Aside from Singapore, noticed that Thailand is another South East Asia country which has earned quite a lot some of Michelin’s Stars, Bib or Plate. Being an avid food lover myself, I always love to try the restaurants which has been featured in the Michelin guide whenever I got the chances to, and since accidentally trying out the overrated Luke’s Oyster Bar in Singapore, I came to realize that not every restaurant being mentioned in the Michelin guide actually did a really great job or actually presents a unique taste of their food. So, I decided to give a truthful review about anything I tried which is listed in the Michelin Guide starting from this post onward. On a very brief trip to Phuket few months back, I manage to try one of the place, which is O Cha Rot.
Located in 72/1 Yaowarat Road, Phuket (don’t mix it with Bangkok, since there’s a road call Yaowarat as well in Bangkok), the easiest way to locate it is that the place located around the Chinatown area of Phuket, and there’s this big temple called Wat Mongkol Nimit which you surely won’t miss around the restaurant. It will be just a 4 minutes walk away from the temple.
Instead of trying to look for the restaurant name in English, it will be a smarter way to find it by looking at the house number which is 72/1 (I marked it in the purple circle and purple arrow) since the shop name is written in Thai which can be really hard to read, well, unless you can read Thai.
You must be a morning person if you want to try this place out, since it opens everyday from 7AM up to 03.30PM. Yes, you read it right, they closed at 03.30PM, and the last order is around 03.00PM. So either you have it for breakfast or you have it for your lunch, but you couldn’t have it for your dinner. I came here around 2ish PM and there’s not much people queuing for the food, but from what I heard from my friends I got around, you might have to queue if you come in the morning, since Thais love to have it as breakfast. So, yeah, again… I’m choosing the lucky time to have the food.
The chef cum owner of the shop is the uncle who stood in the stall in the picture I put above. If you can speak Chinese, then ordering food in this place will be much more easier for you, since the uncle speaks quite decent Chinese (enough knowledge to explain what menu they have and telling you the price of the food) and speaks no English at all. But, there are some younger staffs who can speak little English. So if you want to order in English, you might need a little bit help of body language to communicate with them.
The variation of the menu is not too much, basically you have beef bee hoon or kwuetiau. Both types of noodle makes out of rice, but bee hoon would be a lot thinner while kwuetiau would be flat but slightly wide, it will remind you a lot of Vietnam Pho’s Noodle. Since I love bee hoon better, so I ordered it in Bee Hoon, then the uncle will ask whether you would want it dry or in a soup. I choose the soup one, and lastly, the uncle will ask whether you want to add beef slice with beef balls or you prefer just to put beef balls instead. I choose to have the beef slice and beef ball. So, here’s what I get~!
On the first look, it looks a lot like ‘Bihun Baso’, a kind of street dishes which can be found largely in the streets of Indonesia. Bihun Baso also uses Bee Hoon and Beef Balls, unless they don’t put the beef slices in it. I was kind of disappointed I must say. My mind was like ‘Why would this common looking Bihun Baso look-a-like would even received a Michelin Plate?’ and it feels like Michelin Guide has once again failed my expectation. But, wait until you tried the beef slice. There’s not a hint of beef smell, which means, the beef used is fresh and being prepared well. The beef slice was so tender that it melted away once it get into your mouth.
The bee hoon was just like any other bee hoon you eat, so I won’t say there’s anything special in it, but the beef slice was really something, the beef ball was so different that the beef ball in Bihun Baso. The beef ball is less chewy but it’s has a really good unique taste on its own compare to the beef ball you find in Bihun Baso. And the soup was not too salty and it’s really refreshing. There’s a chili powder you can use if you prefer it spicy, but since I’m the type into having everything served in their original way, I refrain from using the chili powder since the taste of the Beef Bee Hoon is good enough to satisfy my apetite.
It was sooo good that even the portion was quite big (for my size), I even ordered for another bowl of the beef bee hoon soup, which earns me a ‘is she on her right mind?’ look from the younger staffs. The uncle was so happy though when I make my payment of THB 120 (for two bowls of bee hoon noodle with beef slices) and asking me how was the food. And I simply replied, “Very Good!” with my thumbs up, since it taste really good. And again, remind me of the old words someone said to me sometimes ago, don’t judge the book by its cover~!
I gotta head out for my lunch now~! Happy eating~! =D