Phuket - please critique this list
Greetings again, fellow Hounds. Similar to my earlier post re Bangkok dining – my wife and I will be in Phuket late next month. Unfortunately, a relatively short (three day) visit. We could use some food advice. Lucky us, we’re staying at Amanpuri – one dinner will definitely be at Naoki, on the Aman property. Based on research I’ve done so far, I’ve pasted a list below of some places recommended to us and others that look interesting. Primary interest is great food, food with flavor, and a focus on Thai. Interested in any type of place, all the way down to individual vendors on the street/beach. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, additions to this list, etc.
Baan Rim Pa
Bangtao Market (vendors – Tuesdays and Fridays)
Chang Talang Market (vendors – Mondays and Thursdays)
Kra Jok Sri
Mom Tri’s Kitchen
On the Rock
Pan Yaah Thai Restaurant
Patong Seafood Restaurant
Saffron (Banyan Tree Hotel)
Street food/vendors just off Surin Beach
Boy, you have done your research. Good for you. I have only been to a couple of those spots, last year. In particular, we liked much the food at Silk. The restaurant is in an upscale very small shopping center (nicer than it sounds), up a flight of stairs. It is pretty and well done. They have a good website. Service was good. The curries were all excellent, ditto the banana flower salad and they had a great soft shell crab dish. Their menu, I believe, indicates "house specialties" and those that we tried were excellent.
One more spot you may want to add is the restaurant at Trisara. Yes, it is a hotel restaurant but, the setting is beautiful and the food was outstanding. The hotel is relatively new and a competitor of Aman's. It is very Thai and, at night, the area outdoors is all lit up, with a beautiful pool off to one side. The restaurant looks over the water, though you can't see much of it because it is dark. The restaurant is run by Neil Perry, the Aussie chef (or at least was last year) and he had just visited that prior weekend for some special dinner offerings. Though we missed those, the meal we had a few days later was outstanding. Best black pepper soft shell crab we had in Thailand, outstanding pad thai, spicy pork dish and good service. The drive to Trisara is a bit of a haul, but we thought well worth it.
Nice list. My wife and I were in Phuket in January and had an opportunity to check out a few of the names on your list. Mom Tri's Boathouse is worth the trip. The Phuket lobster was the most enjoyable of my life (exceptionally sweet and well prepared). I believe we had it both as a starter and a curried type main dish. Tom Yum soup was also memorable - perfect balance of sour, sweet and spice.
We also dined at On the Rock - less than memorable. Indeed, I cannot remember what we ordered. If you have only a limited amount of time I would suggest other destinations. Regrettably we had reservations at Raan Rim Pa but I came down with a 24 hour bug and we had to cancel. If you go, I'd be interested to learn what you think. . . never too early to plan for next time. Enjoy!
Baan Rim Pa is great. Well worth a visit!
But as discussed on another thread, smart and expensive Thai places in Thailand don't necessarily serve the finest food. In Patong, Phuket, there's a cafe called Lucky Six (or is it double six) that's open onto the street on Rat-u-Thit Road, which is one of the main thoroughfares. The food is fantastic!
I used to eat there regularly and one time I asked the lady to let me try the spiciest thing she had on her menu. "Sure?" she asked, quizzically. "Sure," I said. She brought me this bowl of something that she announced as 'local curry soup'. It was dark green, almost black, and seemed to consist of a couple of kilos of black pepper, a couple of dozen chilis, oh, and some shredded chicken. It almost literally blew the top of my head off but boy, it was delicious.