Sat under a flimsy corrugated roof in what could have been someone’s garage, we ate our most authentic and delicious Thai meal, while on holiday in Phuket. This cookery school-cum-restaurant is a quirky joint with rather amusing decor – close our eyes and we could have been in a classy Mayfair brasserie with a grand piano player and linen tablecloths. Giant chandeliers hung above the grubby plastic tables for a touch of class, while the chefs paid great attention to the presentation of their food, to jazz up the plastic plates.
The menu here is much more concise than those at others restaurants we had been to, and boasted local specialities, such as cashew fried chicken and Pad Thai.
Appetisers are offered on the house. I’m not usually a fan of fried spring rolls, but these ones were light, crisp and not at all oily. And I happily plunged the soft satay chicken stick into the rich and spicy peanut sauce.
I chose the Tom Kha Gai soup and it was excellent. The light and fragrant chicken broth was brimming with aromatics of ginger, bay and lots of lemongrass. And the coconut flavour didn’t overwhelm or create an oily soup – just enough was added to give a hint of flavour and richness without making the dish heavy. Concealed within the broth were piece of chicken, plump mushroom and soft onion.
The Pad Thai was also incredible, using fine vermicelli noodles instead of the wider variety of rice noodle. The noodles were tossed with crispy bean sprouts, vibrant spring onion and a tasty chilli-peanut sauce.
Fresh fish can be ordered steamed or fried, and expertly flavoured with one of the chef’s secret sauces or broths. The glass-like skin of the fried fish was perfection, and the delicate, soft flesh of the steamed fish was beautifully complemented by a subtly sweet, fresh and vibrant ginger and lemongrass broth. A lover of fresh ginger, I was in my element with the amount piled on top of the fish!
Last, but by no means least, on our taste adventure, was the Massaman curry, infused with warming star anise and cinnamon, creamy coconut and sweet-sour tamarind. Massaman is often made with lamb, but all meats were available to add, along with chunks of waxy potato and translucent onion. The dish was generously topped with an assortments of crispy fried bits, among which was definitely garlic, and perhaps dried shrimp[?].
I’m still unsure whether pineapple fried rice is a Western invention, but regardless, the Thai make it best and it’s one of my favourites. Served in a pineapple bowl, the fluffy rice had been tossed with salty shrimp floss (a strange, but tasty creation), whole peanuts, fresh pineapple, coriander, chilli and whole shrimps. We were fighting over this one!
After our meal we stuck around a while and played pool on the slightly tilted table with a few ice cold Tiger beers – a great end to the day.
The Thai Kitchen
5 KedKwan Road,
T: +66 76 284 510