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White Sand Beach, one of the best restaurants in Greater Phuket

Phuketwan Phuket Restaurant of the Year 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year 2009

WE'VE gone back to the smorgasbord of delights this year for Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year 2009 and gorged ourselves on a second helping.

Yes, in our constant craving for good value we've selected not one but two restaurants, and stretched the choice wider, to Greater Phuket.

As regular readers know, this particular quest of ours is for restaurants that don't leave customers hopping out, having lost an arm and a leg.

Yet satisfaction at every other level is essential. We want consistency and quality and great taste and good service. Is that too much to ask?

We found it more often this year than last year, and one of the difficulties has been going back to good restaurants we know and like instead of trying new ones.

We were mulling over our choice of winner when a commission came along from So we confess we told them all about this year's winners a few days in advance of Phuketwan.

Here they are and here's what we wrote:

Natural Restaurant

If you had two hours on Phuket, where to eat? Somewhere by the beach, if you are hungry for a sea view. But if you want good Thai food in a radically different environment, pull up a chair at the Natural Restaurant in Phuket City. Wrapped around a couple of trees by a couple who couldn't bear to cut them down, Thammachart (Natural) provides leafy glades among the branches, each one stuffed with a mixture of old television sets, sewing machine treadles, hanging orchids and undergrowth. Tarzan and Jane would love it. Hard to find but worth every bend and bite.

White Sand Beach Restaurant and Bungalow

This restaurant was one of the first to reopen in Khao Lak after the 2004 tsunami. Today visitors can sprawl on chairs in the open or under salas on a broad stretch of white Andaman sand. Sunsets do happen elsewhere, but seldom are they seen across sand this brilliant and a sea so blue it sometimes seems to glow. The food is Thai. Need we say more? You'll pay a whole lot less than at the five-star boutique resort next door. Some afternoons and evenings are so beautiful it may even be worth the 90-minute drive from Phuket.

Both restaurants offer an experience we've not had to that quality elsewhere, and we've been back to both several times to check for consistency. Prices? Excellent at both.

We were a little bit surprised, though, the other day at White Sand to find loungers stretched out on the beach in front of the restaurant . . . something we though was a bad Phuket habit, banned in Phang Nga.

But we're not going to tell.

As for Natural, we've been addicted to the place for a long time, and we love the story that owner Sirijid Jaiyen tells. She and her husband moved in to the old house on the site, 20 years ago.

They wanted to open a restaurant but they did not have the heart to cut down the trees, so they built around them. The restaurant has been growing with the trees for 17 years now, time enough to develop the consistent quality we crave.

Khun Sirijid says they cook for Thais, the menu includes recipes from all over the country, and they choose not to compromise. The result: expat visitors and residents flock to the place, too.

The best news of the year for dining on Phuket was the release of the Miele Guide to the region's top dining. The worst news: the guide only contained one Phuket restaurant.

These two join past winners Dibuk and Kan Eang 2, and as such cannot win another Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year title.

But that doesn't mean we won't be back for more.

Finding Natural: Call +66 (0)76 224287 or +66 (0)76 214037 for help or head for Juitui Chinese Temple in Phuket City, near the fresh market, and turn down the oneway road beside it. Natural has a large sign on the left.

Finding White Sand: Go through Khao Lak township and head for Cape Pakarang. White Sands is alongside the award-winning resort The Sarojin, and both are signposted.

You'll find the complete 'Insider's guide to the best of Greater Phuket' at
Other Phuketwan Award Winners

Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year 2008 Award
After dining out at a large number of Phuket restaurants for 12 months, we have cast our votes for the Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year.With a rumble of stomachs rather than a drum roll, here it is.
Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year 2008 Award

Cape Sienna, Phuketwan Resort of the Year 2009
Headland Winner This Resort of the Year embraces compact hillside space and uses music and food to build a base for a strategy that others are bound to follow.
Cape Sienna, Phuketwan Resort of the Year 2009

Phuket's Innovation of the Year for 2009
Phuketwan Award Making peace pay is the innovative mediation system that has been developed on Phuket to the point where police are now also examining the idea.
Phuket's Innovation of the Year for 2009

Phuketwan Resort of the Year 2008 Award
Photo Album Phuketwan starts its second year with its first award for 2008, a new one, for the resort of the year. Take the tour of the resort we think tops the lot and sets the standard.
Phuketwan Resort of the Year 2008 Award

Phuketwan Innovation of the Year 2008 Award
Photo Album Golf and sailing vie for Phuket's top sporting spot and the latest award from Phuketwan reflects that competition. Greet this year's winner of the innovation of the year award.
Phuketwan Innovation of the Year 2008 Award

Phuketwan Attraction of the Year 2008 Award
Photo Album Happiness probably is more important than success. At least, that's the view from 2008 and the view from the Phuketwan ''business'' award winner of the year.
Phuketwan Attraction of the Year 2008 Award

Phuketwan Person of the Year 2008 Award
During the three day Phuket airport siege, Phuketwan updated more than 50 times, often to cover the latest information from a key figure whose skills were soon on show again in the Bangkok blockade.
Phuketwan Person of the Year 2008 Award


Comments have been disabled for this article.


White sand beach restaurant. The most beautiful spot in Khao Lak now in the open. A beach that you find nowhere in Phuket. And a nice restaurant.

A good winner. But the picture with the loungers are a little frightening. Last time only five lounges from the Sarojin. Hopefully too far and too remote for tuktuks and touts and the tourists.

Posted by Lena on December 30, 2009 22:27


I have eaten at Natural twice in the last month. I found the restaurant to be very shabby and very hot. Also, our meals took 45 minutes to be served on both occasions. After all of that, the food was just ordinary. I don't see what all of the fuss is about.

Posted by Mike on March 23, 2010 09:21

Monday July 15, 2024
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