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Mee veneration begins at Kathu and ends in Phuket City

Phuket Mee, Mee, Mee Folk Use Their Noodles Wisely

Monday, February 7, 2011
Mee Ton Poe, Phuket City and Kathu

Telephone: Phuket City 076 216293, Kathu 076 202802

Open: 9am-8pm Daily

Address: near Surin Circle in Phuket City and near the Caltex intersection in Kathu

Style: Traditional Phuket noodles plus cakes, sweet desserts

Price range: Surprisingly low. Most of the serves are in the 50 baht range. It's possible to walk out after a meal for two, including dessert and drinks, for 300 baht or just over.

Specialties: Noodles, Phuket style

What Phuketwan says:
A few years back, sociology professors took issue with the self-centred ''Me Generation.'' On Phuket, though, where thoughts about even deep social topics eventually turn effortlessly to food, the long-standing tradition has been ''the Mee Veneration.'' Hokkien mee - or for those who have their priorities right, mee Hokkien - comes in a variety of delightful forms at Mee Ton Poe, which began close to the Surin Circle clock tower in Phuket City (or Phuket Town as it was once) about 50 years ago. As the old Phuket Town grew rapidly, Mee Ton Poe set up a bright new second restaurant near the Caltex intersection, just before the checkpoint that opens the passage up and over Patong Hill. The expansion was probably viewed as a sign that the quality food produced in Phuket City could one day stretch across the hill to improve standards in Patong, where good value and taste are equally hard to find. Sadly, there was never a Patong branch, so diners on the west coast who hanker for Hokkien mee have to hop the hill to the Caltex intersection branch. The place is creamy and cool, with wooden chairs or stools and wooden tables. It looks charming, mee modern. The proprietors make their own noodles, and even grow their own mushrooms. We were surprised to drop by late for lunch and find groups steadily following all afternoon, seeking their mee fix. Or maybe it was the dessert. Here there's a version of the Phuket banana, beans and ice classic, Oh-A-Oh. Say it fast and often, and it has the same orgasmic ring as the Katz Deli ''I'll have what she's having'' scene from 'When Harry Mee Sally.' It tastes pretty good, too. There are plenty of cakes if the Oh-A-Oh fails to excite. You can start the chant in the car on the way: ''Mee, mee, mee.''

How to find it: In Phuket City head west from Surin Circle or if you are coming from Patong, go over the hill and keep going towards Phuket City until just after the Caltex intersection. Make a sharp left as you hit the first bend.

Parking: At the Kathu restaurant there is parking out front but you need to keep an eye on speeding traffic going in and out.

Phuketwan reviewers pay for their own meals. If we don't, we tell you.
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