The meal was enjoyable, but the size of the bill only really became apparent once the couple returned to their room.
There, Tamara Robins, 28, and Derryn Ruolle, 29, found the front door ajar, and the room safe open and empty, except for their passports.
Gone were laptops, a camera, a mobile phone, a purse containing cash and credit cards, wedding and engagement rings, and another precious ring that once belonged to Tamara's great-grandmother.
''If only I'd worn the rings to dinner,'' said Tamara later, tearfully. The biggest shock, though, was to come when the couple were told that the resort where they were staying, the Manathai at upmarket Surin beach, on Phuket's west coast, would only be offering a refund on their room as compensation.
All expenses were waived, however, ''to show concern and support.'' Basically, the resort management say they have no way of knowing the real value of what the couple put in the safe until the stolen items are recovered.
The management decision not to make any offer of compensation came even though a data log showed the safe was last opened by the resort's master key, which is usually kept at the resort front desk, just a few metres from the resort's restaurant, where the couple had dinner.
Investigating officer Lieutenant Sarit Bootnongsang from Cherng Talay Station says 10 members of staff have been interviewed about the theft, but he describes the resort management as ''unhelpful.''
On the other hand, resort manager Tanadol Pongkhankam says he hopes that the police can resolve the case and that their guests get back the stolen items. But compensation? Out of the question.
Ms Robins and Ms Ruolle, who come from Adelaide and live in Hong Kong, remain shocked and angry. Although both acknowledge they should have had travel insurance, they believe the resort has a moral obligation to compensate them and have engaged a lawyer to pursue further action.
Thefts that are probably inside jobs are not uncommon on Phuket, where the tropical holiday island's image has been suffering lately from revelations of jet-ski scams, rip-offs, drink-spiking thefts and other criminal activities.
Intimidation and extortionately high fares have made the local tin-can tuk-tuks an undesirable form of transport, but the drivers impose a public transport monopoly after dark that leaves tourists with few choices except to pay through the nose.
Although Phuket remains a great place for a holiday, increasingly there appears to be a lack of appropriate assistance from authorities for those who do find themselves in trouble.
The most disturbing point of all is that holidaymakers everywhere tend to have faith that if they do need help, authorities will come to their assistance. On Phuket these days, that's not always a certainty.
A Russian man whose leg was badly cut by the propeller of a parasail speedboat as he swam at Kata beach in early December was left to languish in a local hospital. No effort was made to enforce compensation or even to reprimand the driver. The official who oversees Phuket's speedboats and jet-skis, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, merely described the incident as ''natural.''
Soon after, a South African man on a jet-ski crashed into two Australian women on another jet-ski at Patong, putting one of them in hospital for more than a week. While the South African agreed to pay for all the damage to the jet-skis, two hirers turned up at the hospital a couple of days later, seeking to extract more compensation from the injured woman.
The latest rip-off is for motorcycle hirers to let a visitor take a rented motorcycle then steal it back in the middle of the night, using a second key, to demand compensation come daylight.
One expat resident of 10 years' standing says Patong, the nightlife hub on Phuket's west coast, is ''completely and utterly out of control'' when it comes to protecting tourists from scams and rip-offs.
Police say drink-spiking and theft is rife but few victims report the crime - Asian male visitors are said to be a popular target - possibly out of embarrassment. It's certainly possible for men on the make to get laid and robbed in quick succession faster in Patong than just about anywhere else in the world.
More difficult to establish are claims that some bar hostesses brush sleeping drugs onto their nipples.
Phuket, though, has enough broad entertainment options to appeal to families as well as fornicators. Luxury villas and five-star resorts are these days attracting an upmarket audience at the same time as expat beggars are becoming less rare.
Direct flights from Hong Kong and other regional destinations have helped to attract two million international visitors to Phuket this year.
As well as the appeal of Phuket's beaches and coral reefs, the place also has drawing power for travellers looking for fun because of its carefree approach.
While admitting they should have been more cautious, Tamara Robins and Derryn Ruolle would never-the-less like to see far greater accent on the ''care'' aspect of that phrase.
Their case is an object lesson to all travellers. Yes, you can use the safe in your room. But if the items in the safe are stolen, how do you prove it was theft, and how do you prove what was stolen?
A version of this article appears in today's South China Morning Post newspaper in Hong Kong.