Krua Suan Cha Restaurant in Phuket Town
It's been a while since I added any new restaurant recommendations on the blog. I think that's mostly because we (my wife and I) are getting old and boring! We used to try new restaurants quite often, but these days we have a few favourites that suit us, and we've been a bit lazy, plus it's been high season and I'm working a lot and often tired, so if we eat out I want to eat somewhere familiar, somewhere I know the menu. Not very good for the blog! I will try to put this to rights in the coming few months. When I say "eat out" please note - we are not into fancy restaurants or dressing up for a night out. We often "eat out" at small roadside places where the family can eat for a few hundred Baht. These tend to be restaurants within 10 - 15 minutes drive of our house, a place we can grab a quick dinner on a school night. Krua Suan Cha (ครัวสวนชา) is one of these places. It's located on the edge of Phuket Town on the road from the Central Festival Mall, just past the Darasamut School and before the Queen Sirikit stadium (home of Phuket FC). And I'm not saying you should go out of your way to eat here, but if you are in the area, it's a favourite of ours so I hope you like it!
OK it's not super easy to find and the sign outside (above) is only in Thai .. yes this is not a tourist restaurant, but many people say they want "real" Thai food and this is the kind of restaurant where you get it! There is a map at the bottom of this blog post, but it may also help to note that opposite Krua Suan Cha is a landmark of sorts .. a shop making signs that has a kind of Yoda-Gremlin on the roof. Check the photo below! If you see this, then the food is over the road!
Krua Suan Cha is actually a little more fancy than it used to be, as last year the owner added a very nicely built wooden indoor seating area at the front of the restaurant. And outside is the garden area with many stone tables. It can get pretty busy at lunchtime, not so busy in the evening and it's closed by 8pm. They close on Sundays.
(above) Indoor seating
(above) Garden seating. Many restaurants are called Krua-something. Krua means Kitchen. And 'Suan Cha' means Tea Garden. And you can get iced tea with your food!
Now, the food. Important. When it comes to Thai food, I don't like it watered down for a tourist's tongue. And I am sure many visitors want real Thai food. So you have to eat where the locals eat. My wife really likes her southern Thai food and tells me that the Gaeng Som here is great - a very spicy, sour curry. They also do dishes made with sataw (สะตอ) - something which in English get called 'stink beans'. Not that the beans stink, although they do have a unique flavour, but it gives a noticeable odour to your pee for at least a day after eating! I am not a fan, my wife loves it!
(above) Gaeng Som curry with fish
I find that whatever I order, it tastes good. Could a simple plate of fried noodles or a green curry, or fried fish with garlic and even the iced tea is good :) A couple of favourite dishes of mine below.
Pad Gaprao (ผัดกะเพรา) a kind of stir-fry with holy basil is a common Thai dish and you can get it with chicken, pork, prawns or I suppose vegetarian. The one above (clearly) is with prawns. Very tasty. And a fried egg on the rice of course. I mean, you can get this just about anywhere, but the thing is, at Krua Suan Cha I know I'll get a good one.
(above) and maybe my favourite thing to eat .. Kale fried with crispy pork (Kana Moo Grob, คะน้าหมูกรอบ).
There is a partial menu in English, but I am not quite sure how much English the staff speak! The menu in Thai is much bigger. If you have a favourite Thai food, you can almost certainly get it here. Hey, it's not a fancy place, but the food is good, the prices are low and it's clean and friendly. And if you live here, it's the kind of restaurant you need to have as a regular spot. Eating out here can be as cheap as eating at home if you go for simple Thai dishes.
More favourite Thai restaurants in Phuket Town
Tunk Ka Cafe
Krua Suan Cha - Location Map