38 (!) restaurants in Phuket received Michelin Guide’s recommendation in the latest edition of the famous red book. 25 scored Michelin’s “Plate” badges awarded to eateries serving “a good meal”, “carefully prepared” with “fresh ingredients. Another 12 took home a “Bib Gourmand” award given to places that the guide’s inspectors favoured for their good value. 25 + 12 makes 37. Is one missing? No, it’s right here, and it scored Phuket’s first ever Michelin star.
PRU, the winners of Phuket’s first Michelin star, was on the lips of Phuket foodies for a while now, and for a good reason. On an island blessed with numerous great restaurants serving dishes from around the globe or authentic Thai cuisine, they were doing something…different. Their philosophy of “plant, raise, understand” translates into intricate dishes made using ingredients sourced from their own 16,000 sqm organic farm, which are essentially local, as in made with local produce, but offer a refreshing look on what can be achieved with locally grown ingredients, beyond Thai flavors that we’re used to. A refreshing concept, the effort of a dedicated culinary team led by chef Jim Ophorst, plus a splendid oceanside location within the luxury Trisara resort, resulted in a combination that first caught the attention of Phuket’s fine dining fans, and later of Michelin inspectors.
Except for PRU, Michelin acknowledged a number of Phuket restaurants that we’ve known and loved for a while now. Acqua, Bampot, Suay, Ta Khai…there are just some of the places recommended by Michelin, that we’ve previously written about, while many others we visit frequently to simply enjoy the food, without bothering to take pictures or notes. Michelin, for example, gave its blessing to 13 street food spots in Phuket, though I’m sure we could recommend twice as many.
So, what does that first star mean for Phuket? It certainly means a lot for PRU – we have it from a trusted source that chef Ophorst’s team have their hands busy with full bookings night after night. As for the rest of the island, we’ve known for a long time that it deserves a prominent spot on the world’s culinary map. Now it’s time for the rest of the world to find out.