Local Review: Thai BBQ, Karon Beach
If you are staying in Phuket and in look of an authentic Thai BBQ restaurant, make sure to veer away from the tourist areas and get off the popular roads. In Karon Beach, just below the madness of Patong Beach, you will find a more relaxed atmosphere and if you take Patak Road past the Karon Temple and continue towards the Hilton Arcadia Resort you will find a small Thai BBQ restaurant on your left hand side. Does it have a name and a big sign out front? Nope. But it does have classical Thai music playing and is always full of Thai families and a handful of expats in the know of the good little restaurants.
The price of the all-you-can-eat BBQ hovers around 150B. There is a sign out front saying they offer a 119B rainy season special but they seem to decide daily what they are charging. Nevertheless, for no more than $5 you can sit all night long, make new friends, and eat some amazing Thai BBQ. Each table is equipped with a small rounded stove which is heated up as you sit down.
In classic Thai style, you are served a bucket of ice and whatever drinks you want. The drinks are cheap, what they should be, not the overpriced 60B for a soda water you find down the street. The food selection is really impressive. There is a solid spread of vegetables including brocoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, baby corn, asian mushrooms, etc. The meat selection is lengthy with beef, pork, chicken, fish, squid, crab, shrimp, fish balls, tofu, liver, tripe and even jelly fish. In addition there is fresh cut fruit, noodles, french fries, etc. The buffet also offers fresh Thai chili and about 5 different sauces for your meal.
TIP: Ask to get a table close to a fan, or ask for one close to your table, they will be more than happy to bring you one. Because of the hot stove on the table, sometimes it can get a bit warm around the table. For those just on vacation and not used to the Thai heat, it might be a little warm at times, but nothing a fan and a cold Singha can’t change. Make sure to try the Black Pepper Beef and the Sesame Oil Chicken, our two favorite dishes!
For a total of around $10US for two people, you really cannot find a better deal. Stay until you are stuffed and enjoy the authentic atmosphere. The restaurant stays open late into the night and it often is still serving patrons well after 1am most evenings. The staff is incredibly friendly and attentive without being annoying. Ask them to teach you a few Thai words, they will be excited and happy to teach you!