Best Soul Food in Phuket: Sri Panwa's Baba Soul
There's food, and then there are meals. Meals that have taken time to perfect, love to churn and people to devour with. I may not be a food writer, but like an unabashed stereotypical Singaporean, I love food with a passion. Obviously. If I had even less self control than I already do now, I would be 400lbs.
When you love food and you love making food as much as I do, you tend to seek out good food. Not necessarily expensive food, but food that you know have been made by love, with fresh, whole foods and not laden with MSG, as a lot of food in Singapore, hawker or otherwise are.
(Fun fact: I get really itchy and my eczema flares up when I eat food with MSG, so I can be a human MSG detector machine. I detest places that use MSG - if you can cook, cook. Why use an artificial cancer-causing flavouring to add flavour to your shitty food if you can't cook? Have some pride, people. Ok, rant over.)
All that said, one of the best meals I had this year was during my short trip to Phuket a few months ago at Baba Soul. Located within the compounds of the amazing Sri Panwa resort, Baba Soul is quite the drive from the city of Phuket, or the more popular beaches like Surin and Patong and because you can literally get amazing food at any street corner, from just about any street cart in the Thai town, it can be a little bit of a bitch to travel all the way to Cape Panwa just for food.
The restaurant serves up a selection of Southern homecooked Thai cuisine. The chefs don't hold back when they create a medley of flavours for their soups, stir frys, curries and dips, all of which you can choose the level of spiciness - from mild, to unadulterated hotness that will send you to nirvana and back.
Don't be shy to order up a storm. Meals like these don't come too often, and even if you want to stick to things that you know, like basil chicken or tom yum soup, they'd probably be one of the most memorable versions of those dishes you've had.
And don't leave without ordering their Yam Ped Krob (pictured), which is a crispy duck salad with Thai local herbs, cashew nuts and chilli with a coconut-chilli dressing. Few words can describe how magical this salad was. Spicy, crispy, sweet and by far, unreal.