Tatler Thailand’s Top Upcountry Restaurants of 2020
Note: Tatler Thailand's 2020 Best Restaurants guide began assembly since late 2019 and before Thailand's COVID-19 lockdown. Therefore, unforeseen changes may have occurred to restaurants reviewed in the book, which this story is based on.
Multi-award winning Phuket restaurant Acqua serves showstopping Italian food in luxurious yet futuristic black and white surroundings. Led by Sardinia-born chef Alessandro Frau, his love of authentic Italian flavours and meticulous attention to detail for sourcing only the best seasonal ingredients has shot Acqua onto all the top restaurant guides. Read the full review here.
The name Pru comes from Phuket's indigenous lore where the wild forest meets the sea. A truly perfect name for the organic vegetables, herbs and flowers grown at the Pru Jampa kitchen garden, the restaurant focuses on local ingredients and flavours subtly intertwined into Western dishes like the signature pickled duck egg with burnt eggplant, wild herbs and Phuket abalone. Read the full review here.
Bask at jaw-dropping views of the sea and islands accompanying the equally stunning and artful cuisine served at Jahn, Koh Samui. Move from an appetiser dish at the garden to another in the kitchen and then finally the table for the rest of the culinary journey. Read the full review here.
Located on the beautiful Maenam beach on Koh Samui, this lavish restaurant elevates Japanese cuisine to a new level thanks to head chef Teerapat Kaewphirom, who is trained in Japanese cuisine and has over 17 years of experience working in restaurants from the Middle East to Thailand. We recommend the scallops topped with bacon bits, XO brandy and vanilla flavouring or the succulent signature lobster udon with spicy jalapeno sauce. Read the full review here.
5/22 Casa Pascal
With an extensive menu and reasonable prices, head to Casa Pascal in Pattaya, a restaurant which has been serving delicious European and Thai cuisine for nearly two decades since first opening in 2001. Be sure to try the perfectly roasted lamb rack a la province, dressed in a stimulating array of herbs or the Dover sole poached in a white sauce served with boiled potatoes and fresh vegetables. Read the full review here.
6/22 The Plantation Club
Expect exquisitely presented dishes that pay homage to classic Thai flavours, all with an exciting innovative twist at The Plantation Club. With super-fresh ingredients all sourced from the resort's private garden and farm, wonderfully attentive service and idyllic views of the Phuket jungle and tranquil coastline this restaurant is always ready to offer diners a truly magical evening. Read the full review here.
Based on Pattaya Beach, this modest Italian restaurant run by owner and head chef Luca Marchetti presents perfectly authentic Italian cuisine in a relaxed, dimly lit atmosphere. With recipes straight from his Tuscan grandmother's cookbook, enjoy the pasta served with a rich duck ravioli in black truffle sauce before ending the evening with Marchetti's famous tiramisu. Read the full review here.
Based in the Rachamankha Boutique Hotel and featuring stunning classical architecture and rare collectables, Rachamankha similarly delivers in terms of authentic flavours. With choices of traditional Shan, Lanna and Myanmar dishes, we would recommend the classic Burmese tea leaf salad with bites of crispy yellow split peas. Read the full review here.
The seasonally changing menu ensures head chef Andreas Bonifacio is constantly creating new and exciting options for a truly unique experience with every visit. Sip on a glass of wine from their extensive wine list whilst enjoying their ultra-tender slow-cooked veal cheek served with semolina gnocchi, Roman style, or the fettuccine topped by a rich, creamy burrata. Read the full review here.
Upon entering Hagi you are suddenly met by a calm Japanese oasis in contrast to the bustling city of Hua Hin. Start the evening with the akami ponzu, a raw tuna dish accompanied by ponzu sauce and Japanese chilli for an unexpected kick before the main event: the signature snowfish saikyo, marinated in sake for three days and served with miso and Japanese herbs. Read the full review here.
11/22 La Grappa
Supported by a wonderfully loyal clientele, La Grappa has become somewhat of an institution amongst the keen fine diners in Hua Hin. Serving melt-in-your-mouth Italian classics such as the slow-cooked veal tonato served with tuna sauce and topped with tender seared tuna and sesame seeds, La Grappa's desserts are worth saving room for. Their refreshing Avarian mango mousse topped with amaretto crumbs and a passionfruit sauce will be the perfect ending to your meal. Read the full review here.
