Phuket's Panawa House restaurant delights diners with a choice of seasonal sets
HOUSED IN A BEAUTIFUL 90-year-old Sino-Portuguese residence, the Panwa House beachside restaurant has long been a great place to indulge in classic Thai cuisine. And as the rainy season draws to an end, it is offering two tempting set menus using seasonal ingredients and herbs that promise to heal minor ailments and restore the diner to good health.
The two-storey house in the five-star Cape Panwa Phuket Hotel’s courtyard takes guests back in time to a more graceful era through a fine selection of blue-and-white porcelain showcased in wood cabinets and equally fine mother-of-pearl inlaid tables and chairs.
Diners can enjoy a cocktail as they take in the sunset in the alfresco area, relax in the main dining room that seats 100 or head up to the second floor for a private and intimate dinner.
The kitchen is in hands of executive chef Chamnan Kobuakew, who has worked with Cape Panwa for more than two decades. His dishes are prepared to authentic Thai recipes and use only the best quality ingredients available in local markets and fresh seafood from local fishing villages.
“We offer several kinds of local delicacies from the southern and central regions that are good for the health. We make our own curry pastes and adjust the level of spiciness to the individual customer’s taste,” Chamnan says.
The two sets – the BKK and Southern Platters – are each priced at Bt1,400 and include a dessert and beverage. Guests are welcomed with a local or herbal drink including traditional Thai iced milk tea
and a choice of roselle, bael fruit, longan and lemongrass juice.
The Southern Platter boasts a starter of spicy Glass Noodle Salad or refreshing Fruit Salad and comes on a rattan tray. Steamed rice is served with five main dishes, among them Stir-fried Crab with Curry Powder, juicy Fried Tiger Prawn in sweet tamarind sauce and Sour Yellow Curry with Thai Fish and Young Coconut Shoots. The favourites, Chamnan says, are Spicy Shrimp Paste served with Smoked Shrimps and local vegetables and Deep-fried Fish with Lemongrass.
The Southern Platter
“In the Southern region, we often put turmeric in food. This is typical of Malaysian cuisine and turmeric has proven medicinal properties for the intestinal system, The shrimp paste we use for our Nam Prik Goong Siab comes from Ranong and is bright red. We make our yellow curry paste with several kinds of chilli such as bird’s eye chili, cayenne pepper, dried chilli and black pepper to create a full flavour,” he explains.
The BKK Platter set is less fiery and features Spicy Thai Soup with Seafood, Mushroom and Lemongrass and Roasted Duck in Red Curry mixed with grapes, tomato and pineapple.
This time the steamed rice is paired with Crispy Morning Glory Spicy Salad with prawn and minced chicken, Deep-fried Marinated Chicken Wrapped with Pandanus Leaf and Deep-fried Shrimp Cakes, which are freshly made every day.
The BKK Platter
“The chicken is marinated with herbs and blended pandanus leaf to make the meat tender and give it a rich aroma,” Chamnan says.
Diners can choose to end their meal with one of three desserts: Tamarind Sherbet, Mini Dumplings in Coconut Syrup and chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or coconut ice cream.
>> Panwa House is in Cape Panwa Phuket Hotel. It’s open daily except Monday from 6.30 to 11pm.
>> Find out more at CapePanwa.com.