Friday, March 2, 2012

Halal Food in Phuket

In the footsteps of my previous post for Halal Food in Bangkok, I decided that since I travel so much, why not I'd share with people on the places to go to when their tummies start rumbling. At least, I get to share the best of food (as per my experience) and also be able to warn you not to visit certain premises that are not so yummy. 

Looking for halal food in Phuket is not that difficult, I was told by the immigration staff at the airport (who coincidentally is also a Muslim) that 45% of the population in Phuket are Muslims. Halal food can be distinguished by the halal logo as per the drink above, so should you be hungry or looking for food, you can look for the nearby food joints or just drop by any 7-eleven stores. 
First stop: Phuket Town

Phuket Town is about 20 minutes drive to Patong, when people say it's quiet, it really is. There is absolutely no nightlife (not that I know of anyway) and once the sun has set, there's almost practically nothing to do. Since we were staying at Samkong Place (located in Phuket Town, not far from Bangkok Hospital) we decided to look around for any Muslim food nearby. 


This stall is just around the corner from Samkong Place. Upon realizing that the stall operator wears a hijab, we deducted, this must be a Muslim stall selling halal food, I'm sorry if you might find this to be stereotyping, i.e. hijab = muslim, and there's always a possibility that the stall operator is not a Muslim right? So, we decided on a second test to determine if the stall operator is a Muslim, we gave her Salaam and she answered the salaam in the Muslim way *syukur alhamdulillah*.



Here is the stall operator. However, a word of caution, she only speaks Thai. So if you have your Thai phrasebook or one of those apps SpeakThai apps in your phone, well, you can kinda communicate what you want. 


What does she serve? We don't know what's it called, but it looks and tastes like soupy beehoon (rice vermicelli) with marinated chicken. 


So what we have here is noodles, onion leaves, and chicken soup (with the huge portion of chicken of course!)


You can actually choose between beehoon or kuetiaw like noodles. 

Verdict:
Recommended! You can see that the stall is clean and well maintained and none of us had any bouts of diarrhea the next morning. Total cost for two soupy beehoon and drinks was around THB100 or in Malaysian Ringgit that should be around RM10. 
 
We discovered another Muslim cafe just before Bangkok Hospital, also deducted from the same method, distinguishing that the operators and patrons are hijab-wearers. For this cafe, it's easier for us to communicate with the owner as she also speaks Malay. I was informed that a majority of Thais who are from Narathiwat bordering on one of Malaysia's state, Kelantan can speak Malay.


There's a stall selling roti canai right next to the cafe. This was around 10 or 11 pm at night. We landed in Phuket at around 8.30 pm. Took us about 30 - 40 minutes to reach Samkong Place from the airport. After checking into the hotel, we discovered that we're starving for food. This place operates from 5 pm onwards so, this place is applicable to those who are looking for dinner and supper. 


We actually ordered Nasi Lemak but what arrived was Nasi Briyani.


This is their version of Roti Canai. If you like Roti Canai, we don't recommend ordering one at this cafe. Nothing similar (in taste) to our Roti Canai in Malaysia. 


Roti Canai with Egg. Tasted more like omelette to us. In Malaysia usually the roti canai is served with curry or dhal, but over here, it's served with sweetened milk. 

Verdict:
Not recommended. Although total cost of our food was also somewhere around THB150 (MYR15) but they did not serve what we want, the food is passable at best.
 
Second stop: Patong

You have not been to Phuket if you've not been to Patong. Seriously, the most popular beach in Phuket is Patong or Karon (about 10 minutes away from Patong) so you can expect the place to be buzzing with tourists and commercial activity. 


Tandoor is actually an Indian restaurant (we were informed that they have about three outlets in Patong). This one is the one near Patong Top. How to get there? Patong Top is located opposite of Hard Rock Cafe. Just walk straight down the street (behind me) then once you've reached a T junction, turn left. Tandoor is about 20 meters away. 

What we ordered:


Plain rice. 


Omelette.


Stir-fried mixed vegetables. 


Steamed fish.


Tom Yum Goong (Tom Yum with prawns).

Tom Yam Khai (Tom Yam with Chicken).

Verdict:
Recommended! All was yummy except for our Tom Yam Goong which we deduced to be missing one or two more herbs and spices. Amount spent was around THB800 (MYR80).



Another restaurant that we went to was the Rajbut Baba, located opposite the Patong beach. However, bear in mind that the beach stretches to about a few kilometers so if you're walking, it's quite a distance. The cafe is somewhat quite secluded from the main road (Thawiwong Road), there's a slight turning to the right before you see the restaurant. 


