History of the Phuketian Gastronomy
Phuket for centuries was a commercial port and also an important centre for tin mining, both activities that saw an influx of other peoples onto the island, most notably Malays and Chinese, who brought their food styles and cooking techniques with them to produce a unique Thai cuisine Phuket-style.
The Portuguese arrived in the 16th century, followed in the next century by the Dutch, English and French, all of them adding a cosmopolitan influence to the busy island, and laying the basis for today’s intriguing food styles, for in terms of creative cuisine Phuket is unique amongst Thailand’s provinces.
Phuket Old Town is the historic centre of the island, a place to wander and admire the graceful old shophouses and mansions, many now turned into galleries, boutiques and restaurants, and often with the most authentic Phuket local food served from stalls and little family-run restaurants tucked into side streets and alleys.
Phuket local food makes full use of locally caught seafood, rice formed into soft Chinese noodles known as kanom jeen, pungent dips made from sun-dried shrimps and tomatoes, and locally grown produce such as pineapple and banana.
The cultural mix, flavours, fresh ingredients, sunshine, and enormous market of appreciative food lovers make dining a wonderful Thai cuisine Phuket experience.
Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra tops for Phuket creative cuisine
Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra is a new hotel that is located in the island’s Old Town, a district famed for its historic roots and its classic Sino-Portuguese architecture, and also for its authentic Phuket local food.
Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra has a selection of innovative restaurants that are different from any other café and restaurant Phuket has to offer, with menus providing a cross-section of the island’s food heritage.
Amor is the elegant all-day dining restaurant serving in addition to its à la carte, buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, each featuring live cooking stations preparing local food that is the best of any café and restaurant Phuket has to offer.
The restaurant has a bright décor with gentle pastel shades, a chic modern design, and an open kitchen where the chefs can be seen busy at work, preparing the Phuket local food.
For everyone who loves Thai cuisine, Phuket bases much of its food on fresh fish and shellfish, coupled with abundant local land produce including coconut and fresh fruit.
On the Amor menu can therefore be found Phuket local food such as prawns in tamarind sauce, grilled tuna with mango, fresh shrimps in a pungent local chilli paste, and a white snapper in a yellow curry soup with young coconut shoots.
The Malay influence can be seen in dishes such as lamb chop in massaman curry, while Chinese dishes are represented by specialties like stewed pork belly in soy sauce, and fresh spring rolls stuffed with fresh vegetables.
Amor serves Western dishes including steak, pork, lamb and fish, along with a range of pastas like linguine, penne and spaghetti with a choice of sauces, most of them based on Phuket local food recipes such as moo hong, which originated with the Hokkien Chinese people, and a sauce made from Andaman seafood and tomato.
With Amor’s other Western, Chinese and Thai menu specialities, this is a restaurant for any time of the day and for the kind of fresh creative cuisine Phuket is renowned for.
Estrela Sky Lounge
Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra features the first sky lounge Phuket offers in the Old Town, Estrela Sky Lounge, on the 17th floor of the hotel.
For a romantic evening or a fun gathering, the trendy Sino-Portuguese-inspired Estrela Sky Lounge Phuket offers breathtaking views of the sea, town and the mountains. Seating is both indoors and outside on the roof deck, giving panoramic views, and allowing guests the opportunity to enjoy the soft fragrant breezes blowing in from the ocean.
Estrela Sky Lounge Phuket opens at 10 am, allowing guests plenty of time to take a table to watch the famous Phuket sunset, and it is open through to midnight, seven days a week.
The venue serves a wide range of beers, spirits, world-class wines and soft drinks. Classic and creative cocktails are whisked up by the talented bar staff, and to ensure that everyone is catered for there is a large selection of non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails.
At Estrela Sky Lounge Phuket, for example, you can enjoy an outstanding selection of premium leaf teas, green tea with lemon or cranberry, mango tea, and mint tea.
Estrela Sky Lounge Phuket serves light snacks and tapas style dishes in true creative cuisine Phuket style, with specialities such as spring roll stuffed with crispy duck, noodles with pork and shrimp, cold cuts, and vegetable samosas with a tangy dip.
The Old Town location of Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra makes the hotel an excellent base to go exploring the beautiful architecture, the art galleries, boutiques and other attractions to be found in this easily walkable district, and upon returning it is good to relax in the most comfortable and friendly café and restaurant Phuket Old Town has to offer.
Amongst these is the innovative Estrela Sky Lounge Phuket, the first high-rise rooftop bar to open in the Old Town.
Lua Lobby Bar
Lua lobby bar is the ideal refuge any time of the day or evening, a place to meet friends, a lively social venue that is as appropriate for morning coffee as it is for afternoon tea and evening cocktails.
The venue features comfortable seating, with sofas and well-upholstered chairs, and a circular bar with a dramatic light sculpture suspended above.
Cakes, pastries, savoury snacks, desserts and ice cream are all served, along with seasonal fruits.
Here can be found coffee from Phuket, Italy and France, and herbal teas made from lemongrass, chrysanthemum, roselle and butterfly pea flower. Hot teas served in a pot, or iced, or whisked up to creative cuisine Phuket standards, with delicious concoctions such as frappe, and tea flavoured with nut milk.
Vegan delicacies include carrot cake, vegan brownies and vegan muffins, while vegan ice cream is served at the ice cream station.
The Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra Lua lobby bar is open until late in the evening, and with its live piano music is the perfect place to round off a busy day.
Phuket Old Town is fascinating to explore, and when looking for a distinctive café and restaurant Phuket probably has the best variety of places aside from Bangkok.
The hotel, being newly constructed, has a fresh and modern design, with views across the bay and town both from the guestrooms and from Estrela Sky Lounge Phuket. This location is also good for exploring the other delights of the island, and for catching a boat trip out around the outlying islands.
Before setting out, enjoy a hearty breakfast at Amor. After a morning shopping in the Old Town, Amor is also the place to sample the highly distinctive Thai cuisine Phuket has to offer. In the evening, take the lift to the 17th floor, and Estrela Sky Lounge Phuket, and settle back with a drink as the sky darkens over the bay.