Cuisine in Phuket
Cuisine and dining in Phuket is by no means limited to Thai food. While there are still thousands of local Thai restaurants and vendors that offer amazing and affordable dishes, more fine-dining experiences are becoming readily available. Many of these fine-dining restaurants take advantage of the natural beauty that Phuket has to offer. Finding establishments with either sea-views or jungle-views is common. Restaurants representing the cuisine of most of the European nations are easily found on the island. Many of these Western restaurants offer a taste of home in a more elegant, upscale setting. There are many Western restaurants on Phuket. Listed below are a three options to choose from, one Italian, one French and one Australian.
Italian Food in Phuket – Cafe del Sol
Cafe del Sol is an Italian restaurant in Kata Beach about ten minutes south of Patong. Situated on the top of a very large hill, Cafe del Sol is on the top floor of the Boomerang Resort. Upon entering, the open-air layout is very inviting and feels a few degrees cooler than the town below. Candles and Thai-style flame-lamps flicker, providing warm lighting throughout. The draperies, art and overall decor are splendid, and the view is magnificent. This restaurant takes advantage of its location, providing both jungle and ocean-views. The open-air setting and the view is a relaxing change from the hustle of the town.
There are plenty of people on staff and the reception is quick and welcoming, even when busy. Being met with a warm smile is a great way to begin a meal. The seating area is mid-sized and can fill up quickly in the high season so reservations are recommended.
The wine list is not extensive (approximately 20 labels), but the bottles listed are superb. The list is large enough to provide proper selections to complement Italian dining, and is served at the proper temperature.
The appetizers are mixed with both Italian and Thai dishes. The Bruschetta has just the right balance of herbs and all of the portions are generous enough for a small group to sample.
There is ample selection for the first course and there are several pasta dishes to choose from. Offering everything from Ravioli Prawns Tomato Basil to Fetuccine Bolognese, and the Chef at Cafe del Sol is able to serve a perfect al dente when the pasta is ordered. The selection of main courses is also quite extensive ranging from Baked Mussels with Spinach and Cheese, to the remarkably tender Saltimbocca alla Romana. Many of the dishes require the guest to place their order in the morning to ensure the freshest ingredients.
The owner, who is Italian, will make his rounds on the dining room floor and is very helpful. The service is attentive, but not overbearing. Between the view, the service and the food, Cafe del Sol provides an overall outstanding dining experience.
- Cafe del Sol website
- Price range between 600-3,000 THB
French Restaurant in Phuket – Royale Nam Tok
The Royale Nam Tok is a French restaurant located in the hills on the way to the waterfall at Kathu. Seeming to be in the middle of nowhere, one might think they were lost or in the wrong place until they open the door. Upon entering, the Royale Nam Tok breathes taste and elegance. The decor is playful yet tasteful in a Rococo design. Most of the furnishings and decor are imported from Belgium. Every detail has been addressed and the ambiance is excellent.
The reception is graceful and courteous, although it is difficult to notice them at first while taking in the different world within the doors. There is the option of dining indoors or outside by the pool. The Royale Nam Tok is very popular so reservations are strongly recommended.
The wine list and drink menu have been well thought out to complement any appetite. No detail has been overlooked and the garnishes that accompany the drink add a great deal to the flavor and presentation of the unique beverages. A welcome plate from the house with different samples is also offered to aid in the menu selection.
Chef Marc creates a new menu feature each month. This includes a first course, main course and desert. His menu is both creative and impeccably thought out. The courses throughout his menu creations perfectly complement each other. There is also an a-la-carte menu that offers items from King Scallops with Saffron and Vermouth Sauce to Angus Beef Tartar, prepared table-side.
The presentation of the deserts is only bested by the taste. Desert wines are available to accompany any of the selections. They are a combination of taste and texture to polish off the experience.
The Royal Nam Tok service is top notch and the food exquisite. Every detail is applied to create the fine experience.
- Royale Nam Tok website
- Price range between 1,800-3,600 THB
Horn Grill Steakhouse
The Horn Grill Steakhouse is located in the heart of Kata Beach. This Australian themed restaurant caters to steak and beef lovers throughout. Walking in, the interior is very modern and fashionably done with a lot of home-town decor on the walls.
The reception is professional, courteous and helpful. There can be a wait, so reservations are recommended. Seating is available indoors and outdoors.
There are a few Australian wines on the wine list that are excellent choices to accompany fine beef. The appetizer menu is simple but satisfying as the portions are just enough to really spark the appetite for a nice cut of beef.
The Horn Grill offers many entrees from an Angus Tenderloin Steak to Grilled Masala Lamb Cutlets. Many menu items include the choice of sauce. The main courses are tasty and it is obvious that special attention has been taken on the sauces. These sauces are not overbearing, so the natural flavor of the tender Australian beef is still apparent. The side dishes that are served with the main courses are wonderful on their own. The Horn Grill has created a full course, concentrating on everything served, not just the entrees.
The desert menu is also simple, but they offer an apple pie. The flakey crust and apple filling is a nice taste from the West.
Escaping the chaotic streets and shopping areas for a good steak can easily be done at the Horn Grill Steakhouse.
- Horn Grill Steakhouse website
- Price range between 350-1500 THB
While Phuket offers a number of activities to have fun in the sun, it also offers a number of upscale places to dine to make a vacation more enjoyable. As tourism expands in Phuket, so do the options available. There are restaurants on Phuket to meet the tastes of any visitor from anywhere.