As I’ve mentioned in the first episode, we pretty much ate our way through Phuket Old Town on the first day of our Phuket soul foodie getaway. Our first stop was Khao Tom Dibuk, a Chinese-style restaurant that specializes in rice porridge located right in Central Phuket.
I’ve always wanted to eat at Khao Tom Dibuk. It’s famous throughout Phuket, and it’s a popular place for the locals to grab their favorite soul-feeding food. Moreover, it’s a Bib Gourmand restaurant—it earned recognition from the Michelin Guide for serving “good quality, good value” food.
Grandma’s passion drives Khao Tom Dibuk
The Grandma who owns Khao Tom Dibuk is still involved in the day-to-day operations of the restaurant despite her being 78 years young. It speaks much of her love and passion for what she does. And, as most of us in the food business know, love and passion are important factors driving a restaurant’s success.
Grandma proudly displays a 100-year-old basket at the front of the shop. This basket is a keepsake that her father brought with him when he migrated to Phuket from mainland China. It’s a beautiful keepsake, woven from red-painted plant fibers and decorated with shiny black paper with gold detailing.
What can you eat at Khao Tom Dibuk?
The basket should clue you in to the fact that Khao Tom Dibuk is a traditional Chinese restaurant. As I said earlier, it specializes in rice porridge.
The rice porridge served at this place is no ordinary porridge, however. You can order it with three different soup bases—pork, fish, or Chinese five-spice. You can tell from the way the soup tastes that it was cooked for a really long time. The porridge is also served with super-fresh ingredients, such as fresh ginger and cilantro. The recipe for the porridge is a closely guarded secret, but Grandma did reveal a key ingredient: white soy sauce by The Angel.
We ended up ordering four of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. One of these is the pork soup with noodles, which contains ingredients from a pig’s nose down to its tail. We also had rice porridge with fermented tail, fish rice soup, and five-spice soup with the big noodles.
Since some of the Soul Foodies in my group are vegan, I asked the restaurant staff if we can have a version of the rice porridge that didn’t have any pork in it. They gladly accommodated us, which is awesome.
When you visit Phuket, Thailand’s paradise island, be sure to drop by Khao Tom Dibuk. I guarantee, the food there will fully feed your soul.
Watch the episode here: https://bit.ly/3bgrcnL