Pak Nam is a bustling seafood place recommended to those who like a bit of animation along with a good meal and is extremely popular with local diners who make sure that this is a popping spot most evenings. It’s a large orange-painted seafood restaurant on the northern edge of Phuket Town a little reminiscent of a Mexican cantina with a big parking space round the back to handle the constant coming and going of clientele – especially at lunchtime and dinner. You can choose here between two air-conditioned indoor dining spots, or the communal-like central restaurant with plenty of action, or dining on the balconies. Either way, Pak Nam is a great seafood experience in the best of Phuket’s traditions.
Views out over the eastern part of the town make this a worthwhile place to take in Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island) and Koh Yao Yai – a long island flanking Phuket just to the north. If you go on a cool day try to get eastward-facing balcony seats. You’ll also notice a large square building several hundred metres to the side: This is in fact a swift breeding centre and if you look closely you’ll see the fleet birds sweeping and swooping through the skies, in and out of their nesting places.
The main central part of Pak Nam is made up of chunky wooden farm-like furniture with tartan tablecloths and wall fans. The main indoors space seats over 100 diners and has two main areas: a wooden-floor area adjacent to the bar and kitchen and a tile-floored space nearer to the balconies.
Pak Nam has an English-language menu that almost exclusively features spanking-fresh seafood, starting with local ready-made dishes served mostly in two portion sizes – large and small. Here, you’ll find dishes such as baked mussels in casserole, stir-fried fish in sweet-and-sour sauce, local seafood and vegetables along with green beans salad and squid, delicious ‘kaeng poo’ – crab curry with rice vermicelli (a local favourite worth trying out) along with Chinese kale and tom yum talay – Thailand’s famous spicy soup with choice seafood toppings and ingredients. Ask the wait staff to guide you through what’s best; they’re more than willing to help.
If you order whole fish (recommended), servings are priced according to weight due to the fluctuating prices of local seafood and items on the menu are also subject to availability. This also applies to whole lobsters and crabs. Pak Nam is a busy place but after the lunch crowd has left afternoon dining here is as tranquil as can be and you’ll have the place to yourself.
As for drinks, there is a good range of beers (local and international) along with Thai blended liquors and whiskies. Don’t worry too much if someone at your table orders liquor: Thai drinking tradition dictates that it is constantly served diluted by wait staff.
Pak Nam is on Rasadanusorn Road which winds around the edges of Monkey Hill (the downtown hill with the TV and radio antennae) to the traffic lights just north of Mission Hospital. English-language signs stand outside the main entrance so it’s relatively easy to find.
Pak Nam Seafood Restaurant
- Opening Hours: 10:30 - 22:00
- Address: 52/220 Rasadanusorn road, Tumbon Rasada, Amphor Muang, Phuket
- Tel: +66 (0)76 240 240, +66 (0)81 797 0474
- How to get there: Turn right at the lights just past Mission Hospital on Thepkasatri Road and simply keep going until you see the restaurant on the left-hand side of the road after about two kilometres.