A local Michelin Restaurant in north Phuket
Ta Tuay is one of the least known local restaurants in Phuket, and most travellers never heard of it before it received a Bib Gourmand from the well-known Michelin Guide to the best restaurants of Phuket. The restaurant is truly hidden, not far from the Sarasin Bridge in the very north of the Island. It is so remote that it took us a long time before we took the time to visit it.
While it is truly a local, Ta Tuay is charming and beautifully decorated, more than the usual hole in the wall that local joints often are. The restaurant also has two large air-conditioned rooms, an outdoor sitting area and a few tables in a fancy green garden. Despite being far and well hidden, the restaurant is packed on weekends and judging by the expensive cars parked outside you can tell that the food addresses to a knowledgeable upmarket clientele. Keep in mind that you should not come without booking in advance as there is a really long waiting list!
What to order?
The food at Ta Tuay Restaurant is very local, with a lot of dishes from Phuket and some that even are known to be specialities of the north of Phuket. The menu is long and very tempting if you are familiar with southern spicy cuisine, and it will require several visits to cover the most famous dishes. This time we went for the most unusual dishes on the menu, because there would be no point to order fried rice! What we ordered was a bit too extreme, but it was definitely fun. We had ‘green caviar’ (officially known as Caulerpa Lentillifera), which are little beads of slimy algae on a branch. It does look good for a photo, and many seem to love it, but it was a little too slimy to our taste.
The second dish, one of our all-time favourites and probably one of the strangest dish you will get to try in Thailand is called ‘Yum Kai Mang Da Talay‘, or Horseshoe eggs salad. It’s definitely not a dish for first-timers, but once you get passed the prehistoric appearance of the ‘crab, it is delicious and unique.
The next dish on the menu is even more unusual and is a speciality from this part of Phuket: a sandworm salad! It took us some courage to eat this one, especially if you search for ‘sandworms’ on Google before starting. Surprisingly, the dish looks like a macaroni salad, but once in your mouth, the texture is crunchy and pretty unique. The taste is difficult to describe, but not very strong, and it is more about the experience than the taste. Next time, we’ll try the deep-fried version, it might more to our taste.
What makes a restaurant successful and special is, of course, the chef. Khun Klak is really a gentle, talented and dedicated person. Despite the bustling restaurant and the obvious race in the kitchen, she came and took personal care of us (as usual we came unannounced and she didn’t know we were here for a review). She just fell sorry when she saw how disappointed we were to hear the restaurant was full and the queue was about 45 minutes! She managed to accommodate us nicely and was so friendly.
Ta Tuay is unique and a real experience if you travel all the way to Phuket and want to taste the real local food. The food is excellent, the restaurant welcoming, the staff and chef always friendly and helpful. It is far from the main beaches and it requires booking in advance, but if you are a food lover, this will be a unique experience.
Ta Tuay Restaurant Info
Location: Sarasin Bridge
Address: 57/10 Mu 5, Soi Ruam Chai 1, Phuket, 83110, Thailand
Open: 11.30 am – 9 pm
Phone: 086 470 4807
Reservation: strongly recommended, especially on the weekend
Ta Tuay Restaurant Map