The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in co-operation with Thailand Foundation, has launched three new mobile applications for Thai street food, aimed at assembling information on all of the country’s top roadside eateries.
A National News Bureau of Thailand report this week announced that three versions of the Street Food app – Street Food Phuket, Street Food Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai and Street Food Bangkok – were launched simultaneously to promote Thai food to foreign visitors as well as enhance Thailand’s tourism image.
The Phuket News has successfully downloaded a copy of the Phuket Street Food app for the Android platform, which also has the Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai and Bangkok apps.
However, as of today (March 23) only the Bangkok Street Food app was available on the iOS (Apple) app store.
The Phuket Street Food app features 33 popular street food dishes, including several local specialities such as O-Tao (oyster omelet) Po Pia Sod (fresh spring rolls) and Mee Hokkien (Hokkien style noodles).
Street Food can be searched by dish or by location and favourite stalls can be saved to a quick access menu for easy reference. Users can also select whether to use the app in either English or Chinese.
It has well-written and informative short descriptions of about 100 street stalls and small restaurants, mostly located in or near Phuket Town.
The list is quite extensive and serves as an excellent introduction to Thai street food for visitors – and for expats, it can be handy way to discover new places to try a favourite dish.
As Phuket Town has the highest concentration of good street food stalls and a wealth of local specialities available, it is understandable that the app would focus there.
But, hopefully the app will continue expanding to include more street food stalls from across the whole island.
Let’s also hope this app can encourage more tourists staying in the west coast beach towns to discover Phuket’s revitalised Old Town district and its delicious cuisine.
Phuket was named a ‘City of Gastronomy’ by Unesco in 2015 to recognise its unique cuisine which features Chinese, Malay and Thai influences.
The descriptions usually include a bit about the restaurant’s history and owners, as well as their particular take on their speciality dish and a list of other popular menu items.
There are also links to each restaurant’s location on Google Maps and a particularly handy feature that gives the name and directions to each restaurant in Thai script, so you can show it to your taxi driver.
The applications are available for free download on both Android and iOS operating systems. We can only hope that the Phuket version for iOS is available for download soon.
Android users can download the app here.