Seen from offshore, Patong has a highly distinctive skyline. The two tallest buildings dominating this skyline are the Patong condominium and the Royal Paradise Hotel.
The Royal Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant at the top of the Royal Paradise hotel, has a much sought-after 180-degree view out over Patong and the Andaman and looking down from this lofty perch, Patong below looks like a toy town.
The Royal Paradise is off Rat-U-Thit Road in the Paradise Complex, downtown Patong. You simply can't miss it. Take the lift from the lobby up to the 24th floor then walk up the carpeted stairs and you'll be in the plush surroundings of this 140-cover restaurant. If you are driving remember that Rat-U-Thit Road is a one-way system heading south.
The Chinese-themed décor and flourish of the Royal Kitchen may be a little 'over the top' for some but when you consider the rich and filling cuisine served here such largesse is very much a logical complement.
Of course the view out over Patong and the sea is very much part of the restaurant's attraction and diners wishing to snag a window seat absolutely must reserve beforehand.
60% of the Royal Kitchen's clientele comes from outside the hotel so the place is fairly busy.
Traditional and formal – or at least as formal as Thailand gets. Soft-voiced and smartly uniformed staff members go about their tasks in near silence (remember, Royal Kitchen is carpeted).
This is hardly the place for a rowdy meal but a trio of strolling Filipina lovelies helps lighten the atmosphere with their singing and guitar playing.
A carefully chosen 27-label list contains some surprises such as a Baron de Rothschild Mouton Cadet, of all things.
Still, Surat Kanthanakit, the hotel's F&B director, recommends a red Shiraz Taras Bin 2007 to accompany the rich flavours and textures of the Chinese cuisine.
It is indeed a good companion if not slightly immature. The list heavily features New World labels from New Zealand, Australia and Chile.
Our group chooses the Phuket set menu and we are soon seated in a banqueting room with a large circular table, pewter serving-bowl holders and a spinning 'Lazy Sue' that keeps us all served.
The five courses are all laid out at the same time and we help ourselves to shrimp wonton soup, Hong Kong suckling pig, Hong Kong beef, braised spinach with 'century' egg and dried scallop, and Hokkien noodles. If all this sounds overwhelming it isn't for a group of five, and even though we don't quite finish we come pretty close.
The two-month old boned and roasted suckling pig is especially delicious and the Hong Kong beef in a sweet red wine sauce pounded to perfection. The Hokkien noodles are a kaleidoscope of flavours while the braised spinach good and juicy.
All this is lovingly prepared by Khun Chuchart, a Chinese chef now 20 years in Thailand and a well-respected local culinary celebrity. Khun Chuchart's favourite dish is 'Monk Jumping Over the Wall' soup. This dish contains many ingredients imported from China. If you would like to try this special recipe be sure to let the Royal Kitchen know one day in advance.
Discreet and elegant. Many hotel restaurants in Patong could learn from Royal Kitchen's service standards.
The Royal Kitchen
- Opening Hours: Every day from 12:00-14:00 and 18:00-23:00
- Location: in Royal Paradise Hotel
- Address: 135/23 Rat-U-Thit Road Patong.
- Tel: 076 340 666