Baluchi Restaurant - Phuket
Patong Beach Restaurants & Dining0
Indian food is extremely popular all around the world but like with any speciality cooking there are those who succeed and those who don't quite make the grade. One successful Indian restaurant is Baluchi in Patong.
No longer a bright-eyed newcomer to Phuket, Baluchi has matured and grown into an established, well-respected restaurant known for its meticulous attention to details in recreating sub continental cuisine.
Where Is It?
In the Horizon Beach Resort, on Soi Kepsap in Patong.
Soi Kepsap links the southern part of Rat U Thit Road with the Beach Road but be warned – it does not have vehicle access from the Beach Road so if you are within walking distance don't take the car as driving in this area is complicated.
If you do, the resort has a small parking lot.
Baluchi is open sided and ceiling-fan cooled. Tables and chairs are of solid wood while the floor is beige tiled.
Clever glass table top arrangements cover a variety of Indian spices and brass-handled serving implements and bowls add a touch of exotica, as do Indian-themed wall friezes.
It's not an intimately lit restaurant – more functional than romantic and a place where food, not fancy surroundings, is the most important factor in the restaurant's character.
Most nights, past nine o'clock until late, the percentage of local Indians amongst diners at Baluchi gets quite high.
This lends a marked Eastern atmosphere to the place and it can seem somewhat incongruous to see relaxed and sun-burnt holidaymakers sitting table-to-table with serious Indian food lovers in saris and turbans.
Still, this all adds to the character of the place. Echoey Indian background music helps things along somewhat.
Diners can choose from a 14-label list that features the popular A Bosco dei Cirmioli Rosso from Italy, a French Grand Cuvee du Rose, and an equally popular Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Favori.
We sip on the house red – a decent Santa Alicia, an award-winning Chilean tipple. Indian food may be worlds apart from Thai food but it shares one characteristic – the choice of wine with your dishes is entirely up to you so go for whatever you like.
There's even Kingfisher Beer for those who want the real Indian beverage deal.
Baluchi now boasts the skills of Indian chef Ratan Singh, late of the Mumbai Hyatt. His talents seal the authenticity of this restaurant, such as with some truly scrumptious dal makhani – lentils and beans soaked overnight with ginger, garlic combined with a tangy masala base.
This we eat with garlic naan bread but Hizfur, Horizon's Indian F&B Director, gently points out that we should have started with the chicken tikka with kasturi methi and that dal and naan are more main courses.
Anyway, the boneless chicken in spinach puree, kasturi methi and spices is a whole medley of tastes in one mouthful.
The same with the cottage-cheese-based paneer tikka with lababdar marination – many of these dishes are marinated beforehand, lending a fresh spicy combination. Hizfur also explains why Baluchi has such a healthy reputation – because it uses genuine Indian ingredients and spices, along with long-grain polished rice.
He points out that the restaurant is immensely popular with vegetarians as the menu includes plenty of Gujarati Jain food. There are many, many examples of attention to detail here at Baluchi and it means that a genuine Indian experience is possible in Phuket.
Thai wait staff, Indian food: sure, there's a bit of a culture gap here but certainly not big enough to present any serious problems. Hizfur bends over backwards to meet the dietary needs of his guests so don't be afraid to let him know if you have a special request.
- Location: Baluchi Restaurant at Horizon Beach Resort
- Address: 64/39 Soi Kepsap, between Beach Road and Rat U Thit Road, Patong.
- Tel: 076 292 526