Moo Kata: Thai fondue

It’s no secret that Thai people love to eat! They sit at the table several times a day, sometimes up to 5 times in one day! Another characteristic of the inhabitants of this country, it is the fact of often sharing this moment in community, the dishes are thus proposed, exchanged, distributed… so that each one is ensured to be able to be nourished with his hunger.

Little by little, over the centuries, the Mookata was formed naturally: people met to eat on the ground, on a mat around a fire, raised by a pan. Obviously, this moment of conviviality and communion became over time, one of the favorite leisure activities of the Thais.

This type of restaurant is particularly popular in the Pays du Sourire. Centered around a large outdoor buffet, the “Moo Kata”, (literally “pork pan”), remains one of the great pleasures of Thai families. It exists almost everywhere in the Kingdom of Siam. However, while locals (and expatriates) have been familiar with this kind of barbecue for a long time, few travelers have heard of this great moment of relaxation typically Siamese.

The “Moo Kata” is a real institution in Thailand. It is above all an opportunity to get together, for a family party or with friends, around a buffet and a device with a strange appearance: a grill in the shape of an aluminum dome is placed on a small earthenware hearth fuelled by incandescent charcoal embers.

All around the dome, there is a circular channel containing the broth made of hot water, all kinds of ingredients (vegetables, meat or fish balls, noodles…), and cooking juices from the grill.

At the top of the container, one can grill everything, the slices of bacon (placed in the center of the “Moo Kata”, they will produce the juice and give all its flavor to the various dishes), shrimps, squid, meat (chicken or pork in thin strips), vegetables … Using small individual ladles and chopsticks (for the noodles), we have the food and broth that we pour into bowls and plates.

The frying pan is placed in the center of the table, with each guest placing his or her food in a festive and friendly atmosphere where the alcohol usually flows. All is served with several sauces, including the famous “Su-Ki” sauce, to enhance the taste.

Moo Kata” restaurants offer huge all-you-can-eat buffets in the open air, which are extremely popular in Thailand. Generally, these places are divided into 3 main areas: an open-air table area, a courtyard table area and a buffet area where all the food is available. They are generally open from 5pm to midnight.

To choose a quality “Moo Kata”, you just have to see the world that is there. If the place is crowded with customers (up to several hundred local amateurs from all social classes), you can be assured that it is a quality establishment. The “turn over” in terms of food is done there regularly, and the freshness of the products will be more than satisfactory.

Along with the ingredients for the “Moo Kata”, many typical dishes will also be offered to you, while the choice of desserts is, on average, rather limited, with fruits and specialties of incongruous colors and consistency, enhanced by a very special flavor.