FOOD ESCAPADE IN PATONG PHUKET
Bye Bye Bangkok, Phuket here i come!
I hear you coming already, a Food Escapade in Patong really? What have you been doing here Cap’!
I visited Patong on a recommendation from one of my dear friends (*Ahem*). Honestly, you will love it! He told me with his most convincing voice; If you are not doing it for you, do it for me. Wait, What? Ok, that’s the worst argument i have heard so far but let’s do it. I didn’t have much planned anyway.
I flew from Bangkok (DMK) to Phuket airport with Thai Lion air. The flight was around an hour and a half and costed me less than a thousand baht (+- $30). For the ones asking, Thai Lion air is pretty good, the plane was pretty good and the seats comfortable. It was an enjoyable nice ride on a sunny day, the view was really stunning especially when you approach the islands.
If you have never heard of Patong before, it is a town renowned for its beach, wild nightlife and the famous Bangala Road. Patong is basically the perfect definition of Sea, Sex and Sun holidays.
Clearly, most people visiting Patong aren’t there for the beautiful beaches but more for the party and sex industry related to it. You can feel it in the demographic visiting the city, it is one of Thailand’s Sin city with Pattaya.
“Patong is a beach resort town renowned for its wild nightlife and the famous debauchery at Bangala Road. Was there anything good to eat there?”
Once arrived in Patong i quickly understood what my friend meant by a small visit to Patong, the message was clear, You need to party! Well, thanks! Massage parlor ladies grabbing you by the arm; Bar hostess whistling at you in the street; Hotel receptionist explaining to you a) where to find Ladies b) what is the policy if you want to bring a Lady for the night at the hotel; Old men walking down with girls young enough to be their daughters’ daughter. Well no judgment here, as long as one is happy and find what he is looking for. Sex Tourism at its best (or worst).
For me it was a question of enjoying the beach, trying some food, seeing what one has to see and planning my next move.
In the end, the beach and the weather were good, but two nights in Patong were enough for me.
We’re here to discuss food and not my concept of morality in regards to some city in Thailand. This is some of the places i would recommend if you are looking for good food in Patong.
After the check-in at my hotel and a quick jump in the warm water of Patong Beach, my mission (as always) was to find something good to eat.
I wandered a bit in the streets of Patong to finally find a place called Mama’s Kitchen.
It is a restaurant located in one of Patong’s main Road and it happened to be a two minutes walk from my hotel (so convenient on my way back).
The menu was pretty interesting even though i am still not convinced to see these Thai food / Western food menu mixed. “So we can prepare you both an authentic Pad Thai or a plate of spaghetti alla carbonara, what would you like sir?”.
At first, I always felt a bit nervous looking at those mixed Thai/Western menus but I’ve got used to it (same happened in Cambodia but we will come to that in another post). Nonetheless, the food was delicious. I have ordered a Massaman Curry that i highly recommend and a plate of Roasted Duck.
Let’s talk about the Massaman curry first. It was so damn delicious!
I can only recommend you this delightful curry if you are visiting Mama’s Kitchen, be careful though it is heavy on the stomach.
The texture of the curry was thick and creamy with a fragrant taste. Superb! Completely aligned with my definition of what a good curry has to be. It wasn’t the light soup that you get served sometimes. With this one, right after the first spoon, you could tell that you won’t need to eat for the next 12 hours. This curry had a vibrant beautiful yellow/orange colour with a light dash of red chilli oil. This attractive colour comes from the many spices used in the recipe.
If you are not familiar with what a Massaman Curry is: It is a Thai specialty (the name means “the curry of the Muslim” though) made of cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, chilies, garlic coconut cream, amongst other ingredients and depending on the cook. The Massaman curry is served with huge chunks of potato, chicken, onions, sometimes peanuts and raisins.
The taste is rich, comforting and defined as slightly spicy (based on a Thai appreciation of spiciness, you have been warned).
The version cooked at Mama’s Kitchen was really good and definitely worth trying, i personally loved it. The cost was around 200 baht.
The Roasted Duck
Roasted duck in Thailand is a dish that you can find everywhere, with every chefs bringing their own variations. In addition to the Massaman curry, i wanted something meaty. A good roasted duck couldn’t be more appealing at that time.
