering stacks of bamboo steamers, filled with a multitude of different dim sum items.
Pa Mai Restaurant
Starting its operations at the ungodly hours of 5:30 A.M., Pa Mai Restaurant welcomes a slew of early birds keen on tucking into an appetising serving of kanoom jeen. This is a dish containing soft, thin noodles made from fermented rice, topped off with curries as well as a diversity of fresh, blanced and pickled vegetables. After you have polished your bowl of noodles, douse the heat on your tastebuds with a milky iced coffee or tea.
Krua La Poon
You know a restaurant serves up seriously scrumptious fare when its customers continue to patronise the eatery, religiously following the stall through several shifts to new locations. Krua La Poon is known for dishing up a variety of mouthwatering northern Thailand fare. You will not go wrong with ordering its signature dish of khao soi, a tangy, curry soup containing chicken, egg noodles, pickled vegetables and herbs.
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