They claim to serve Malaysian and Indian food, however, when asked, the owner revealed that he has never stepped foot in Malaysia. He claims that there are Indians in Malaysia therefore Indian food must be Malaysian food as well. 



We ordered Chicken Briyani and Lamb Briyani. 


The owner later claims that he makes the food to order so if you want to ask for extras, there are no extras, you will just have to order the dish and he prepares them from scratch. 

Verdict:
Not recommended. The food was so-so and the price is slightly expensive. Total cost: THB1300 (equivalent to MYR130). 


Driving (or walking) around Patong you'll discover a lot of Arabic joints selling halal Arabic food. This time we decided to try a Lebanese Restaurant located at Rat-U-Thit Songroi Pi.


Pickles. Unfortunately for us, we decided to order Thai food instead of Lebanese cuisine. 


Green Curry Chicken. 


Plain rice. 


Tom Yam Goong. 

Verdict: 
The worst Thai food ever! The meal costs us around THB1300 (MYR130). You might have better luck with Lebanese food though but we are not stepping into this restaurant ever again. 

Other restaurants/ cafes around Patong (however, we didn't manage to sample the food here, so the jury is still out on these restaurants/ cafes): 


Cairo. Right across the Lebanese restaurant. 



There's various halal kebabs scattered all over Patong. 


And also various Indian restaurants. 

So, the one thing that irked me was, where are all the delicious Thai food? There's Indian, Arabic, and Lebanese food everywhere but no Thai food? Lucky for us, on our third day (right after the Lebanese Restaurant fiasco) we accidentally stumbled upon this restaurant while leaving Patong for Phuket town.

Best Restaurant in Patong, Phuket: Tem-Eim Restaurant.


The restaurant is located right next a traffic light intersection (at Phra Barami Road) not far from Nurul Islamiyah Mosque.


The name of the restaurant, Tem-Eim Restaurant.


The menu, in Thai. 


The decor. Definitely Muslim, right?


They serve pre-cooked food. 


Longan drink. Absolute yum! 


Scrambled eggs. 


Bitter grout with salted eggs. 


Plain rice. 


Tom Yam Goong. 



Stir-fried fish. 


Papaya salad (i.e. kerabu betik)


They also serve salmon steak. This would cost you about THB200 (i.e. MYR20). 


And a very juicy beef steak. Also costing around THB200 or maybe less. 

Verdict: 
Definitely recommended. I'd go again to this restaurant again if I have the chance to revisit Phuket. Our meal costs us about THB800 (i.e. MYR80) for food and drinks. Super cheap if you compare the fact that we ordered both local Thai cuisine and western food. 
 
Hope this helps those who are planning to travel to Phuket in the future.

For easy reference, you may want to check out my Facebook page [here], the halal guides are included in my photo albums complete with the restaurant's address (or the very least, directions on how to get there).

To wanderlust and food expeditions.


xoxo Mrs Fashionista

27 comments:

  1. Ola Fareiny, really good info u have here....planning a trip to phuket in june so ur info is a big help :)

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  2. Shukran very helpful! Going in June cant wait

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  3. Thank you for the comments. Am glad it helped. Do let me know if you've been to the restaurants/ cafes that I've recommended =)

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    1. WHAT A WONDERFUL ARTICLE. FANTASTIC ADVICE. YOU SEEM TO HAVE THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING. I WONDER IF THE FOOD WILL BE TO MY SOUTH AFRICAN/ INDIAN TASTE.

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  4. leaving for phuket and bangkok in June...shukran for your info...It is so informative. We actually wrote down some of the restaurant's names and food names so we know what we are about to eat.

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  5. Hope you have a wonderful stay in Phuket and Bangkok. Am glad that my blog post is helpful to you in preparing for your trip =)

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  6. Hi sis..glad to found info on halal food here..niwaes do u happen to know halal muslim food near jungceylon mall other den in otop market?

    I will b gg there in nov and i will arrive at night..tot of finding mkn near my hotel place coz otop market is a bit distance to where im staying..i will b staying in phang muang sai kor road


    Hope u could assist me

    Thank you :)

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  7. There's the kebab stall right in front of Jungceylon (near Bangla Road) and if you walk further to the left of Jungceylon (away from Bangla Road) you'd find plenty of Arabic food outlets about 5 - 10 minutes walk away. Patong is pretty safe at night, there's plenty of tourists milling around Patong. We were in Patong until 10.30 pm and there was still quite a crowd of tourists everywhere.

    Hope it helps =).

