To experience Phuket’s evolving haute restaurant scene, you only need a keen investigative spirit. Begin on the streets of Patong or Phuket Town, belly rumbling, and explore. We found these trendsetters doing just the same.
5. Baan Rim Pa $$
Where: Patong, 223 Prabaramee Road
Best feature: the restaurant sits on a small cliff over Patong Bay
Royal Thai cuisine is the specialty here, and that means shellfish-based variations on classic dishes. So it’s lobster green curry instead of chicken, and fried soft-shell crab without its customary bed of jasmine rice. If you’re a traditionalist, don’t worry, because all the familiar spices and flavour combinations are there (think coconut, ginger, kaffir lime, and sweet basil). The ocean view is as beautiful as you can imagine, and the resident pianist knows the kind of twinkling jazz refined diners like.
Baan Rim Pa is eight minutes’ drive away from the Amari Phuket, a stunning beachfront property rated number two out of all the hotels in Patong on TripAdvisor.
4. Raya $
Where: Phuket Town, New Dibuk Road
Best feature: the chance to eat shoulder-to-shoulder with chatty locals in their favourite spot
It’s the time-honoured adage: Go where the locals go. If the always-busy Raya is anything to go by, the locals love an open-plan, long-table affair with spicy curries and lively chatter. This is a place for slow lunches. Take your time, pass bowls around, sample everything, absorb the convivial energy. Like the rest of the Phuket Town old quarter, lovable imperfections cover Raya’s aged Sino-Portuguese interiors. It’s living history; authentic, flavoursome and fulfilling, like the chef’s special green curry.
3.The Boathouse Wine & Grill $$$
Where: Kata Beach, 182 Koktanode Road
Best feature: Thai-French fusion, which is as exciting and pleasurable as it sounds
The Boathouse cellar has 800 different labels and around 6,500 bottles, making it the place for wine on the Andaman coast. You’ll need to book early for a table on the beachfront terrace.
The chef loves to prepare his creations for you tableside, so ask for the steak Diane or the grilled dover sole and say ‘when’. The Boathouse menu’s most daring fusion is its Rock Lobster Trilogy, which comes thermidor, in a green curry sauce and an armagnac sauce. Haute is the standard here, but there are flavours to please the young and the uninitiated.
Resort connection: it’s nine minutes by taxi or tuk tuk to The Boathouse from the Old Phuket Karon Beach Resort, a restored Sino-Portuguese jewel located by the beach.
2.Mom Tri’s Kitchen at Villa Royale $$
Where: Kata Beach, 12 Kata Noi Road
Best feature: proximity to Kata Beach, which makes the day’s catch seem ultra-fresh
Gorgeous modern-meets-traditional architecture, amazing food, an oceanic view: the perfect culinary trifecta. We chose hearty eats, like the slow-cooked veal cheek with porcini mushrooms and the Phuket tuna ‘provençal’ with carrot puree, and can certify Mom Tri’s chefs are masters at their western-Thai blend. Make a booking for sunset, dine windowside and enjoy a passionfruit-coloured dusk unfold over Kata Noi. Unforgettable? See for yourself.
1.Home Kitchen, Bar & Bed $$$
Where: Patong, 314 Phrabaramee Road
Best feature: the eclectic designer interiors
Home Kitchen’s second floor, designed by Australian industrial artist and upcycling pioneer John Underwood, resembles the hull of an old ship, inverted, with its end cut off, so you can look out over the ocean. That’s the decor, but the menu is equally as memorable. Our recommendation: Pair a cocktail made by the in-house mixologist with an entree of king scallop carpaccio. Next, the curry-infused calamari. Then, perhaps, another cocktail: the Home Strawberry & Passion Mojito is good. A glassful of fresh strawberries, passionfruit, mint, lime, and Havana anejo – could there be a better seagazing companion?
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