Orange Irish Pub is permanently closed
The words ‘orange’ and ‘Irish’ coupled in the same sentence are bound to add up to controversy in many people’s book, so it’s a relief to discover that there are absolutely no politics nor religious differences behind the name or the bright orange façade of the three-storey Orange Irish Pub in Nai Harn down in the south of Phuket.
There are three distinct sections to this pub; it comprises a drinking area, an upstairs dancing room and an al-fresco dining courtyard with room for 50 diners.
Seen from the outside, the Orange Irish Pub is an impressive-looking building that grows even more so upon entering it. To the left is a solid-wood bar with draught Guinness and Kilkenny as well as Heineken and Tiger. The orange theme continues with bright orange lighting complementing a black ceiling and black barstools. Two 42” TVs provide colourful but mute entertainment and there is a mini-stage for the live music that kicks off at 21:30.
Décor is modern and innovative and the staff friendly, if a little inexperienced. “Hey, is this the Harley pub?” asks a biker, flopping down on a barstool next to us. And he’s right: the Orange Pub has exactly the same black-and-orange colour motif as a Harley Davidson chopper.
As for the drinks; in the optics section there’s actually more Scottish whisky than Irish whiskey but no one’s complaining and an ice-cold pint of Kilkenny Irish cream ale goes down smoother than velvet. “It’s real beer,” comments the biker.
Outside in the courtyard diners sit at heavy wood tables and chairs – there’s even a seafood ‘boat’ laden with ice and fresh fish and prawns to choose from, the type of display that one sees more in Patong or Karon than in the south of Phuket.
Towards the back of the courtyard, an imposing two-metre screen relays England Premier League matches every weekend, and music concerts on weekdays.
And the food’s surprisingly good. A portion of fresh breaded fish and chips with a side salad (250 baht) is extremely palatable as is an Australian sirloin steak served with red wine sauce and a baked potato (390 baht) and this, of course is helped down with more of that wonderful Irish beer. It’s hard to imagine a drink that complements humble old fish and chips better than a pint of Kilkenny.
To sum up: the Irish Pub isn’t actually Irish. With a pink Buddha image on the bar and a German band (The Scorpions actually) on the sound system and Thai touches here and there, this is about as genuinely Irish as Tokyo. But it doesn’t really matter as the ale is fresh, the place vibrant, and the food recommended. And that’s what counts.
Orange Irish Pub & Restaurant
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – late
- Location: Nai Harn Village main road 41/8
- Price Range: Affordable