Authentic Thai flavours, beautiful decor and an atmospheric setting – here’re are five restaurants and cafes perfect for vacation makers keen on indulging in a cultural dining experience:
BAAN RIM PA
When the occasion calls for a special meal, make a stop by to Baan Rim Pa. Tantalise your tastebuds with a spread of royal Thai food once found only in the Grand Palace; tangy herbed salads, spiced soups, curries and seafood dishes are some of the mouthwatering fare found on the menu. A dining experience here is a feast for the senses – the restaurant’s prime clifftop setting overlooks picturesque Patong Bay, the immaculately-decorated interiors offers a romantic ambience and a pianist playing a medley of blues and jazz tunes enlivens the atmosphere.
You know a cafe’s worth checking out when visitors leave rave reviews, calling it ‘the best place in town to chill out’. Chino@Cafe Gallery certainly wins on many counts – the interiors, decorated with Baba Nyonya influences and design elements, has a unique charm of its own, and the menu throws up an extensive selection of mouthwatering fare. Perk up your mornings with an iced coffee and breakfast toast, or enjoy a filling lunch of Thai green curry and refreshing lime soda in the afternoons. A variety of decadent desserts available provides a good reason to make a return trip to the cafe in the late afternoons.
KOPITIAM BY WILAI
Steeped in history, you will find charming traditional touches, like wooden beams across the ceiling, stone floors and traditional wood furniture adorning the interiors of Kopitiam by Wilai. A series of photographs flank the walls, depicting tin mines, ferries and Phuket Town in the days of the old. A couple of ceiling fans keep the guests cool indoors, and the menu offers a good selection of classic Thai dishes, as well as items with a Chinese twist. Satiate your hunger with savoury mains, such as the chicken penang curry, chicken with garlic and pepper and pork in an appetising satay sauce.
ONE CHUN RESTAURANT
The atmospheric setting of One Chun Restaurant is enlivened with a tasteful selection of quirky ornaments. Old clocks, vintage radios and old television sets lend a rustic retro charm. One Chun also packs a punch when it comes to delivering tasty Thai fare, and diners will not go wrong with savouring plates of pak miang koong siab pad khai (stir-fried vegetables with dried shrimps and egg), kang poo (crab curry), moo kua klue (deep-fried pork belly) and kam poo pad manao, a bestseller dish of stir-fried crab in lime sauce. The crowds of locals tucking in eagerly into the items here serve as a testament to the flavours and authenticity of the dishes. Do take note to ask for a lower level of spiciness, for certain dishes add lots of heat to the palate.
Suay brings an innovative twist to traditional Isaan fare, the local cuisine of northeastern Thailand. Traditional dishes are given a fusion spin here, so get ready to savour creative inventions like the lamb taco on roti, cappuccino tom kha sea scallops and Maryland crab cakes with mango chutney and sweet chili aioli. Have a look at the specials blackboard too, for it churns out a selection of items that changes on a day-to-day basis. Refresh your palate with teas, fresh shakes or juices; diners in an indulgent mood may want to indulge in a cocktail or two.
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