While walking around Phuket Old Town on the first day of our culinary discovery holiday, we spotted Aroon Restaurant, a place that’s famous for its roti. Well, my nose spotted it first—I smelled roti and saw roti, and I just had to have it.
So, to no one’s surprise, I rounded up the whole crew and went back the next day. We pretty much ordered everything on the menu and had a great time with the restaurant’s owner, Phuket’s king of roti, Manus Dada.
I highly recommend that you pass by Aroon Restaurant when you visit Phuket Old Town. They really serve the best roti there.
What makes the roti in Aroon Restaurant so special?
In Manus Dada’s own words, Aroon Restaurant’s roti “is the best because we make it by heart.” That makes him a man after my own heart. From one restaurant owner to another, I can really tell that he’s someone passionate about feeding souls.
Manus is at his store every day, greeting customers with the biggest smile on his face. When we were there, he made sure we had the best time and the best service. He also spent time talking with us about feeding souls. His wife, who also works with him at the restaurant, took great care of us.
So, back to the question: What makes the roti in Aroon Restaurant so special? I say it’s the flavor and the crispiness of the roti. It’s so, so good. Their process of cooking roti is pretty much the same as everywhere else. The prepared dough is spread over a hot griddle over oil and margarine and cooked until crispy. This crispiness is possible because the dough is thin. The thinner the dough, the crispier the roti is.
Roti and a whole lot more
We ordered one of almost everything, and they have a lot. There’s the original roti, pandan roti, and charcoal roti. There’s a selection of sweet roti, such as roti with banana, roti with chocolate, and original roti topped with condensed milk. That last one is the best way to enjoy roti, I tell you!
Additionally, the restaurant has a range of savory dishes. These include roti with beef panang curry and vegetarian roti puffs. They serve curry as well—our top picks are lamb curry, chicken curry, and dal curry. Dal curry is a vegetarian curry made with beans.
One of the dishes you simply must try at Aroon Restaurant is mataba roti. It’s roti with chicken and chopped vegetables in mataba-style curry. You get to eat it with a sauce made with fresh cucumbers in a vinegary syrup. So delicious! Most of all, it’s a healthy dish that you can count as a full meal.
Cha chak: A must-try in Aroon Restaurant
Another item on the Aroon Restaurant menu that caught our eye is the cha chak or Thai pulled tea. The restaurant’s cha chak is done traditionally—the mixed ingredients are poured or “pulled” from one pitcher to another repeatedly. It’s all totally done by hand, no mixer involved at all. The resulting drink is foamy and deliciously sweet.
It’s a sweetness you don’t have to worry about at all, though. Just like most cha chak sold in Thailand, Aroon’s is made with Carnation evaporated milk. But the recipe Manus uses skips Carnation condensed milk altogether and doesn’t add sugar to the drink. So, Aroon’s cha chak is sugar-free and made naturally sweet from the pulling and the foaming. You can drink a bucket of it if you want to.
Manus Dada is definitely Phuket’s king of roti, and it’s a must that you eat at his Aroon Restaurant when you visit Phuket Old Town.
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