Led by chef Jasvir San-Ghera, also known as Mama Duu, Pirom is a modern Thai restaurant serving authentic Thai dishes as well as contemporary favourites. Order the larb pla tod bung kam made with Mama Duu's special recipe, comprising minced deep-fried sea bass and served with roasted rice, spring onion and coriander—all plated on their beautiful hand-painted ceramic tableware. Read the full review here.
Pattaya's hidden gem is Horizon restaurant on the 34th floor of the Hilton Hotel, where you can gaze across picturesque views of the Pattaya skyline. Well-trained staff greet you with an extensive list of wines, spirits and cocktails to enjoy alongside the delicious international cuisine. Read the full review here.
14/22 T55 New York Grill
Known for its excellent hospitality, T55 New York Grill based in the Movenpick Siam Hotel serves New York brasserie inspired food, with a speciality in grilled meats. Diners have the option to choose their preferred section of prime beef to be cooked exactly to your taste, this including the marbled Australian black Angus steak. Complement your main course with the signature Waldorf salad, packed with walnuts, apples and figs. Read the full review here.
For a cool, intimate vibe, head to Benny's in Bangtao Phuket, a particular favourite with the local expats. At Benny's Cocktails and Grill, you will be sure to find a wide selection of international cuisine from ultra-fresh oysters to beef tartare, lamb racks, ahi tuna steak and, of course, plenty of classic and marvellously reinvented cocktail creations to accompany your meal. Read the full review here.
16/22 The Boathouse
A long time favourite of Phuket locals is The Boathouse. Located discreetly on the edge of Kata beach with serene, unspoilt views across the Andaman Sea, this is truly the destination for a romantic date night. Chef Noorer serves up a selection of Thai and Western dishes such as the tender lamb shank massaman and the sea bass fillet served with a creamy lobster mash. Read the full review here.
17/22 La Gaetana
La Gaetana is a cosy, intimate restaurant, run for years by a friendly husband and wife team, making it one of the oldest, most-recognised Italian establishments in Phuket. This romantic restaurant is guaranteed to impress with artfully presented, authentic dishes ranging from carpaccio to the long list of pastas, as well as plenty of vegetarian-friendly options. Read the full review here.
18/22 Mom Tri's Kitchen
Take in spectacular panoramic views across Kata Noi bay when seated on the multi-levelled terraces of restauranteur and architect Mom Tri Devakul's Lanna style home. Seared tuna medallions, crab cakes and tiger prawns in a tamarind sauce, the list of luscious seafood dishes is endless and you are truly spoilt for choice at Mom Tri's Kitchen. Read the full review here.
Crisp, modern decor combined with equally chic, modern cuisine has resulted in Suay Phuket recently opening a brand new third location. The owner, Iron Chef Thailand celebrity chef Tammasak Chootong, has curated a menu inclusive of bold, innovative Thai flavours accented by European twists. A must-try is the frog's legs with a Thai twist of garlic, black pepper and hot basil. Read the full review here.
20/22 Full Moon
Step through dramatic fire torches and across the lily-pad garden to this picturesque cliff-side restaurant featuring unspoilt views of the Andaman waters and islands. Fortunately, the food is equally breathtaking with dishes like the Australian grilled beef or grilled tuna seasoned with basil and pepper and served with a green papaya-mint salad and lime aioli for a fairytale-like dinner to never forget. Read the full review here.
21/22 Pla Pla
Located at the luxury Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Pla Pla does refined Mediterranean cuisine like no other, all whilst being against stunning panoramic views of the beach from their private cove. The extensive menu features European favourites with an exciting Asian twist. The sublime selection of main courses include the Spanish Iberico pork served with black pepper juice and sweet potato and the Piri Piri chicken presented with beetroot, sun-dried artichoke and heirloom carrot. Read the full review here.
22/22 Supattra Thai Dining
Upon entering Supattra Thai Dining, one can't help but embrace the roots of Thai cuisine thanks to the traditional wooden house architecture of this intimate bistro. The product of Thomas and Supattra Schaden's hard work, it the perfect setting for a romantic evening of exquisite Thai flavours. Begin with the som-o salad of shrimps and roasted coconut chilli jam and don't forget the classic mango and sticky rice for dessert. Read the full review here.
Related: Tatler Thailand's Top Thai Restaurants Of 2020