Friday, May 2, 2014

5 Thai Desserts to Try – and where to get them in Phuket

Thai Deserts are typically not the point of discussion when reading travel guides about visiting Phuket, but ordering a dessert you know little about may leave you with a sour taste at the end of a delicious meal. We’ve rounded up some of the tastiest treats of Thailand (in our opinion of course) so that you can try them fearlessly next time you see them on the streets!

Mango and Sticky Rice 
(Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

Mango and Sticky Rice is a classic Thai dessert, which is enjoyed both the locals and travellers. The dish is created by placing sliced mango and sticky rice (sometimes of a different colour) adjacent to each other on a plate. Usual toppings include coconut cream poured over the top and with toasted sesame seed scattered over everything. The local markets and street vendors will be selling Mango and Sticky rice mainly when the mango is in season, but many restaurants including Panwa House sell the treat all year around. 

One can stop by Rimtang’s restaurant on the outskirts of Phuket Town and try the famous Mango and Sticky Rice while in the area. It’s a very popular spot among the locals, especially school children from around the corner.  

Oh Aew

Oh Aew is a unique dessert dish favourite among Phuket locals. It’s the perfect treat to help you cool off the humid summer heat. It’s essentially a jelly dessert made with flour, banana and gelatine. Seaweed is sometimes added to give the dish a sticky texture – I know seaweed in a dessert might sound absurd, but trust me, it’s actually quite good! Different toppings like red bean paste, shaved ice, red syrup (flavoured liquid sugar) and condensed milk can be added creating a pyramid of icy dessert paradise.

Oh Aew is a relatively inexpensive dish costing between 10 and 20 Baht a bowl and can be found throughout local Phuket markets, but a popular place is on Soi Soon Thit, adjacent to Yaorawat Road. 

 Bua Loy Nam Khing 

Different from the previous two, Bua Loy Nam Khing is served at a number of locations throughout Phuket.  

This is a very simple dish of small flour dumplings filled with black lotus sesame butter and served in a ginger soup. The soup is quite ‘invigorating’ by itself – it packs a pretty powerful punch. Then when you bite into the small dumpling, the sweet flavour of the sesame bursts out into your mouth creating a perfect compliment. 

The dessert dish can be found in various locations, but the Local Food stalls opened from early afternoon until the evening behind Robinsons Department Store are known for their top-notch Bua Loy Nam Khing. 

 Tub Tim Krob 
(Mock Pomegranate in coconut milk - ทับทิมกรอบ)

One of the oldest recorded Thai desserts, Tub Tim Krob is believed to be a ‘cure-all’ in the hottest of weather.

The ‘pomegranate’ is actually water chestnuts that are covered with tapioca dough and served with iced coconut syrup. The nickname ‘Crunchy Ruby’ was given to the dessert, because vibrant colour of the little bite size ‘pomegranates’.

The place to try Tub Tim Krob is at a small roadside stall called ‘Down Town’ (ทับทิมกรอบ), which is a very popular spot among the local Thai people and seems to have a stream of customers. It can be found near the Phuket Town bus market opposite the Phuket Old-Time Square. 

Lod Chong Nam Ka Ti
(Pandanus noodles with coconut milk)

The last must-try Thai dessert is Lod Chong Nam Ka Ti. Lod Chong Nam Ka Ti is a rice flour pandan dessert that looks like short green noodles. The chewy noodles are then mixed with sweet palm sugar syrup, shaved ice and coconut milk that are meant to be eaten all together.

The best place for this is the local food stalls. There’s a wonderful local restaurant in Phuket Town, ก๋วยเตี๊ยวดู๋ดี๋, where there is usually a small stall outside where they will prepare this special dish for you.

While in Phuket, make it a goal to try some or all of these delicious dishes. If you can’t make it out to town, the buffet at Cape Panwa hotel also has these dishes and more each Monday evening if you wish to try.

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