Street Food: Pa Tong Go
I guess that I buy what can be termed "street food" almost every day. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there are stalls selling all kinds of food all over Phuket, indeed all over Thailand. On the street corner near my workplace in Karon Beach you can find (either fixed in place or on mobile stalls) somtam, fried chicken, fruits, corn, pancakes, cakes and deserts, ice cream, sticky rice and more. Some stalls are more or less permanent, some are fixed to motorbikes and make the rounds, some are pushed on carts, some carried on bicycles. Mostly the street stalls sell snacks rather than meals, though there are also mobile stalls selling kuay tiow (noodle soup) or phad thai.
Pa Tong Go (or Pa Thong Go, or Pa Tong Ko, transliteration is a bit tricky with Thai words!), are small fried pieces of dough, a bit like doughnuts in the shape of, well, in the shape of a chromosome (or an X). You get them crispy or soft, varying in size and exact shape, depends exactly what stall you choose. The food stalls below are near my house in Kathu village.
There's a Pa Tong Go stall, a fried chicken stall and a Salapao stall. They always seem to be quite busy! They're only open in the morning. Pa Tong Go is not strictly breakfast food, but many stalls are only open early morning. The ones I know tend to be all finished by 9am. The dough is ready prepared at home, then cut into pieces as needed and thrown into hot oil. Only takes a couple of minutes to cook.
The stall in Kathu makes on demand, does not tend to have a pile sitting around, which is good, as Pa Tong Go are much better when hot and fresh, Once they cool down and go a bit soggy, well, they're not as nice - that's my excuse for eating as many as possible as fast as possible! A 20 Baht bag is good enough for me, though they can addictive and sometimes 20 Baht leaves me wanting more!
Another good spot is in Patong (note: in Thai, "Patong" and "Pa Tong" Go are not spelt the same) at the end of Soi Kebsup, not too far from the Holiday Inn on Rat U Thid road. When I was working in Patong in 2006 I used to get Pa Tong Go from this stall several times per week. It was a busier place than Kathu Village, always had a pile ready but they always cooked fresh ones for me :)
I just eat them plain, maybe dunked in my coffee, but you can see in the photo above bags of soy milk (white) and a sweet green cream flavoured with pandanus (or pandan) leaf, which some people buy to eat with their Pa Tong Go. Not sure about that myself. Pandan is an acquired taste, which I have not acquired! Thai sweet things do tend to be very sweet. Pa Tong Go I recommend eaten as they are, freshly cooked, with a nice cup of coffee. Enjoy!
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