Wining and dining in Phuket: some hot picks

By Chantana Jasper

Phuket boasts some gorgeous beachside dining

Phuket is a world-class holiday destination and thus features top-notch amenities including a plethora of internationally competitive dining establishments. You can find any type of cuisine in Phuket, with wining and dining being a favourite pastime of locals and tourists alike. Here are some of our favourites:

Baluchi (Indian cuisine in Patong)
Just because this restaurant is in a resort doesn’t mean it’s serving hotel food. Here at Horizon Beach Resort, you’ll find two Indian master chefs preparing what most consider to be the best Indian food in Phuket. Many local Indians choose this as their top dining-out place for Indian cuisine. The authenticity of the food is unparalleled.

Baluchi sports a massive menu of fabulous dishes, and specialises in curries and tandoori cooking. Although modern tandoors (clay ovens) use gas, the restaurant chooses to use a traditional charcoal tandoor to give the food the distinctive flavour and aroma that gas simply cannot.

The achari gosht is great for meat and pickle lovers, while the vegetable pulao is a perfect side dish to the curries. The vegetable samosas boast a strong flavour and light composition. Something to try is the achari fish tikka, tender pieces of fish filet marinated with herbs and tangy spices and grilled in the tandoor.

A favourite dish is the butter chicken and the signature dish of the restaurant is the Baluchi kebab, a must-try combination dish of prawns, chicken, mutton and fish that amply serves two diners. The masala tea is a must for after dinner.

Phuket hospitality

Sphinx Restaurant and Theatre (Thai and Western food in Patong)
Enjoy a massive, exquisite dinner followed by a riveting Broadway cabaret-style show at Sphinx. While some might think a restaurant and theatre would focus primarily on the performance and have average food, this is certainly not the case here. The cuisine, atmosphere and performance are all of the finest quality.

The Watermark is popular

Diners can choose from a large a la carte menu or try one of the European or Thai set menus which provide superb value for money. There is also a set menu for children, and parents can rest easy as the show is family-friendly.

To give you an idea of the Thai set menu, one of them consists of: thord man goong (deep fried shrimp patties with plum sauce); tom kha gai (chicken with coconut soup); gaeng phet phed yang (red curry soup with grilled duck; gai pad met mamuang (fried chicken with dried chillies and cashew nuts) and khao niew mamuang (ripe mango with sweet sticky rice).

Guests are seated in a comfortable lounge area for the performance, of which there are two per night, starting at 21:00 and 22:30. Four different shows are rotated, so returning customers can see new performances.

The Watermark (international cuisine near Phuket Town)

Located at the Boat Lagoon, The Watermark is not just for hungry sailors but does provide a great view of the pretty boats docked here. The open-air restaurant has a menu which changes every 6 months to provide plenty of variety. The best way to start your dining experience at The Watermark is with a passion fruit margarita, the restaurant’s signature drink, along with a tasty appetiser.

Locanda (Italian and steaks in Kata)
The speciality here is steak of all cuts, imported and aged at least 6 weeks. Try the grilled Japanese pepper tuna fillet with teriyaki sauce, served with butter rice, or if you’re in the mood for beef, the Angus tenderloin corn-fed fillet. The salad bar is stocked full with delicious fresh veggies.

Ratri Jazztaurant (Thai cuisine in Kata)
Ratri Jazztaurant overlooks Kata Bay and the Andaman Sea. The spirit of Ratri Jazztaurant is, of course, the spicy jazz that casts a spell over even the most casual of listeners.

Ratri Jazztaurant is truly triumphant with a variety of Thai tasteful cuisine prepared in a highly fused and modernised style. The salmon sashimi and yum nua yang (spicy sirloin salad) are both mouth-watering. A dish not to be missed is the pla neung manao (whole steamed sea bass in fresh Thai lime and spices), served with steamed rice nicely wrapped in banana leaves and imparting a subtle anise fragrance over the food.

Mom Tri’s sits right on Kata beach

Mom Tri’s Boathouse Wine and Grill (French and international at Kata)

Try the four-course Thai degustation menu, which includes a glass of wine with each course, or the chef’s recommendation of the day. Examples of menu items are the golden crispy duck spring rolls with mango dressing; prawn, avocado and tomato confit with olive oil and balsamic dressing; steamed seafood mousse with curry sauce; roasted rack of lamb; red mullet filet.

Full Phuket restaurant guide

Sala Bua (international cuisine in Patong)
Located on the beach behind Impiana Phuket Cabana, this restaurant serves award-winning cuisine in a romantic atmosphere. Try the beer-battered Pacific oysters served with wasabi-flavoured aioli sauce and cumin grissini, or the herb-crusted rack of lamb served with homemade mushroom noodles and slender green eggplant ratatouille. Don’t forget the amazing baked chocolate cream, served with vanilla ice cream and mocha anglaise, or the pudding of banana and bittersweet chocolate served with sautted apples and Tia Maria anglaise

Joe’s South (fusion food in Kata)
Slightly hidden near Kata Gardens, Joe’s South has rapidly become one of Phuket’s finest dining and drinking venues. There are glass-enclosed seating pavilions for intimate dining, along with a cool bar area and deli/bakery as well as alfresco dining. Try dishes like soft-shell crab with tamarind chilli sauce or white snapper fillet sauteed with snap peas and crisp nori chips.

Mali Seafood Restaurant (seafood in Kata)
Mali at Sugar Palm Resort offers a distinctly cosmopolitan dining experience with a classy atmosphere, just off the main strip. The cuisine is seafood with a Thai, modern flair and guests are tantalised by the fresh flavours and exceptional presentation. The signature dish of the restaurant is the seafood hot plate, a selection of flambed mixed seafood served on a hot plate. Grilled rock lobster tails served with garlic butter sauce and saffron rice is another excellent choice; or, for the indecisive, there is the Andaman seafood mixed grill, which gives you a sampling of rock lobster, tiger prawns, squid and fillet red snapper with creamy curry sauce and saffron rice.

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