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    1. hmm can u tell me i going to patong tis november is there any fast food that is halal?

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    2. There's plenty of outlets in Patong Beach that's halal. Just refer to the what I've written in this blogpost =)

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  8. You miss the biggest fluent malay speaker stall owner and workers in rat-u-thit road, kusuma seafood, super cheap, serve pure thailand and even malaysian cuisine. Way cheaper then what you posted

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  9. I was looking for Kesuma but I couldn't find it when I was there. Thank you for the directions, I'll try to look up the outlet next time I'm in Phuket =)

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  10. thanks for ur info,very helpfull. i'm curious with kesuma seafood. which part of rat-u-thit road is it? thanks

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    1. Hi, I'm sorry I couldn't be more specific about Kesuma seafood, found the info on another blog but unfortunately was unable to find the place even though we drove up and down rat-u-thit road.

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  11. Hi Fareiny, thank you for this blog. Came across it while I was googling for halal food in Phuket - i was there 9-12 Sept 2012 with my family.

    We initially could not find Kusuma, although we were in the right spot because we were there in the afternoon and the stall only opens from 7pm (we asked someone there). Passed by the place at night, Kusuma is in the middle of row of street stalls all selling seafood. It is near Andaman Beach suites /IBIS hotel, diagonally opposite the big Novotel hotel.

    We stayed at Patong this time. As you've said, it is easy to find halal food. Walk in any direction and you'll be able to spot a halal restaurant, usually Indian or Arabic ones, with Thai and western food on the menu. Road side push cart stalls usually appear in the evenings... halal burgers, kebabs, chocolate banana pancakes...

    I like Cairo (small one, didn go to the bigger on), just opp Jungceylon,.
    And we went to another one around the same area (can't remember the name). Both were good.

    These places are not that cheap though (not too expensive either). 200-250 baht for most dishes, like fried rice etc. Western fare like steak, fish & chips fr 400baht onwards.. It is for tourists and you are eating in a proper restaurant (nice, aircon, clean, service) - hence the price.

    halal Breakfast is tough - but we found a pretty good Muslim owned stall @ The Fresh Market (behind Jungceylon, opp Bangla Boxing Stadium.) 1st floor is the wet market and 2nd floor are the food stalls. 35 baht/dish - fried rice, pad thai, soup noodles etc.. This is what the locals normally pay for...

    My favourite of favourites place is the floating restaurant off Coconut village. Its called Bang Mud (or Charoen Seafood). Abt 30mins in a van fr Patong. And a 3 min boat right. I went there in the evening abt 6pm, with the setting sun and mountain views and just being on the water... beautiful.. 4500 baht, for 10 persons - 2 fish, cockerels, chilli crab, tom yum seafood, fried sotong, fried prawns, mango salads, kang kong etc...

    I've always enjoyed Phuket. Most people are nice and helpful. Muslims and halal food are plenty (and yummy).. To anyone reading this, enjoy your trip!

    Regards,
    Risdian Isbintara
    risdian.i@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you so much Ris for both comments (above and below). To tell you the truth we never thought about eating at KFC or A&W simply because we thought that both outlets would serve non-halal food (KFC in Bangkok serves pork). However, now that you've mentioned that the fast food outlets are halal, this means it's a lot easier to find halal food in Phuket than one would thought.
      Thank you too for the note on Kusuma (we were driving along the road near Ibis hotel during midday, it would most probably is closed during the day, hence the reason why we couldn't find the place. Would try to look up the place if I ever get a chance to visit Phuket again one day =).

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  12. Fast food - KFC and A&W halal
    There's a KFC at Jung Ceylon mall and they do delivery too.

    Regards,
    Risdian Isbintara
    risdian.i@gmail.com

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  13. Very nice info! Going there this nov & will try to find few outlets mentioned. Glad to know that a&w & kfc are halal (in case we hv no other choice)

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  14. Woww!!! nice trip. If you can’t decide for your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Phuket This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

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  15. thanks for the tip... my family and i are going to phuket this weekend :) i am glad that looking for halal food is not difficult there :)

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is very detailed, I appreciate you sharing this. And thank you for the recommendations.

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  17. ..great..thanksss :) been to phuket last 15 yrs.. planning to go again this year..
    thank u for your muslim food info.. :)

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  18. ..great..thanksss :) been to phuket last 15 yrs.. planning to go again this year..
    thank u for your muslim food info.. :)

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  19. Thank u everyone for ur great experiences and advices. I'll be leaving for Phuket in a few weeks time with my wife and kid. Hopefully ur advices and recommendations come in handy.

    ReplyDelete