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Real Authentic Thai Food in Phuket? Where?


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Hi,

I'm heading to Phuket in Thailad in a couple weeks for a 5 day break. I will be with my wife and 9 month old baby. Both my wife and myself love good authentic Thai food (ie, not the Tourist-Friendly version of Green and Red curries, etc)... Can good authentic Thai food be found in Phuket? or is it all toned down and made tourist friendly on this resort island?

I have read that Phuket town offers some of the best options... Bear in mind that we are travelling with a 9 month old baby so hygiene, safety, and location are things to be considered when choosing a place to eat at....

Thanks in advance,

Rick

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Hi, Rick. Where will you stay in Phuket, and where will you be visiting ? It's a big place to be schlepping around by tuk-tuk with a 9-month old - from your post, I think you recognise that.

What are your criteria for 'authentic' - how well do you know Thai food ? How about your budget (foreign money goes a long way in Thailand, of course) and preference for high-end, mid-range or motorbike-and-sidecar street vendor ?

I've made a dozen trips of more than a week to Phuket over the years, and I don't think you'll have any trouble finding authentic Thai food. I don't think that narrows down your options much.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Hi Blether, thanks for the reply.

I'd like to think we know Thai food reasonably well. I myself have been to the country probably 5 times in the last 6 or 7 years (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Koh Samui). Both myself and my wife are of Asian descent and can handle a fair amount of heat before reaching for the ice cold drinks...

I like to find Thai restaurants/eateries which offer dishes/foods that either I have not seen before or are specific to the region where we are eating. I'm not really interested in eating another green or red curry or a pad thai... Dishes I like are the unusual soups (ie, not the straight Tom Yam, Tom Kha varieties) and also the salads (especially the Northern/Isaan types)...

We haven't booked our hotel yet but we have been told to avoid Patong as it's too developed. The areas we have been recommended to stay are Kata, Laguna or Mai Khao areas.

As for budget we are not really restricted... But based on experience it's not usually the expensive places where you have those meals that you remember... Normally you experience those in some off the road but well know by the locals place which serves amazing food at very reasonable low-mid prices...

I hope that gives you a bit more information to go on :-)

Thanks again,

Rick

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OK - my best suggestion is Palai Seafood on Chalong Bay (15 minutes' ride from Kata/Karon). A Thai friend took me there a year ago. As far as Phuket is concerned, if it's regional it's likely to be seafood: Palai has great seafood and a lovely view - as this review says, the decor is functional. I'd have no qualms about taking kids there.

In the Patong/Karon/Kata area, even many of the western tourist restaurants have a good range of Thai food on the menu, particularly Isaan dishes. Of course there's a significant seasonal Isaan population there, and the chefs everywhere are Thais. You might be surprised at what's available.

Sorry, I can't speak for Thai food at the North end of the island.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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For a hotel, if budget permits I'd recommend Trisara. Their pool villas are spectacular. Made it tough for me to want to head out and explore Phuket.

Trisara is out of the way, but their cars will take you wherever you'd like to go.

They have a very good Thai chef and a hit/miss American menu.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Rick, there are people on eGullet who know Phuket better than I do. Maybe you'll get more responses.

Another Thai restaurant to look out for is Ruean Thai in Nai Harn. I've been meaning to eat there but so far have only looked at the menu. I expect good food, and it's a relatively quiet place with pleasant outdoor seating. At the south end of Kata beach, Kata Mama does not mid-range but basic, good Thai food. Kata BBQ next door (previously 'Gung') is a level up, price-and-sophistication-wise. These are places you'd try if you're in the area, not so much destination food.

Other than Thai, I was surprised at how good the food at trattoria Il Capriccio, right on the main tourist drag in Kata, is. Near Laguna, if you like a very good grill restaurant, American-owned The Siam Supper Club is one - it was good, then a few years ago it slipped, and now it's back. But drop by once before you decide to turn up as a family.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Thanks Blether.

Will take note of these places. A couple of other places I have been reading about are:

Ka Jok See

Siam Indigo

China Inn

Abdul's

I'm quite interested to try and find some of the muslim-influenced dishes that should be prevalent in Southern Thailand. Being of Indian origin myself I can never have enough Roti and Curry :-) But I also read about a sort of Thai Biriyani called khao mok gai which the Thai muslims cook which sounds interesting...

Rgds

Rick

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A lot of places in Phuket town - those look good. You've got me intrigued now, to hear how your experience goes. I haven't sought out local muslim food there. I thought Khan Baba at the Kata centre intersection served good food, but that's sub-continent muslim, and if I'm right Hong Kong spoils you for choice in that area.

Good luck with your trip, and if you have time, please post back to say how it went.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi,

Hope I am not to late.

But it has been some years ago...but I thoroughly my dinner at Baan Rim Pa. It's an authentic Thai restaurant...with a great location near Patong.

Great thing here was...they served authentic thai dishes...but the cooks are willing to adjust the heat of the cookery. Making the curries as mild as you want. For the first time i was able to enjoy all the different thai dishes without having to shutdown early because itw as too spicy.

Patong is a real tourist town.Most restaurants here are tourist places. Expensive and not as great foodwise.

For better deals and better food....make some trips towards Phuket Town. i remember being taken there with my dive instructor.

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