I think this blog has made it clear we're not a rich expat family dining at 5 star restaurants. Sure we can splash out a bit now and then, but in any case, I am really not into restaurants that serve food based on it's artistic impression - a few slender vegetables balanced on a fish fillet with dribbles and drips of sauce as decoration. No thanks. I want a plate of food. Good, simple, tasty food. And preferably our meal won't cost an arm and a leg. For a family of 4, it would be rare that we spend over 1,000 Baht on a Thai meal for all of us. Plenty of our favourite restaurants will cost us way less than that. A beer or 2 adds to the bill. Lunchtime I normally just have water with a meal. And many times we like to find small street-side restaurants for a meal. These kind of places are common all over Thailand. Sometimes a meal will cost as little as 40 Baht (rarely less these days). Basic meals with rice and a fried egg on top here in Phuket normally 60 - 80 Baht. And maybe add on 20 Baht for an iced tea or soda.
Gomen is one of these cheap streetside restaurants that we often frequent for lunch. Not far from our house, it's located just off the Kathu Waterfall road near the Phuket Wake Park. It's basically the ground floor of a house, a little family run restaurant for local residents in the area, plus people using the wake park know about it too! There's no sign in English outside - the sign says โกเม่น อาหารตามสั่ง, Gomen Ahan Tam Sang - that second part (Ahan Tam Sang - อาหารตามสั่ง) means "food made to order" and is commonly seen on small local restaurants. You also see small restaurants in Thailand called Khao Gaeng - ข้าวแกง - These have ready made food usually sitting there in pots or trays and you order rice with one or more toppings.
(above) Gomen restaurant entrance
(above) Gomen restaurant
If full the place might be able to seat 30 people with tables inside and out. I've not seen more than about 10 at one time, but this kind of place that opens every day 12 hours a day makes good business, once word gets around the neighbourhood that the food is cheap and tasty! You can order pretty much any basic Thai dish with rice, plus they specialise in Khao Kha Moo (ข้าวขาหมู - stewed pork leg with rice, a very common staple) and you can get noodle soup here (Kuaytiaw - ก๋วยเตี๋ยว).
(above) Seating at Gomen restaurant.
Of course there are plenty of restaurants like this in Phuket, I am not suggesting you need to take a taxi from wherever you stay and find this particular small restaurant. I am saying : if you want a good, inexpensive plate of real Thai food this is the kind of restaurant to look for and this one is now on my blog because it's close to our house and we eat here quite often.
A few of the dishes we have eaten here recently ...
(above) Chicken fried with garlic, with rice and fried egg
(above) Crispy pork fried with kale, with rice and fried egg (yeh, I do tend to ask for a fried egg (kai dow) on top evry time!)
(above) Kao Lao - this is like noodle soup, with all the other added ingredients, but no noodles.
If you happen to be exploring the Kathu area, visiting the waterfall, going wakeboarding ... this place is worth looking for! Other restaurants nearby include Maireab Zaap Ver and The Big Chicken. I wish you happy eating!
Gomen Restaurant - Location Map