Thamachat Natural Restaurant Phuket Town
Thamachat (Thammachat or Tamachart) is the name of a tropical oasis in Phuket town, which farangs and locals have dubbed Natural Restaurant since “thamachat” means “natural” and their Thai food menu is prepared without MSG. But the thatched roof, multilevel terraces, odd nooks and jungle-like ambiance is what sparks curiosity. Even those accustomed to exotic Phuket restaurants find the décor inspiring. Amidst creeping philodendrons, twisting tress and stone fountains is a medley of antiques, log tables, tribal masks & “junk” – a typewriter, goddess sculptures, teddy bears, elephant carvings, an old TV, glass-ball fishing floats, wicker lamps & metal lanterns. Natural Restaurant Phuket Town - on Phutorn Rd. (400m from Ranong Rd.), is open from 9am to midnight.
address: 62/5 Soi Phutorn, Bangkok Road, Talad Yai
Thai food menu at Thamachat – The Natural Food Restaurant in Phuket Town
Thai foods, be they eaten standing around street vendor stalls or served in luxury, are almost always exquisite – perhaps even the giant snail and fermented sea slugs on Andrew Zimmern’s Thai food menu were scrumptious… hmmm… but that’s another story belonging to another Phuket restaurant. The point is that it’s easy to find great Thai food almost anywhere on Phuket island, and Thamachat Natural Restaurant is no exception. Amongst their specialties are barbecued Moo Sateh skewers with savory morsels of seasoned pork; Yum Nua spicy beef salads with lots of mint & cilantro; traditional Tom Kha Kai soup made from coconut milk & chicken seasoned with lemongrass, lime leaves, slices of galangal (Siamese ginger), black chili paste and coriander; Kai Ho Bai chicken wrapped in Pandanus leaves seasoned with oyster sauce and served with sweet & sour chili dip; an array of mixed seafood or beef hot plates and of course fresh oysters that glide down easily with a little hot sauce. There’s also Homok seafood curry; Mussamun beef or pork curry with a sauce made from coconut milk & peanuts seasoned with cardamom, massaman curry paste, tamarind and Thai basil; curry duck in coconut sauce; and this writer’s particular favorite: Tom Yam Kung spicy shrimp soup with lemon grass, chili, lime leaves and what gives the soup it’s distinct aroma: kaffir-lime. There are also tiger prawns with garlic & chili; deep fried crab, and several varieties of rice dishes including pineapple fried rice. These are just a sampling of what’s on the Thai food menu at Natural Restaurant in Phuket Town; in fact there are over two hundred items available, although some of them are not Thai, but local versions of international comfort foods.
Natural Restaurant also has an exotic drink menu worthy of sampling, including sweet mango juice (and green mango, too) as well as pitaya fruit drink, listed on the menu as dragon fruit juice. Pitaya or dragon fruit is a kind of prickly pear or cactus fig that’s purple on the outside and deep plum-colour, soft pink or white on the inside. No matter which variety is whipped up, the juice of the dragon-like pitaya cactus fruit is strange to see in a glass. If the juice is made from the white variety, and served unstrained, there’ll be zillions of tiny black seeds that almost taste like poppy seeds; if made from the purple fruit, it’s a surreal colour to drink.
Thamachat stands out from other Phuket restaurants
If you visit Phuket for the first time and are trying your first mouth-watering bites of Thailand foods, each spicier than the last, it may be difficult to evaluate which of the over eight hundred Phuket restaurants is the best (yes, over 800 in Phuket Town alone, not to mention all the ones across the island from luxury resorts to street vendor stalls, bars, lounges and beach clubs). Choosing any place that looks good on the spur of the moment while wandering can prove a fun adventure, but if your time on the island is limited, it’s worth selecting a few places with a long-standing track record. It’s one of the reasons Sambawalker suggests Natural Restaurant in Phuket Town as an option because for almost twenty years it’s been serving Thai foods to foreigners and locals who return time and time again. There are no majestic views from Thamachat’s terraces, in fact the oddly shaped thatched building is situated on an ordinary street in an average part of town, but the atmosphere is welcoming, the décor charming, the service above average and the prices affordable. It’s a place for eating authentic Thai food while relaxing, conversing, and if the company is right, perhaps conducive to a little romancing.
Sambawalker’s Phuket Map
Find your way to Natural Restaurant Phuket, and lots of other funky places around the island, using Sambawalker’s Phuket map and mobile app. Locate restaurants with a similar quirky atmosphere and discover new venues for partying on the beach, dining with a view and relaxing with cocktails.