a peek inside the fishbowl

15 Nov, 2019

A bite of Thai food

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

The Thailand diaries continue! To read past posts in this series, click here.

After our extraordinary time with the elephants, we decided to chill out by the pool for the rest of the afternoon.

Poolside writing

In the afternoon I went back to our 7-11 to pick up a few staples, which included a cup of coffee for yours truly. I knew what I was doing now. I had it down pat! Unfortunately, I threw a wrench into the system by ordering a “signature coffee, hot” off the special laminated menu.

The young girl behind the counter looked puzzled when I placed my order. She looked at the menu, at the big machine, and back again. She pressed a few buttons and something brown poured into a cup. She consulted with her co-worker and the contents of the cup were whisked away. They exchanged a few words… the only ones I understood were “signature coffee.” Clearly I was the first person to order a regular coffee here! The second staffer scrolled through the options on the machine and made a second cup. It had less liquid in it than the first one, it was perhaps 3/4 full. She handed it to me with a single word: “Sugah?” I shook my head no. It was good, but not exactly hot. I was ok with this.

While I was here I also scoped out the beer options, and was surprised to learn about the restrictions on purchasing:

Trying to buy beer at the 7-11, Phuket Thailand

You can only buy alcohol between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. to midnight. Later we also found out that you can’t purchase liquor on certain holy days.

I also bought potato chips. It started out as a joke but we made it a personal challenge to try as many Thai flavours as we could during our stay:

Exploration of Thai potato chip flavours in

Hot chili squid chips were surprisingly good!

Speaking of food the youngest and I talked a lot about street food while we planned this vacation – the variety, the price, how much we’d eat and enjoy… well, at this point our holiday was almost halfway through and I couldn’t honestly say that our appetites had returned. I wasn’t sure how much of this was a result of jet lag, or just the heat.

That evening we practically forced ourselves to eat a proper dinner out. We chose a restaurant that was down the road from our residence. I should point out that I am using the term “restaurant” very loosely. It was essentially a few tables and chairs between a few walls and open to the street, with a wall-size poster showcasing all the meal options. Interestingly, they were all meat-based dishes. I only mention this because I had assumed there would be plenty of vegetarian dishes available but what I was seeing here was a lot of duck, some seafood, and different combinations of pork (in soup, noodle, or rice format). I was ok with this, just surprised.

We ordered one dish to share: a crispy pork and rice dish.

It came with a soup. We were able to distinguish it from a finger dipping bowl by the bits of green onion floating on top.

When our main dish arrived we were a little disappointed to see that it didn’t match the photo on the laminated wall menu. But this is a universal thing, is it not? Your Big Mac will never look like the one pictured on tv. All this to say, the main dish didn’t look like much, but it tasted good. And it was only $3.00.

dinner at a roadside resto, Phuket

I think one of my favourite foodie experiences here was at the first true roadside food stand we were brave enough to try a couple of nights before the pork dish pictured above. These food stands are manned by one or two people and seem to return to the same spots during the day or night. This mango guy was parked on this corner almost every night (at least that I could see).

We were a little nervous about flirting with food stand foods, but mango and sticky rice seemed to be a safe bet. I’m glad we took the chance. First of all, it was cool to watch him prepare our dish. I was really impressed by how carefully this fellow prepared our dish, and how thoughtfully he chose the ripest mangoes and cut them up:

Sticky rice and mango, Patong

It was dessert to go!

Here is our mango and sticky rice dish, bathed in the unflattering glare of our hotel room:

Eating sticky rice and mango in Phuket

Half of the rice was dyed a bright green. Apparently this is typical but I’m still not sure why. The little baggy had sweetened coconut milk in it, which you cut open and pour over the whole shebang. The sesame seeds are sprinkled on top.

It tasted a lot like rice pudding, but with the addition of fruit to make us feel a little bit virtuous. They youngest wasn’t crazy about the sweetened sticky rice, so she ate the mango. I’d call it a win, regardless.

In my next post, I will write a bit about dealing with our first health-related issue (and no, it wasn’t a foot or toe infection!). More on that, later.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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