Crust is a shiny-clean, new restaurant located just behind the Index shop in a Sino-Portuguese building near the huge Central Festival Phuket shopping mall just outside Phuket Town. Entering the restaurant is like discovering a new world as it’s wooden and timber-based theme is refreshingly thought out and the air conditioning most welcome.
Even though there’s good natural daylight coming in through the shop-house windows several hanging lamps enhance the lighting. Seating is simple but effective with wooden chairs with thick cushions and even small sofas an option and we gratefully sink down and peruse the menu.
It’s soon obvious that a lot of the dishes are Italian based (the rare exceptions are stews) and that there are a lot of healthy options to choose from – especially in the juice/smoothie/power drink section. We order salads and within minutes a citrus arugula salad (120 baht) with toasted almonds, orange segments and sliced cherry tomatoes along with shaved parmesan is served up with an almost perfect vinaigrette arrives, accompanied by a Parma salad with Chiang Mai strawberries (200 baht).
A ‘Popeye’ juice consisting of spinach, celery, kale and celery (85 baht) accompanies this, along with a glass of Australian Shiraz (210 baht). There is a modest yet effective wine selection here at Crust and in fact their health drinks selection is larger than the wine list – a fact that amply explains where the restaurant’s priorities lie. We choose lasagna (380 baht) and a pizza picante (190 baht for a mini version) and it’s in these dishes that the talent in the kitchen becomes evident. Each flavour enhances the other while the textures are all correct – just the right crust for the pizza and the lasagna layers are perfectly al dente.
The kitchen ‘talent’ happens to be Premin Kamphee who, along with his partner, Nattanee Unsaen (aka Annabel) studied cuisine in Paris and subsequently returned home and after working at Amanpuri – one of the highest end hotels on the island – opened Crust.
This is the perfect ‘apres shopping’ location as it is just a stroll away from the collection of shops that make up the single largest shopping experience on the island. The atmosphere here is quite subdued and the murmur of background music decidedly unimposing. In fact the loudest noise to be heard at Crust is the rattle and shake of the juicing machine. Coffee aficionados will have a field day here as there are 10 coffee choices – all by illy.
Crust is a very welcome newcomer to Phuket’s culinary scene and with standards as high as the best on the island. It’s a highly recommendable choice for either lunch or dinner.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00 closed Wedesdays
- Location: Bangyai Road (behind Index)
- Tel: 093 873 0317