Places to Eat in Phuket: Tesco Lotus
Er...Tesco Lotus? The big supermarket and mall? You gotta be kidding? Not at all, and as we live but a few minutes from here, and use it for shopping, banking, video rental etc., we find it very convenient. I would not say it's worth a visit specifically for a meal, but if you are passing by and feel hungry, there are lots of choices inside. Located at Sam Kong junction, one of the busiest bits of road in Phuket where the bypass road starts, the store is huge, being not just a supermarket but a mall too, with shops, banks, a post office..and places to eat.
Leaving aside the shopping, what can you eat in Tesco Lotus?
The place we eat most often is Texas Suki. The sukiyaki dish sits on every table, and you order the ingredients from a menu. Up to you what you want to add to the soup - lots of veggies, all kinds of meats, prawn balls, fish cakes, yum yum indeed. You don't have to eat suki, there are also noodle and rice dishes and the spring rolls are quite tasty. Also dim sum dishes available. And not expensive. We normally stuff ourselves for about 200 Baht all in - that's for 2 adults, 1 child, well and a baby boy too. Don't under estimate the amount a couple of kids can gobble up - our daughter had 2 plates of noodles last time we ate there!
We also eat at Pizza Company sometimes, though you can certainly get better pizza in Phuket. My daughter likes the spaghetti, and the Pepsi refill is a good deal if you're thirsty! Pizza Co also does delivery (call 1112). Actually the pizza is pretty decent for a chain/fast food joint. There's a also a salad bar where you can practice balancing as much food as possible on your dish to make the most of the deal. Some of the little snacks like cheese and bacon twists, bread sticks, chicken wings are good too. Must stop now, getting hungry.
Then for desert, or a little treat...Swensens Ice Cream. Yup, real authentic Thai food! BUT, no good getting all high and mighty like some travelers do. The place is always full of Thai families, so if Thai people are eating it, then you are eating local food, right? The current special - 59 Chocolate - is delicious, with 3 scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, banana, brownies, tiny peanut butter cups, and a truffle on top. Enough for 2 to share unless you're a greedy guts, and only 59 Baht. They always give crayons and paper to the kids, which is nice.
More? Well, there's a KFC and a McDonalds. I admit to the occasional Big Mac, yes it's true. There's a Dunkin Donuts too. Also Black Canyon Coffee, where the food is decent and they have about 50 different styles of coffee.
Then there's the food court upstairs above the supermarket. Noisy and crowded, but cheap. Buy your electronic card at the cashier and choose from a range of simple Thai dishes. I normally have Phad Thai or Roast Chicken on rice. Wife likes the Kao Ka Moo (rice with pork), they also do some basic breakfasts - eggs, toast, ham.
So there - Tesco Lotus has a wealth of dining opportunities! Same can be said of the Central Festival Mall, just a couple of km up the road. These malls were not here when I arrived in Phuket in 1999. Tescos was just a supermarket. Now you have Tesco Lotus, Big C, Central, and also the Index Mall. Great for shopaholics, bad for your bank balance!