For travellers, Phuket is highly sought after for its seemingly endless coastlines and idyllic islands, not to mention the wild nightlife in Patong, however when it comes to food, there are still many places waiting to be discovered.
During my 5 day visit earlier this month, one of the places that continually drew me back was the Banzaan Fresh Market Night market.
Located just a kilometre from Patong beach and minutes from Jungceylon Shopping Centre, the area outside this fresh market turns into a bustling night market by dusk with around 30-40 odd stores. On one side of the market, buckets of live seafood are neatly arranged in front of the stall and cooked to your liking, whilst on the other – a dazzling array of tropical fruits, street food and desserts.
Whilst a lot of the food served here is predominantly Thai, you will notice that some dishes have been influenced by the cultures that have helped shape modern day Phuket, such as Malay and Chinese.
The market may be considered small by Thailand standards however with such a fantastic variety of food, you wouldn’t even notice it.
Tom Yum Goong
This was one of my favourite dishes from the market, incredibly fragrant with flavours of lemongrass and chilli, and filled with a generous serving of prawns, mussels, calamari and pippies. There’s only one stand that serves this dish (you won’t miss the gigantic boiling pots) so make sure you pay this one a visit.
Takeaway options at the Tom Yum Goong stand
As you walk around the market, you will notice that some of the foods (such as soups) have also been pre-packaged. Most of the time, this is to cater to many of the locals who frequent the market for quick takeaway so if you eat in, everything would be presented as per normal.
For a quick snack, you can get a delicious piece of crumbed fried chicken with sweet chilli sauce for just 20 Baht (less than 1AUD).
Pad See Ew
This is one of the popular local dishes (stir fried flat rice noodles cooked with soy sauce) which is an example of the type of Chinese influenced Thai cuisine that you will commonly find in Phuket.
The Pad Thai here is made to order and incredibly delicious, served with several pieces of big, juicy prawns and additional chilli powder and sugar which you can add to your liking.
There’s a couple of skewer stands at the market and they generally range from 30 – 50 Baht (less than 2AUD), with most of the meats marinated in a sticky, honey soy flavoured sauce. Highly recommend the pork neck.
Mango sticky rice
Mango sticky rice is one of Thailand’s most popular desserts and a must-try here. The mango variety used in this particular one was exceptional; smooth and silky whilst the sticky rice had a delicious, creamy, sticky texture.
Preparing a dessert
At some of the stalls, desserts require a bit of preparation so don’t go by whats on the table. If something catches your eye, chances are the stall keeper would be glad to have a chat and explain. Alternatively, you could just stand back and watch everyone else order!
Teppanyaki ice cream
If you like gimmicky dishes, something that might be worth trying is the Teppanyaki ice cream. Basically, you select two ingredients (such as oreo and mango) and this get mashed together, teppanyaki style, on a cold metal plate and is topped with a selection of two toppings (i.e. chocolate sauce, peanuts, sprinkles). It doesn’t taste much different from an ordinary ice cream but hey, its all part of the fun right?
Check out my short video for more:
Banzaan Fresh Market – Night Market
Sai Kor Road (Behind Jungceylon Shopping Centre)
Kathu District, Phuket
Open from 6pm to late (around 11pm)