Who doesn’t like an all-you-can-eat buffet ? A food fest where you can gorge on an endless supply of meat, seafood, vegetables and other goodies sounds like the perfect dinner at an awesome holiday.
Ladies and gents, welcome to a Thai ‘mookata’, or bbq buffet.
Combining the best of both buffet worlds, , guests can choose to either grill their meat and seafood over a hotplate, or dunk them into a boiling hopot, all in one go. How’s that for convenience and variety?
Before we move on to the eating part, let me tell you a funny story. H & I were super hungry after a whole day of sightseeing around Phuket, so we were raring to hunt for a Mookata. There was a famous one located some ways from our hotel in Patong, so we decided to rent bicycles and cycle there.
For one, I hadn’t ridden in a long time and the hotel’s bikes were way too big for my short legs. I basically wobbled all the way to the restaurant – it was a miracle that I didn’t fall off at all! Secondly, the traffic around Patong was pretty crazy. I escaped death by getting run over by a motorbike one too many times. After that episode, we swore not to cycle there again lol.
Anyway. We got here safe and sound, and just in time for dinner! The Khon Kaen Buffet and BBQ is located across the street from a fire station. The large resto has no air conditioning, but is roofed and can easily seat up to a 100 people. You eat first, and pay later.
Visitors were a mix of locals and tourists. There were also many white men accompanied by Thai women. Hm.
I know it’s pretty much a way of life here and part and parcel of the tourist industry, but that doesn’t mean I feel comfortable with it. :x
Naturally, we made a beeline for the food area, where you can pick from almost every part of the pig – liver, intestines, belly, etc. There were pork slices marinated in different sauces, as well as seafood, chicken and fish.
Don’t forget to pick up a few pieces of lard. They’re not for eating, we use them to oil the grille plate.
H & I grabbed a bit of everything. My tray here had needle mushrooms, fish fillet, slices of pork belly and pork meat, shrimp, chicken, intestines and ham.
The grille/hotpot is placed on a stove. Let the cooking begin!
They give you a kettle of broth to refill the shallow hotpot whenever it seems like it’s going to run out. We cooked most of the seafood in the hotpot, and let the meat cook on the grill. The pork and seafood was yummy, but the real star here was the chicken. Tender and juicy, the texture was so bouncy that it felt like firm fish meat. It had been marinated in some spices like black pepper, and the meat had absorbed the flavour well. We ate until our shorts threatened to explode. Of course, I had a separate stomach for desserts so I had ice-cream too lol.
PS: The grille gets black and messy towards the end, so be careful when cooking those last few pieces of meat.
Where there’s food, there’s a happy me!
Our meal came up to about 350B (RM41/USD10), inclusive of a bottle of Coke, which was still value for money considering that a lot of buffets in Malaysia cost more than that.
The place is a bit hard to find coz it’s not along the main road, but trust me, the hunt is worth it. :)
KHON KAEN BBQ BUFFET
Patong, Kathu, Phuket,Thailand (Turn left before the APK Hotel and go straight til you see a fire station).
We walked off our dinner at a night market just next to the restaurant. It was a field with makeshift stalls and funfair like game booths. The grass was muddy because of the rain earlier, so we carefully stepped on wooden boxes laid down on the ground to make a walkway.
Locals were sitting at tables in an open air area, swigging beer and watching a guy sing on stage. There were some random drunk guys dancing below the stage with not a care for the world.
A really nice meal to wrap up an equally awesome day! We cycled back to the hotel and got a good night’s sleep.
More of Phuket to come! :)