Mor Mu Dong restaurant in Phuket is quite an unusual place. You really really want to eat off the beaten tracks? where locals go for a great and relaxing lunch or dinner? Mor Mu Dong is a place every local knows, and you just have to count the cars on the parking to know that something special is cooking here. People travel a long way to come to Mor Mu Dong. It’s so local that even Andrew Zimmern from ‘Bizarre Food’ had lunch here.
Mor Mu Dong is the real thing and it really is ‘down-to-earth-back-to-basic’ with a lot of charm for a lazy Sunday or even after work. It is simple and rustic but really good with a feel of simple enjoyment.You can chose to eat in these small private Salas built over the mangrove, or under the trees. It might sound fancy, but it’s not: trees, concrete tables or low tables, plastic plates… period.
Salas are those little wooden houses without walls and with a thatched roof, really fun if you haven’t tried yet. You simply seat on a thin rug placed on the floor, around a low table, with a view on the mangrove around and with a nice breeze running through. Some Salas can accommodate six to twelve people around single table. When tide is low, you see more mud than water but it still fun to have a very local dinner and play and feed hundred of tiny little red crabs. Few large salas have regular tables with chairs if you are not ready for an entire meal sitting on the floor.
The food is obviously the main reason why people would travel such a long way to reach Mor Mu Dong… The menu is large and mainly but not only seafood. The food is very local and yet they have a way to make it look special. While you are waiting, they will serve you some slices of green fruits like guava and green mangoes and a selection of fresh vegetables, that should get you in the mood. You’ll get to try the usual beer with ice as well (yes, they do!).
Our favorites are: Moo Kua Klua (pork belly), Pak Miang Goong Siah (green leaves with dry shrimps), Pak Good Salad (fern salad with squid), and if you can take it: Kaeng Prik Kraddok Moo (a very spicy pork curry).
Then, what we really came for, the ‘Piece de Resistance’ will be served after 30 minutes. Something I haven’t yet found anywhere else, especially in such local restaurant: ‘Pla Pao – Steam Fish in Salt Crust‘… It delicious, soft and moist. I love its simple and delicate texture, and the taste of salt is just enough, no sauce is needed (but some will be served).
It’s not so easy to find. Take Chaofa Road east direction Chalong and try to follow the signs to the zoo. Once you find the traffic light, turn left to the soo and continue for several kilometers direction ‘Palai Seafood’ which is another restaurant, but not as good. Just before reaching the Palai Seafood, you will see plenty of signboards pointing to the left. Follow them almost to the end of the road to find the entrance of the parking.