When you’re visiting a Phuket Thai restaurant, the starters and main courses will generally be very familiar to those who love the iconic cuisine of the country. Desserts, however, can come as a surprise. Thai people like their sweets almost sickly sweet, but that sweetness rarely comes from just adding pots of sugar. The following are some of the most popular Thai desserts, all of which are worth a try during your next visit to the Land of Smiles.
Khao Neow Ma Muang
This is undoubtedly the most famous of the popular Thai desserts, available from street vendors and first-class Phuket Thai restaurants alike. It is, of course, mango sticky rice. The sweetness mostly comes from the fresh yellow mango which, being locally sourced, retain their flavour far better than those imported products many visitors try. The fruit and rice are also smothered in a sweet coconut cream syrup, too.
Unlike Indian roti, which are mostly savoury, Thais only eat these pancakes as a dessert. This is an especially popular street eat, with the doughy pasty fried in butter before your eyes. The most popular filling is a banana and egg mixture, but you can put almost anything sweet and fruity inside. Fully folded up, the roti is usually then chopped into little squares so that it can be eaten with a skewer. Before being served, it is drenched in sweetened condensed milk. While this dish can now be found all over the country, it is among the Thai food Phuket has made popular.
While Thailand perhaps didn’t invent ice cream, they inevitably put their own unique twist on it. This coconut ice cream will often be served in half a coconut shell, especially in Phuket Thai restaurants. It is traditionally topped with some rather unusual additions, including peanuts, sweetcorn and various sweet syrups.
This is a delightful little dessert, but it is almost impossible to find in any Phuket Thai restaurant – it is exclusively found on market stalls and street vendor carts. The little coconut rice dumplings are fried in a special pan to give them their iconic shape. It gives them a pancake-like skin with a jelly-like filling. While very tasty when eaten plain, they can be topped with spring onion, sweetcorn or taro.
This is one of the rarer Thai desserts, being virtually impossible to find outside of small local markets. It consists of a palm leaf stuffed with coconut, flour, sugar and salt, which is then grilled. The resultant brown, sticky mess is sublimely sweet. It is best enjoyed hot, fresh off the fire, and it absolutely melts in the mouth.