THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED
In the ultra-competitive world of Phuket’s restaurants it’s more the norm to copy rather than think independently. Example: there wasn’t a Belgium beer to be had on the island a few years ago and nowadays, after the opening of the excellent Belgium Brasserie in Phuket Town, we’re almost drowning in Westmalle, Duvel and other Belgium ales as many restaurants (even Italian ones) have added them to their drinks menu.
So it’s a refreshing change to discover a restaurant that is not only original but also extremely healthy. That restaurant is Chanya, located not far from Central Phuket Festival along Chao Fa West Road.
Chanya is run by Khun Toey, the great-granddaughter of one of Phuket’s past governors – and she named the restaurant after him. Accordingly, lots of curios and antiques make up the décor at Chanya: an old wall clock here, a defunct phonograph there, along with wall friezes and heavy wooden furniture. Out back stands an admirable collection of old restored cars, including several Mercedes from the 1950s and even a Citroen DS – the French gangsters’ choice of getaway car during the ‘60s and a car that saved Charles De Gaulle’s life.
Chanya is unique because it refuses to use waist-thickening palm oils, MSG, red meat, overly sugared ingredients and indeed anything that Khun Toey considers unhealthy. As a result, for protein only fish, shrimps and tofu are used and the vegetable produce is spanking fresh. But the preparation is immaculate and the results so tasty that Chanya is extremely popular even with people who would never dream of going anywhere near a health food establishment.
Chanya’s tuna massaman curry has to be tasted to be believed as it does not contain a drop of saturated fat-filled coconut milk; soy is used instead and it still tastes like a genuine massaman sauce. Chanya salad with morning glory and cashew nuts is tangy with a delicious texture to it while a stir-fried tofu dish with cashew nuts is equally tasty. And the best thing about all this wonderful and healthy cuisine is that it is not overpriced.
Dishes typically cost from 80 to 120 baht (June 2013) with soft drinks around 40 – 80 baht. You can order wine and beer here but it’s not a major feature of the establishment. Oh, and the homemade chocolate lava cake with homemade ice cream is another major reason to drop by Chanya: it’s made from imported Belgium chocolate and is just sensational.
Chanya Healthy Cuisine
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 14:00, 16:00 – 21:30
- Location: Diagonally opposite Phrompan Supermarket, south of Central Phuket Festival, on Chao Fa West Road
- Tel: 076-209177