Phuket is well used to hotel restaurants, local Thai eateries, street food and some far and between and foreigner-run standalone dining spots. But change is on the horizon, as we are starting to see more restaurants launched by a new generation of Thais, often connected to old Phuket families. The most recent is called Tantitium.
Take a house built in 1919 and owned by the same family for almost 100 years, spread some “Tinkerbell Magic Powder” over it by combining ideas from imaginative, young Thai designers with the old villa’s vintage character, and you get Tantitium.
At the entrance, a stunning bar with high backed chairs in subdued lighting welcomes the guests. Alternatively, walk in through the open courtyard to the side and marvel at the balcony above – more dining space awaits upstairs.
Further in there’s a second, more contemporary bar; proceed past it, through the next doorway and before you enter the back courtyard with an adjacent massage parlour, you will come by a neat little herb garden set on racks occupying one of the walls. Fresh basil, rosemary, mint, and other are used in the kitchen and in Tantitium’s premium cocktails. As for the massage, I didn’t get a chance to try it yet, but judging from the design of everything else, I know it will be professional, making the slightly odd combination of “Eat, Drink, Massage” in Tantitium’s slogan even more enjoyable.
My sense is that initially, Tantitium will be a Hi-So hang-out or a Yuppie place; that is for people in the know. But as the word spreads, expats and tourist will appreciate it as another great place to showcase the Old Phuket vibe, along with the likes of as Blue Elephant, China Inn and Raya. Tantitium is a part of the revitalized Phuket Town, where efforts like removing the cable spaghetti from power poles and putting them underground, new paving, restored shop fronts and signage are turning the town into a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction. In many parts of Asia heritage was destroyed; in Phuket, it is preserved. And that’s something to be proud of.
Learn more on Tantitium Facebook page