Phuket is known as a paradise island, homes to many beautiful white beaches, crystal clear water, and pristine surrounding islands and islets. However, within its appearance charm; this province is a blender of cultures and also a place you will find a variety in local's food that craft with influences from each ethnic group.
Prepare your tummy and join us on this delicious venture through the streets of Phuket Old town to find some of the most popular locals dishes you should don't miss. This may not be a usual eating guide, but an in-depth exploration to find the local taste … you can only find in Phuket.
First and the best place to start the eating venture is Dibuk Road in the old quarter of Phuket. This street is famous for beautiful Sino-Portuguese buildings, one of the highlight attractions of Phuket downtow, and its history can be traced back for more than hundred years, as so the eatery cultures.
You can find many eating places selling authentic Phuket recipes ranging from Chinese influence menu like Mee Hokkien, Thai food like Mee Hoon Kaeng Poo and Namprik Koong Sieb, to popular one dish meal signature to the area Khao Tom Dibuk.
What to Eat
Mee Hoon Kaeng Poo
-- Fresh meaty crab meat cooked in curry paste and creamy coconut milk. The look of this menu somehow resembles to green curry of Central Region, but the flavor and scent is different. Eat with boiled rice vermicelli, the sweetness of crab meat get along just perfectly with spicy and creamy flavor of the curry.
-- A popular menu of Phuket made from a round yellow noodle called Hokkien Mee, stir-fried with fish meat, shrimp, squid, mussel, Chinese cabbage and soya sauce seasoning. The Fried noodle is the served hot in a bowl with boiled eggs, shallots and crispy pork. There are two choices with or without soup, but either way will definitely give you a tasty meal.
Nam Prik Koong Sieb
-- Preserved dried grilled skewered prawns (Koong Sieb) pounded with fermented shrimp paste (Kapi), shallot, bird eye's chili and lime juice into a tangy aromatic chilly dip. This menu usually eats with fresh or boiled vegetable, try it once and you will love. This Koong Sieb is also one of popular souvenir foods from Phuket.
Khao Tom Thanon Dibuk
– This is the well known eating place everyone has to try at least once when they visit Dibuk Road. The shop offers unique Khao Tom (boiled rice) as the only signature dish. This menu served with side dishes such as tender pork spare rib, eggs, minced pork, pork liver, and dried seaweed, but what makes it different is savoury and aromatic Palo soup that use instead of pork soup. If you want to try other menu, stir-fried vermicelli "Phad Mee Sua" is also a popular dish everyone orders.
Trok Soon Utis
Just next to the intersection between Yaowarat Road and Dibuk Road; you will see street sign mark the beginning of Trok Soon Utis. Though it is only a small allay there are many venders selling delicious and hard to be find food and desserts origin to Phuket.
What to Eat
-- Phuket's signature dessert made with jelly made from Oh Awe seed (ficus awkeotsang) and banana flour, scoop into a bowl together with boiled red beans and ice, then topped with sweet syrup. Some recipe may also add fresh banana. This menu is sweet and very refreshing, perfect to eat during hot day.
-- A sweet menu originated in Phuket and can be found from the many carts around the island. This menu is made from flour, egg yolk, coconut milk, sugar, looks much like rolled thin pancake with a sweet aromatic taste and creamy flavour from coconut milk. Eat when piping hot from the pan, you will find the scent of this dessert really appetizing.
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The around Bang Nieow School, on the way to Saphan Hinm just south of the city is the place where you can find shops and vender selling foods, authentic local Chinese recipes, Southern cuisine, and many more.
From old town, drive south on Phuket Road, passing Bang Nieow intersection toward Sapan Hin, then turn left into Soi Saksit just next to Bang Nieow School and you will see food centre selling local foods and products just opposite to Bang Nieow Shrine.
What to Eat
-- A local cuisine of Phuket looks much like Hoi Tod (crispy fried mussel) of Central region. It is made of flour batter fried on pan with small oysters and eggs until has pungent aroma, garnished with steamed taro, crispy pork lard and fried shallot. The dish is taken with sweet chili sauce and fresh bean sprout. One of the popular places you can find O Taw is around Bang Nieow, where is known for authentic tasty recipe.
Mee Hoon Pa Chang
– this one can also called "Mee Hun Sup Kradook Moo" made from softened rice vermicelli stir-fried in soy sauce and garnished with fried shallot and Chinese chives. The dish has sweet and savoury flavour, usually eat with Chinese style pork spare rib (Kragook Moo) soup.
– This dish look strange but when you try it you will fall in love. It made from pig's head and intestines boiled in savoury Palo brown soup until tender, marinated minced pork wrapped with bean curd sheet, and tofu. All of these, cut in chunks, deep fried, and served with sweet and sour spicy tamarind dipping and fresh cucumber. Photo from: phuketcity.go.th