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Crafting Phuket’s perfect khao soy

PHUKET: Phuketians originally from Thailand’s far north will be delighted to discover this exceptional restaurant in Thalang that specialises in the northern delicacy khao soy.

Wednesday 30 January 2013, 01:38PM

The spicy noodle dish is hard to find in Phuket, but this small shack in the middle of the island offers perhaps the best version of khao soy found on the island.

‘Baan Kwaytiew’, meaning noodle soup house, is located opposite the entrance to Soi Pasak 7, which comes off the main road connecting Laguna with Thalang.

It’s a humble wooden building, with a traditional Thai roof made from grass.

Shop owner Chatee Tawongchai, 40, moved from Chiang Rai to Phuket four years ago, and his shop has been open for three years. He follows his parents’ traditional khao soy recipe, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

“Khao soy is the most popular dish on the menu here,” Mr Chatee says with pride.

“I make the curry first, then I serve it in a bowl to customers, along with the noodles.

"When I put crispy noodles on top, and add fried garlic and chopped parsley.”

QSI International School Phuket

His khao soy is well known in the area and is available in both chicken and pork. Just as it should be, it is creamy and topped with crispy noodles – though it’s also, somewhat non-traditionally, spicy.

Mr Chatee said he has adapted the flavour to suit the palettes of Southern Thai people, who generally prefer spicier dishes than those living in the north.

“I collect good quality chilli because this is the most important part for customers. If the chilli is not good, the smell and taste of the curry is not so good. And if the chilli is good quality, it is better value for money because customers use less when they want to add more spice.”

As well as khao soy, Mr Chatee also specialises in two other dishes.

The first, is tamyam moo, also known as spicy pork noodles. But perhaps more interestingly is the other dish Mr Chatee makes – khanom jean namn-ngeow.
This is a curry made with pig’s blood, pork, noodles, tomato and a traditional flower of the north – ngeow. It has a smooth but strong flavour.

Mr Chatee’s noodles are priced from B35, with his famous khao soy costing B40. His restaurant is open from Saturday to Thursdays from 9am to 5pm. Tel. 084-839-3450.

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