The Sweet Restaurant off Patong Beach
Ha ha - what a funny name and even funnier tagline: "Excellent Thai Foods Cooked by Local People (Since 1991)." Now, when they actually say something like that, you've really gotta be a bit suspicious of their intentions, so I wasn't exactly expecting to get true "local" food here. In fact, the only reason why we came here is because I remembered eating here a few years ago (it was my first meal in Phuket), and it wasn't too bad. My, my, how memories can fade!
We explicitly asked them to give us a spicy local version of tom yum kai soup, but instead, we got a mild version that was clearly for tourists. We also ordered a plate of pad thai, which, although not bad, was not cooked enough for me (I want a little bit of burnt gristle on it). Still, this was just a snack since we knew we could get nibbles on the beach, so we weren't too worried.
And then onto the beach we went. Many complain that Patong Beach is too commercialized, and that you can't get 5 minutes of peace and quiet without somebody coming by to sell you something, be it drinks, local art/clothing, or even a paragliding ride. For me though, this is a great chance to try some local food. The first good find was what the lady called "Thailand peanuts." It was more like an almond actually (both in shape/size and taste), but it was much lighter while still being rich in taste. The shell was also so thin that it actually wasn't too bad eating it with the shell too. I found out later that this is from a big tree and is called bok (rhymes with "poke"). It was so good that I bought another little sack from another passer-by (it seemed a bit pricey at 40 Baht or US$1 for such a little bag though - it must have been the "Sucker the Patong Beach tourists" premium pricing that we had). I also found some Calpis soda at a convenience store nearby.
Unfortunately, it started to drizzle a bit later, so we didn't get much of a chance to try much else on the beach, but here is a photo of a barbequed chicken leg from my trip here a few years ago that I was meaning to put into a recent "Catchup Chronicle," but I never had the chance to. Well, they were selling them today too, so here it was from a few years ago, in all its glory. It wasn't bad - it tasted like barbequed chicken (at least, from what I can remember). Having an attached claw also made for some fun play-with-your-food pranks with your friends.