In part 2 of our insider’s guide to the timeless tastes of old Phuket, we bring you more well-loved food places to satisfy your tastebuds. You should check out Part 1 if you have not.
Tu Kab Khao
Experience old Phuket Town in all its original splendour at Tu Kab Khao. Housed in a beautifully restored 130 year-old Sino-Portuguese building, the restaurant is well-loved by locals and visitors alike, who come for lovingly prepared traditional southern Thai cuisine.
Tu Kab Khao is run by Khun Kim, who had wanted to recreate his mom’s recipes using authentic ingredients and cooking styles. It is apt then that he had chosen to set up the restaurant in a charming colonial house. Today, family portraits and photographs of 1960s Phuket Town line the wall of the elegantly decorated restaurant. The ambience is cosy and homely, perfect for enjoying a hearty family-style meal.
Highlights of Tu Kab Khao include the immaculately slow-cooked moo hong (a Phuket-style stewed pork), nam prik (spicy shrimp paste dipping sauce with boiled shrimp), stir-fried melinjo with glass noodles and dried shrimp, gaeng poo (crab curry with chapoo leaves served with rice noodles), and stir-fried lotus stem with mackerel.
8 Phang Nga Road, Talad Yai,
Tel: +66 76 608 888
Open from 11am to 11pm, daily
Mee Num Kung
There is just one thing on the menu in this eatery. Really, really good prawn noodle.
The fact is, no one comes here for the ambience. It is an unapologetically humble eatery, with nondescript plastic chairs and folding tables. The only reason why this place draws a steady stream of loyal customers all day long is this: wonderful bowls of springy egg noodle tossed in special soya sauce, topped with wonton, shrimp, pork, and beansprout, with a sprinkling of fragrant crushed peanut for that extra oomph. The dry version comes with a bowl of flavourful, heady prawn broth that is bursting with umami. Or you can opt for the soup version as well. Either choice you go for, the outcome is guaranteed to be lip-smackingly, mouth-wateringly good.
76 Poonpun Road, Talad Nuea,
Tel: +66 76 246 404
Open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, daily
Keng-Tin prides itself on being the “house of tau sar piah”. Known for its fragrant, flaky balls of pastry filled with sweet or savoury bean paste, the 76 year-old confectionery has been delighting locals and visitors craving for a taste of tradition.
The name “keng tin” means great respect in Mandarin, and the business has been run by the same family since 1942. To this day, all of the over 30 types of sweets and desserts are still made by hand with no artificial preservatives, using original recipes passed down across generations. For customers who are more health conscious, Keng-Tin also makes selected items with less sugar.
A must-try here is of course tau sar piah. Besides the sweet and savoury versions, the delicious pastry also comes filled with yam, a mixture of sweet potato and ginger, and our personal favourite—sweet taro with gingko nuts. These make for great souvenirs and are best enjoyed with a pot of hot Chinese tea.
342-344 Phuket Road, Talad Yai,
Tel: +66 76 212 185
Open from 7.30am to 6.30pm, Mondays to Saturdays
Andaman Fishball Noodle
Just a few shops away from Boon Rat Dim Sum is Andaman Fishball Noodle. The restaurant uses locally caught yellowtail fish from the nearby Andaman Sea to make a fish paste, which it then turns into a variety of fish ball, fish cake, and fish tofu. All of which are produced fresh and by hand.
Customers can choose either the clear broth or tom yum as the soup base, and pick from a variety of noodles including rice noodle, glass noodle, seaweed noodle, and even brown rice noodle. The noodles also come in dry and yong tau foo (fish paste stuffed beancurd) versions as well.
15 Suthat Roadd, Soi 2 Talad Yai,
Tel: +66 76 211 954
Open from 9am to 6pm, daily
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