The taste was pretty decent as well and completed perfectly the Massaman curry. Served in large portion, the meat was really well cooked, both crispy and tender at the same time, and topped with a delicious finger-licking sauce. The roasted duck came with rice, veggies (green beans, beansprout, cucumber,..), slices of Ginger and coriander. It costed me less than a hundred baht which i consider a good bargain.
I haven’t tried more dish at Mama’s kitchen as i was full already, but the quality was really good. I enjoyed this restaurant so much that i had a hard time convincing my self not to return there while i was in Patong as i wanted to try other places.
One thing is for sure, if i am visiting Patong again i will definitely go back to Mama’s Kitchen. … Isn’t it what we all do in the end?
THE SMALL FOOD MARKET NEAR PATONG BEACH:
I couldn’t find the name of this market so excuse the originality… It is a small food market close to Patong Beach.
The market is located at the crossing of the sawatdirak road and thawewong road, near central Patong beach and right next to a Minimart. You can find at this market several food stalls with a wide variety of dishes and grilled fish and meat. There are also open tables for you to sit and eat your food.
I had a mackerel with a soy sauce glaze for a 100 baht and several skewers of chicken and beef. The soy Mackerel was the real highlight there. the meat of the fish was tasty and well cooked. The soy sauce glazing was well done and really added an extra layer of taste to this mackerel.
Add to that a beautiful sunny weather and the sea at a minute walk from my table and you can tell i had a great time there.
You should give this little market a go if you are in Patong beach and starving for food after a good swim in the warmth of the Andaman sea.
89 THAI FOOD AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
In Patong you will find plenty of restaurants with names like 69 Seafood Restaurant, number 4 Seafood Restaurant and so on… and so on… . 89 Thai Food and SeaFood Restaurant located on the main road Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi, is the one to go to.
I have discovered this one on a recommendation of a Thai i befriended at the beach. “You can’t go wrong eating at 89 in Patong, 89 ok? Eighty Nine? Eight and Nine… Other numbers not same!” I’ve got you, the message was clear. Mission accepted. I visited the place on that same day and damn he was right.
As i entered the restaurant for dinner i could feel the buzzing atmosphere of the crowded dining hall filled with happy customers eating what looked like delicious dishes.
The menu had a wide choice of Thai options and i decided to go for a refreshing Papaya salad, a plate of Larb moo and a dish of salt and pepper crab.
The Papaya Salad
What’s more refreshing than a good Papaya salad after a long day in the heat of Patong? I don’t know. Unless the waiter start asking you if you like spicy food and you answer automatically yes. Joke aside it was spicy… and refreshing at the same time. A good fierce Papaya salad as you can find many in Thailand. I paid 60 baht for this one. Do i need to say more?
The Larb Moo
If you don’t know what Larb Moo is, think of minced meat 2.0. It is the super evolution of your sad minced meat into something with more kick and awesomeness. Picture the evolution of Magikarp into Gyarados (yes i dared to use a Pokemon reference here).
It is a dish originating from Isaan usually made with minced pork, sugar, chillies, fish sauce, limes, shallot, onions and cilantro.
Considered a salad dish as well, it is often said that Larb Moo goes perfectly well with a Papaya Salad on the side. It was the case here, really good.
I paid 80 baht for this Larb moo, a bargain! Damn, i love Thailand.
Salt and Pepper Crab
The highlight of this night was the salt and pepper Crab i have ordered for 350 baht. Expensive i know but so damn delicious. The difficulty with this dish is the cooking process and the dressing. As you are not relying too much on sauces and extra spices, you need to make sure that your crab is perfectly cooked and the ingredient used to flavour the dish (essentially salt and pepper) are well balanced.
At 89 the crab came prepared with mushrooms, onions, green onions and chillies. No suspense again it was really well done. The crab is served pre-cracked so really easy to open, you won’t spill food on this beautiful white shirt your wife offered you for your birthday.
Everything was well cooked. The onions and mushrooms had a good texture, not soggy at all. The crab meat was a delight. The salt and pepper sauce was tasty and well balanced. The dish was served with fresh peppercorn, a must if like me you enjoy the kick it can add.
Overall, 89 Thai Food and Seafood restaurant was really good and didn’t disappoint. The staff was all smile and efficient and the price were correct. It is definitely a place to go if you are staying in Patong Phuket.
In the end, i didn’t stay long in Patong. I knew better places awaited me, especially a trip to Ko Phi Phi with the promise of even more relaxing beaches and adventures.
This concludes my anecdotic visit and Food Escapade in Patong.
Stay Tuned for more!