Thanks to a kind motorcyclist, we found what’s listed as Phuket’s best Chicken Rice, Kota Khao Mun Kai Restaurant. This is very exciting for me, being Queen of Chicken Rice. And to be at Phuket’s Best! My hopes and expectations were high… like up there high! But alas! My heart sank a little when our order arrived. The ensemble of plain looking poached chicken and char siu laid listlessly side by side. Not the most attractive dish beckoned to be savored.
“Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!” I told myself. The lady boss helped us concoct a special spicy sour chili dip, claiming its better than the chili dip Singaporeans are used to. Now, the moment of truth….! I sank my teeth into a piece of chicken and my eyes widened in marvel. The plain looking chicken flesh was in fact soft and delicate with a mild gingerly sweet flavor. Usually prefering dark meat, I found myself enjoying the tender lean chicken breast meat too. Unlike what we are used to, the chicken did not come doused in sesame soy dressing. It was chopped up, plated and served au naturel!
The rice, as we all know, an important role in this dish, was plump, tender and what’s that I taste…? Lemongrass!!?? I may be imagining it but whatever’s in there…? Nice touch!
The char siu, unfortunately was very ordinary.. Not something I’d order again and waste precious stomach space. Friendly lady boss treated us to a small bowl of sold out crispy roast pork (Siu Yuk). This was chopped up in thin slices, with crunchy skin in every bite, and was more aromatic than the ones we get in Singapore and Malaysia.
The owners, a husband and wife team, were super friendly and engaged us in a lengthy Teochew chatter, she being from Swatow! This is one place I’d fondly remember, if not for the chicken rice, for the warm friendly faces of Mr & Mrs Kota (not their real names!!). And knowing I could have my favorite comfort food right here in Phuket makes me love the island even more 🙂