One of the more popular restaurants in Thailand is MK Suki where you can cook for yourself on the table. A cheaper version of this came out some years ago and was very popular for a while. It was the same principal but it was an all you can eat buffet for only 69 Baht. This became extremely popular and the “Moo Ga Ta” restaurants started to pop up everywhere. As demand grew, prices started to go up and I think they now advertise them for around 99 Baht per person, excluding drinks. ”Moo Ga Ta” means “pork in a pan” but I just call it “hot plate”.
What you do is choose a table where you first order your drinks. They then bring out a charcoal stove with a hot plate on top. This has a trough around it full of water. This is for boiling your vegetables and seafood. While this is heating up you go and get your selection of meat and vegetables. Once you have chosen your meat, you then make a selection of the sauces. By this time the hot plate is really hot and you go back to start cooking. It is all very simple. Meat goes on top and the vegetables go in the water. You can also help yourself to fried rice, fried noodles, som tam, fruit and a large selection of other food in the buffet.
I haven’t been to a ”Moo Ga Ta” for years. Partly because I had been too many times and was getting bored, but also because the prices kept going up. Like other people, I also bought myself an electric version of “Moo Ga Ta” but haven’t used it for a while. It’s not quite the same when you have to clean up the mess yourself. Then on Twitter yesterday @bm_ mentioned about a service that takes the pain out of BBQ Hot Plates. A flyer for one such service can be seen above. The price they quote is 200-300 Baht. What they do is deliver the hot charcoals, hot plate and food to your door and then come back the next day to pick up the mess! Sounds like a good idea. Has anyone tried it yet?