You can order Pad Thai in 10 different places and get 10 different-tasting meals depending on the amount and variety of sauces added, the size and type of noodles used, type of meat added and so on … Pad Thai can be bland sometimes or it can be spicy, it can be dry or saucy.
You get a lot of variety out of one dish! If you buy it from a street stall or roadside restaurant you’re normally only going to be paying B30-40 for your lunch – it’s a cheap dish to make and therefore a popular lunch all over Thailand, nearly as popular as noodle soup.
Close to where I work in Karon Beach, on the back road near the Baan Karon Resort, there’s one of the most popular little lunchtime restaurants I have ever seen in Phuket.
Every day workers in the local area flock here for lunch, and the most popular dish is Pad Thai.
The restaurant does not really have a name except “the Pad Thai restaurant”.
They also do noodle soup with chicken or beef, a good pad krapaow with beef and a popular fried rice with crab. The menu is expanding – when I first ate here a couple of years ago they had only Pad Thai, noodles and beef stew.
It’s only a little place but it can be packed at lunchtime. You can get Pad Thai to eat there or take away – the take-away is wrapped in a banana leaf.
The cooking is all done by one guy, with others helping to serve noodle soup.
The Pad Thai is cooked with quite a bit of chilli, and you have extra bowls of chilli sauce, prik nam pla and dried chilli on the table in case it’s not spicy enough for you.
I ate my Pad Thai in the restaurant today. Bear in mind that by Western standards this is not really a “restaurant” – a collection of tables in the dirt by the road outside someone’s house, but this is real local eating here in Phuket.
If you want to mingle with the people, get on the back roads and get some Pad Thai right here! I tend to get food from here at least once a week as it’s so cheap and close to work … oh, and very tasty!
Location: Just before the Baan Karon Resort on the way from Karon to Kata on Patak Rd. It’s not a big obvious restaurant, folks, just a small local place with no sign outside.
Do try to find it! If in doubt come to see us at Sunrise Divers first.
Only a few minutes away, and a huge condo block is being built behind it, easy to spot!
Jamie Monk works at liveaboard dive specialists Sunrise Divers. For more information call: 084 626 4646 or visit: sunrise-divers.com