Panwa House sits right on the silky sands and is a true hidden treasure, an elegantly welcoming traditional Thai restaurant overlooking the sea from Makham Bay all set within the lovely grounds of the Cape Panwa Hotel. This superb restaurant is something of a hidden gem because you really have to know where it is to get there in the first place!

Simply take the road right to the end of Cape Panwa, which is still one of Phuket’s unspoilt corners where the traffic is light and life goes on with all the smiles and gentle graciousness for which Thailand is famous. Just before the aquarium you will see a left-hand turn up and over a steep hill leading to the intriguing foyer of the Cape Panwa Hotel.

From the hotel’s traditional foyer, you will be guided to an old-fashioned funicular of all things, which gently trundles down the steep hillside overlooking the sea to the beauti-ful natural amphitheatre of the bay below where the lovely Panwa House is situated.

The restaurant is set within a two-storey, stone mansion, modelled in the grand Sino-Portuguese style for which Phuket became famous during the early 19th Century tin mining boom. Constructed over 80 years ago, within its grand walls the normal tumult of modern life seems to stand still and the venerable bookcases, grandmother clocks, antique desks and armoires, all from Phuket’s historical tin mining boom era, seem to be lost in time, silently meditating upon the many parties, weddings and famous visitors which these stately rooms have witnessed over the past years.

It’s not for nothing that this sumptuous location is often used in both local and international films and TV series.

As if this combination of historical elegance melting into sublime natural views and splendour wasn’t enough, the cuisine at Panwa House is also authentically Thai using the very best ingredients all prepared and presented in traditional fashion.

We dined sitting on the lovely terrace overlooking Makham Bay under a moonlit sky, with little Hermit Crabs scuttling in their shells beneath our feet. We chose the set menu suppers, which are an excellent way to get a broad overview of the superb cuisine on offer.

Following a starter of glass noodles and vegetables, we tasted the Southern Platter with such local delicacies as stir-fried crab with curry powder, fried Tiger Prawns with Tamarind sauce, sour soup with Thai fish and young coconut shoots, smoked shrimps with spicy shrimp paste and vegetables, and deep-fried fish with Lemongrass. The alternative set menu is the Bangkok platter featuring such luminary dishes as spicy Thai soup with seafood, roast duck in red curry with grapes and pineapples, crispy morning glory spicy salad, deep fried marinated chicken fried in Pandanus leaves, and deep-fried shrimp cakes.

A choice of traditional desserts and drinks, is included in these sets, and so they are the most wonderful way to get a feel for the equally wonderful Panwa House and its amazing restaurant.

Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket
27, 27/2, Mu 8, Sakdidej Road, Cape Panwa, Phuket 83000
Tel:+66 0-7639-1123-5

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