Phuket may be a popular beach destination, but it isn’t necessarily
the first place travellers think of for good food. But the resort island
that used to be beach shacks and nondescript all-day dining has
definitely changed in recent years.
Since 2019, the Michelin Guide has included Phuket in its listing,
granting one restaurant, Pru, a coveted Michelin star. And while that
recognition guarantees the restaurant exposure, there are definitely
other eateries worthy of attention, too. Here are just a few
Jampa is a farm-to-fork concept featuring a menu that changes daily.
Montara Hospitality’s Michelin-starred Pru, located in the group’s
Trisara resort, may get the lion’s share of the foodie limelight, but
recent arrival of sister restaurant Jampa has proven that it is ready to
take centre stage as well. The sustainable restaurant anchors the
group’s new residential and resort wellness centre Tri Vananda, that
will fully open next year. Look for creative use of the grill from Chef
Rick Dingen and ingredients harvested just outside their front door. On
Saturdays, lunch moves into the property’s own farm under the label
Hideaway by Jampa, as much table-to-farm as farm-to-table.
Acqua's Chef Alessandro obtains ingredients from far-reaching parts of the world depending on specialties and seasons.
If you’re craving Italian food in Phuket, look no further than Chef
Alessandro Frau’s carefully sourced ingredients. The menu features
bottarga that he cures in-house, but also seasonal produce like wild
asparagus and morel mushroom. And the wine cellar is none too shabby
either. Diners who aren’t in the mood for a multi-course dining
experience can also order a gourmet pizza from the restaurant’s
wood-fired oven. Visitors to Bangkok will soon be able to enjoy Chef
Alessandro’s food without getting on a plane, when Acqua Bangkok opens
its doors in June.
3. L’Arôme by the Sea
A combination of tradition and innovation is reflected throughout L’Arôme by the Sea’s menu
Fine dining is as much about the food on the plate as it is about
technical precision in the kitchen, knowledgeable service, a
well-crafted wine list and a hundred other tangible and intangible
details. At L’arôme by the Sea, Swiss Chef Yannick Hollenstein and his
team deliver all that and more. He embraces local produce like Phuket
lobster with butternut squash and a hint of passionfruit. And he makes a
nod to his homeland with a smoked cheese fondue, that includes a hint
of truffle and a barely set onsen egg.
4. Day & Night of Phuket
This two-storey restaurant is located right in the heart of Phuket Town on Dibuk Road.
The renewed interest in Old Phuket Town is due as much to the
photogenic setting as it is to history and culture. Street art and
painted shop houses vie for the attention of the cameras. The town is
not short on cafés offering selfie ops and Day & Night of Phuket
with its bustling brasserie decor definitely falls into that category.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a menu of tasty Thai, Western and
fusion dishes, from spicy spaghetti, a local favourite, to carrot cake,
not to mention coffees, sodas, mocktails and cocktails.
5. Mrs B Table and Bar
Mrs B Table and Bar serves up western craft, local produce and dishes cooked over a raw wood grill.
Mrs B Bar and Table is the place to be in Laguna, home to several
large hotels and a sizable expat community on the island. And why
wouldn’t it be, with a both comfort food and atmosphere on the menu?
Regulars and visitors alike come for the duck ragoût on ribbons of
papardelle and the whole grilled sea bass. Other attractions include the
DJ nights on Fridays and a very popular happy hour.
6. Peang Prai
Surrounded by lush greenery, only 200 metres from the Bang Pae Waterfall is the family-run Peang Prai Restaurant.
The Michelin Guide isn’t all about white table cloths and fine
dining. The red guide inspectors have taken a look at regional food too
and come up with some gems. Behold Peang Prai, al fresco dining nestled
in the jungle just steps from the Bang Pae Waterfall. This is the stop
for textbook perfect renditions of hard-to find Southern Thai dishes:
sea grapes with chili dip, torch ginger salad or spicy sea snail curry.
Samut is Chef Ton's first restaurant in Phuket, located at the entrance of Nai Harn Beach.
Celebrity ThiTid Tassanakajohn, better known as Chef Ton, is one of
the best-known faces in Thailand's F&B scene. He recently opened
Samut, his first restaurant in Phuket. The daily operations at the cosy
11-seater restaurant are in the competent hands of Chef Chatchawan
Varahajeerakul, who turns out a dazzling tasting menu inspired by all of
Thailand’s coastal regions, not just Phuket. Look for modern takes on
dishes like pla muek nam dum, squid cooked in its own ink.