Thai food has a reputation for being healthy, light in carbohydrates and full of vitamins. But guess what? That’s simply not true. Prepared Thai food, at least dishes served in everyday Thai restaurants, contains MSG, uses cheap and fattening oil, and has had the vitamins and enzymes blasted out of it by overheating in a wok. Well there’s a myth exploded… but the good news is that you can eat all manner of exotic food, including Thai dishes, at several Phuket restaurants where the emphasis is on healthy, natural and raw products.
Natural food has been growing in popularity ever since perceptive writers have blown the saucepan lid off what is actually contained in a ‘normal’ diet, resulting in people becoming more aware of the effect that bad food has on their bodies. Here are five of the best healthy eating restaurants in Phuket in alphabetical order. Bon Appétit…
Set back in a shady courtyard off busy Chao Fa West, Chanya is a quaint mustard-yellow restaurant with retro décor and a forward-thinking menu rich in macrobiotics, fresh enzymes, and ingenious modern takes on traditional Thai dishes. This is the brainchild of Phuket-born Atiporn Jittananta, otherwise known as Toey, who conserves the old recipes and twists them into healthy and incredibly tasty versions.
Chanya only serves fish and shrimp, along with tofu as proteins and the tuna massaman curry there 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 works, as does the Chanya salad with morning glory and cashew nuts. Oh, and do try the home-made ice cream and chocolate lava cake. Chanya is a charming place with one eye on the past through striking period décor, the other firmly on the future. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 14:00, 16:00 – 21:30
- Location: Chao Fa West Road, opposite Phrompan supermarket
- Tel: 076-209177
A spacious and modern L-shaped restaurant on the grounds of Thanyapura in the north of the island, DiVine serves up homegrown organic dishes from its open kitchen prepared by a professional eight-man team led by Sathaporn Boodmeechai – late of five-star Banyan Tree Phuket. Diners are sure to know exactly what they’re ordering here as the extensive menu lists the calorie, protein, carbohydrate and fat content of each of its dishes.
And DiVine’s got style, too, with Robert Walsh cutlery, chunky wooden tables and chairs and plenty of natural light. Try the chickpea hummus with fresh vegetable sticks and pita bread chips for starters or the whole-wheat penne with barbecued lemon chicken and roasted tomato puttanesca sauce. As much as the menu features healthy fusion dishes it also serves up burgers, pizzas, and comfort food. DiVine also has a fully stocked bar for those who enjoy a tipple with their meal. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:30 – 22:00
- Location: Thanyapura, Thalang
- Tel: 076-336000-ext 3512
When Friendship Beach switched from S.A.D. (standard American dishes) to raw food there was a revolution. Diners were outraged that their beloved cholesterol was replaced by healthy oils, that instead of French fries there was sautéed zucchini. So Executive Chef Charlie Maurer created a shared menu that features a swathe of healthy options plus the standard comfort Thai and western choices.
Friendship’s got a lot going for it. Part of a compact resort, it’s beachside with a swimming pool and attractive thatched gazebos as well as a restaurant/bar section and extra-friendly staff. Recommended dishes at this family-friendly place are a stunning raw vegetable lasagna with pesto, marinara sauces and cashew nuts; steamed tender cabbage rolls filled with shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onions and sprouts with tamarind sauce, and raw organic zucchini pasta topped with fresh basil pesto. Eating healthy has never been so much fun for all the family. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:30 – 22:00
- Location: Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort, Soi Mittrapap Vichit Road Rawai, diagonally opposite the traffic lights with Soi Sai Yuan
- Tel: 076-289139
Open for some years now, the Naughty Radish is probably the healthiest dining/lunch option in Patong; actually not a difficult achievement in a town where all-out hedonism is the order of the day. Located in Burasari Resort on Ruamjai Road, the restaurant is also a great people-watching spot to relax at with a healthy fruit smoothie at hand.
The Naughty Radish is big on mixed salads, reasonably priced all-you-can-eat combinations usually featuring a salad-soup-mains combination. This is where to find perhaps the best salad bar in town with an exotic collection of sauces to choose from. To avoid unnecessary oil intake, the restaurant leans toward grilling its meat and fish and indeed its vegetables. Read More...
We Café is a pleasant restaurant and coffee shop located on Chaofa West Road between Phuket Town and Chalong Temple. Opened in October 2012, it stands adjacent to a hydroponic farm that has been growing and selling fresh salad and vegetables since 2000, distributing to Phuket’s many restaurants and hotels.
The success of this environmentally friendly farm led the owner to open We Café, which serves salads, sandwiches, smoothies, coffee and teas as well as hosting a small grocery corner selling salads, fruit and vegetables. ‘Healthy food’ is the motto at We Café and all products adhere to a strict code called G.A.P. (Good Agriculture Practices). Seven types of salads are available – red Batavia, cos, butter head, red oak, green oak, red coral and frillice iceberg – with a choice of 31 toppings. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:30 – 20:00
- Location: On Chaofa West Road, near the intersection with Khwang Road
- Tel: 076-521670, 081-3281352