Phuket living: Restaurants off the beaten track

By: RebeccaJK

I've lived in Phuket, Thailand for almost six years now. During that time I've had a lot of fun exploring the island.

So, I thought you might like to hear about a few of my favourite places.

Places that only locals and a few savvy expats know about.

Some of them you won't find in any guide book.

Today, I’m going to tell you about some great restaurants...

My favourite Thai restaurant is Natural (Thai: Thammachat ) in Phuket town.

The crew at Natural have been serving up delicious Thai food for over fifteen years.

The restaurant is set in an old-fashioned Chinese house, surrounded by creepers and lush tropical gardens – it makes you feel like you are dining in the middle of the rain forest - even though you are in the heart of the city.

The decor is rather eccentric and includes antique radios, electric train sets – even the fish tanks are made from old TV's. Every time you visit something different will catch your eye.

But the best things about this place are the quality of the food and the friendly staff. The prices pretty good too...

Some classics from the menu are; beef massaman curry - 80 Baht; deep fried soft shell crab - 120 Baht; and shrimp hot plate - 150 Baht.

Another hidden gem in Phuket Town is Dibuk Restaurant.

When I discovered this restaurant a few years ago I was shocked.

I love French food and I never expected to find any this good in Phuket.

What is even more unbelievable is that the chef is Thai.

In fact, he taught himself to cook French food without even visiting France.

I know what you are thinking – “it can’t be that good” – but it really is. Don’t take my word for it though - give it a try and find out for yourself.

Dibuk is set in a converted Sino-Portuguese shop house in Phuket Town; it's decorated in an old colonial French style and has lots of atmosphere.

On the menu are frogs legs (the frogs actually come from Phang Nga province), stuffed quails, lamb with thyme sauce and many other classic French dishes.

The chef even makes his own patés from scratch!

The best Italian restaurant in Phuket, in my opinion, is La Gaetana – also in Phuket Town.

La Gaetana is owned by Giovanni Ferrara ('Gianni') and his wife.

When you first arrive you will be presented with the menu.

Once you have had a few minutes to relax and have a drink, Gianni will come to your table. He’ll sit down with you and discuss exactly what you would like and how you would like it preparing.

In fact, it doesn’t even have to be on the menu – as long as he’s got the ingredients, Gianni will make it for you.

The produce is excellent and includes wide range of fresh pastas (made on the premises) and Porcini mushrooms imported from Italy.

Gianni also keeps a fine range of Italian wines and is an enthusiastic sommelier.

The atmosphere is intimate, with only eight tables, and it’s definitely advisable to make a reservation before you go as the restaurant is usually fully booked.

Those are just a few of my favourite Phuket restaurants.

If you would like to know more – drop me a line.

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Rebecca Smith is a real estate journalist and author with over 15 years’ experience. She has published 3 books to date:

'The Definitive Guide to buying property in Thailand'

'10 simple ways to slash your marketing costs and sell more property'

'The Definitive Guide to buying property in Phuket'

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