Once a backpacker haven with dazzling beaches and cheap food, Phuket has been a fixture on Asia’s tourist trail for decades. Today, its many high-end villas and luxury hotels are attracting new travellers in search of fine food, great cocktails and new experiences. Here’s a look at what’s new for visitors to Phuket.
An eccentric newcomer to Phuket’s restaurant scene is HOME Kitchen, Bar & Bed, just north of Patong in a hangar sized space cleverly renovated by the new owners, the Underwood family, into an intimate restaurant with waterfront views, warm lighting, cosy couches and quirky home fixtures. HOME doubles as an art space with an upstairs gallery featuring local artists, while dishing up international cuisine like Wagyu steaks, chocolate lava cake and signature cocktails. Go on Tuesday evening to dine at the chef’s table with a set menu under 1,000 baht. If you appreciate their decor, check out the Underwood’s design studio located near IKEA in the centre of the island.
Couples seeking a more romantic night should try Benny’s American Bar & Grill, located on a quiet road between Surin and Bangtao near the luxurious Amanpuri resort. This hotspot serving up excellent cocktails, ribs and other casual fare was founded by longtime Phuket resident Benedikt De Bellis, an Italian who earned his chops among Phuket expats by managing established icons like Catch Beach Club and Siam Supper Club.
© This article was first published in Aug-Sept 2017 edition of World Travel Magazine.