Uptown is Downtown Phuket Town. No, that’s not a wordplay, Uptown really is downtown Phuket. Making a corner of a busy intersection diagonally opposite the Thavorn Grand Plaza Hotel (Closed now), Uptown has none of the romance or brashness of a west coast Phuket restaurant but it is extremely popular and for good reason: it serves genuine Thai food at extremely reasonable prices.
Busy between midday and 13:00, the best time to go to Uptown is just after the office rush or in the early evening.
Go where the locals go
One of the golden rules in getting to know the best eating places in unfamiliar surroundings is to go where the locals go and Uptown is a great example of this. At midday every day (except Wednesdays when it is closed) a crowd of office personnel, shoppers and hungry locals descends on Uptown; as a result it’s sort of hard to get your order in and it means a wait of at least 20-30 minutes to receive your dish(es).
Choose from the extensive photo menu or from the large wall menu. The food is almost 100% Thai here with phad thai, several fried rice dishes, seafood, largely spicy fare and quite a few noodle dishes. Drinks-wise, there are shakes, beers (expensive), juices and traditional Thai offerings to go with the generally piquant food.
Uptown’s design and layout is simple; it is a long, open-sided room with a cashier to one side (take the wooden table number baton to the cashier and the bill appears on her computer screen) with an open kitchen. Overhead and wall fans keep things cool and the background music is not too intrusive. Because of its open sides you can watch the world go by here or simply choose an outside table but the inside tables can sit up to eight diners and are more conducive to groups and families.
As mentioned, Uptown is popular and downright crowded at lunchtime so if you’re looking for peace and quiet over your meal maybe it’s not the best place to be at that time of day. Also, even though the food is excellent and cheap, portions can be on the small side so if you have a large appetite be sure to order a couple of dishes to keep the wolf from the door.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00 closed Wednesdays.
- Location: 51 Tilok-U-Thit 2 Road Diagonally opposite the Thavorn Grand Plaza Hotel and facing Expo Phuket on the other side of Chana-Charoen Road.