Eating In Phuket: Typical Thai Breakfast

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Kanom Jeen
Kanom Jeen

Outside Bangkok, Phuket probably has the widest variety of food choices in Thailand. One of the main reasons for this is the island’s long history as an international place, going back to the tin-mining boom of more than a century ago. These days, the island’s inhabitants come from all corners of the globe, but varieties of Thai cuisine are still very much the favorite food. Let’s start the day right with breakfast.

Kao Tom

Kao Tom is boiled rice served with a choice of meat and other titbits and sometimes also an egg. Healthy and not too heavy, it is one of the most popular dishes for Thais at the start of the day. However, if kao tom seems a bit basic, then Phuket has plenty more to offer.

Kao Tom
Kao Tom

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Roti & Mussaman Curry

Roti & Mussaman Curry is influenced by the cuisines of Malaysia and the Indian Subcontinent. There are two elements: roti, which is Indian-style unleaven bread, and a small bowl of curry made with your choice of beef, chicken or lamb. You usually also get a fried egg with it. The set with a drink will cost around 50 baht (less than two Euro). The restaurant best-known in Phuket for this dish is Roti Chaofa, on Chao Fa Rd in Phuket City, next to the Siam Commercial Bank. This family-run place has been in the business more than 30 years, serving up a secret-recipe curry passed down through the generations. The shop opens daily from 0600 to noon.

Massaman Curry
Massaman Curry

Kanom Jeen

Kanom Jeen is a common dish all over Thailand, with huge variations, but all based on kanom jeen, or soft rice noodles. It’s served with a choice of curries and almost always comes with a side dish heaped with fresh and boiled vegetables. Many people will also add a boiled egg. Phuket is unusual in that you can get kanom jeen as early as 0500; most Thais do not usually eat kanom jeen for breakfast. One serving will cost you 10 to 20 baht, including the vegetables. There’s a kanom jeen shop on almost every street corner in Phuket. Just look for the one that draws the biggest crowds.