Since my previous blog was already on Trang’s sea and what to eat over there in Pak Meng and Kantang area, this episode, we will focus on the food in Trang’s town.
Trang is not a big place, and it doesn’t attract a whole lot of tourists. Having said that, you’d notice that the ratio of good restaurants per capita is quite extraordinary. This is because Trang people are born foodie on their own right. They eat to live, and if you know some of them, you’d know that I am just stating the truth. Also, the culture of eating in Trang expands to the way they organize funerals. Funerals in Trang are usually a week-long event, with well-selected food and drinks so abundantly served to the guests (and host). It is an occasion where locals willfully gather. Some go every day to each funeral, saying “Why not, there’s good food there, and I can skip cooking for a whole week.”
FOODIE TOWN OF TRANG
We have written so much about Trang’s good and hidden restaurants in our book ‘Eat Trang and Phuket’ published by our own little publishing unit about 8 years ago. Flipping through, we found the book is quite still up-to-date. Good restaurants in town are still alive and rolling. There are still 30 copies of the book left. In case, you are interested, it is Bt250 per copy with free shipping throughout Thailand.
So this time back to Trang is our spree to delicious food of the town. There is also something new. We were there for a couple of days and we took it easy, and here are our findings.
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ปลาดุกผัดเผ็ด น้ำพริกผักเหนาะ แกงคั่วกระดูกหมู ลูกปลาทอดขมิ้น ปลาเค็ม แกงส้มปลาย่างยอดมะขาม ผัดวุ้นเส้นมั๊ง (ขนมหมดเสียใจมาก) อาหารเที่ยง ที่ทับเที่ยง | first lunch in Trang town >> rice and curries southern style. Crispy catfish in dried curry, sour soup of grilled fish and young tamarind leaves, spicy pork ribs curry, turmeric coated deep fried fish and a plate of chili dip and vegs.
Thailand and rice are always a pack, no matter which part of the country. And if you are in Thailand or know the country well enough, you would have heard about how tasty Thai Southern curries can be: spicy, yes and also loaded with herbs, roots, spices, especially turmeric. This rice-and-curry place is called ‘Khao Gaeng Baan Suan’ and it is now the flavour of Trang town. People who recommended us this place say ‘delish and clean’ and we second every of their opinion. Choices are vast and change daily. The above pix are what we ate and very much liked. Also, the best thing to do is to be there early (before 11.30am) for the place is packed quickly at lunchtime, and then ‘reserve’ the dessert because if you wait, they will run out. That’s what happened to us.
Khao Gaeng Baan Suan, Visetkul Soi 9, Trang, Open Daily, but better be there before 11.30am.
Trang and coffee are always an item. The town has one of the biggest coffee cultures in Thailand. Yet, ‘specialty coffee’ cafes are still not that common. However, here’s the town’s one and only specialty coffee cafe –Passione del Caffé – run by Trang’s native, a coffee enthusiast and a roaster.
Although the place has been around for just 2 years, the owner (Khun Palm) had spent over 5 years studying all about coffee. Now, he is spreading his coffee domain through selected beans, his own house blends as well as coffee selecting philosophy. “Young people are definitely more welcoming to this new coffee culture, but adults are also very interested too. A lot of people who liked the taste and feel and then everything about speciality coffee in Bangkok or around the world found it a good thing to have one such cafe in town.”
Passione del Caffé | Passion of Coffee >> เปิดทุกวัน 9.00 – 17.00 น. โทร. 083-091-1911
One of the oldest coffee houses in Trang, Sin Jiew looks its age and (sorry) state. And that scared me to death the first we were there. Somehow, this time, I got past that looks and enjoyed their fabulous meals. Dinner is best time to be there for there will be freshly fried Chinese doughs (called Ja Goi), served with either their homemade gaya or condensed milk (this one you’d have to request). Also their signatures are assorted dim sum (to be eaten with Trang’s unique red sauce called ‘Som Jeung’) and pork congee. Don’t ask for napkin, but just use the cut paper provided on the table. That’s their napkins.
Also recommended is their super strong and fragrant iced tea (if you are not too sensitive with caffeine). All these above are only available dinnertime, for lunch this place is turned into a rice and BBQ pork place.
ซินจิว | SIN JIEW DIM SUM Open daily: 4.00 – 21.00 T: (075) 218-552.
หมูย่างบ้านบัวบก | Baan Bua Bok Grilled Pork
Trang’s famous whole-roasted-in-a-pit pork is something people look forward to when they are in town. Trang’s grilled pork is not the usual crispy pork you’d see in Bangkok or other places outside Trang, but super sweet, loaded with spices and greasy kind of treat. Trang people eat their ‘moo yang’ (grilled pork) regularly and they usually have it with everything, say coffee, rice or their own steamed dough that is called ‘patong-go.’
Our local friend pointed us to this shop which is located next to the very very famous moo yang shop. We had a huge and super sweet breakfast of rice and moo yang, a bit of their dim sum, congee and very sweet tea and coffee. Love that they use very nice steamed rice (jasmine rice, no less), in their serving. And the price was so friendly, too. A good place to eat all day round.
หมูย่างบ้านบัวบก ถนนห้วยยอด โทร. 0817975462
Trang’s town is known as ‘Tubtieng’ which is also a very old trading town with a mixture of Chinese, Muslim and Thai locals. It is quiet and walkable, and it seems that locals are trying to revive its past coolness through arts, exhibitions and some new warm coffee houses.
Trang locals that we know of spend a lot of time in coffee houses. They would chat to death over a cup of java. This place, apart from the usual coffee menu, also serves food. But we were there only for the coffees which they thankfully serve with hot Chinese tea just like old-time Trang’s style coffee houses. The highlight of the place, for us, is this smart and gregarious dog. Not stray for he has a collar, but his sporting and unkempt fur makes him look as if. The dog is allowed to roam in and out freely, and no one gives a hoot about him, except, of course, for my husband – a dog lover through and through.? ? ?