Located on right side at bottom of hill to Paradise Beach
Open time: Daily 6pm until midnight
Resevation: 0 7635 6888www.takhaiphuket.com
Discover weathered timber pavilions beside the ocean, a live fish pond and kitchen-to-table herb gardens, for authentic Thai seafood planned around the local fisherman’s daily catch
Sauté the crab curry paste in a pot with cooking oil until you get a pleasant aroma
Pour in the coconut milk and bring to boil
Add salt and sugar; boil on a low heat
Add betel leaves, kaffir lime leaves, red chili and crab meat; cook for 3-4 minutes
Remover from the heat and place in a bowl; garnish with sliced red chilies and serve with rice vermicelli
About chefs Rotkaew (Nun) and Sangchan (Yai) Suttitummanon
Uncle Nun and Aunt Yai, the married couple at the helm of Ta Khai, Rosewood Phuket’s Thai seafood restaurant, first met over a shared passion for authentic southern Thai cuisine. They have since honed their culinary skills over a 30-year union. Their love of aromatic flavours and seafood specialities are showcased at Ta Khai, where traditional family-style sharing of dishes in a rustic, fisherman's village style ambiance ensures an authentic culinary journey.
Nun and Yai first met when Nun was working at a restaurant in Yai’s hometown of Trang. Yai was so enamoured with a seafood fried rice dish that Nun prepared that she asked him for the recipe. Nun offered to teach Yai his culinary secrets and, as they discussed their shared love for food, it sparked an attraction which ultimately led them to marriage and starting a family together.
Having operated the ‘Kook Thai’ food stall in Trang for more than 20 years, a mutual friend recognised the greater potential for their delicious Thai seafood recipes and asked Uncle Nun and Aunt Yai to head the kitchen at Pak Nam Seafood restaurant in Ratsada, just outside Phuket Town. Here they held a successful tenure for 18 months before being recruited by Rosewood Phuket to produce the authentic Thai seafood menu at Ta Khai.
Guests benefit from the couple’s extensive knowledge of old southern Thai recipes, particularly within the ‘Uncle Nun and Aunt Yai Favourites’ section of the Ta Khai menu, which features signature dishes that they have created together using traditional techniques and ingredients.
One of these favourites is the curried crab (Gaeng Poo) which uniquely features their own homemade curry paste, whose recipe has evolved over the couple’s years together, guided by the taste buds of a local community and feedback from patrons at their food stall in Trang.
With knowledge handed down through the generations, the couple sources the freshest turmeric growing naturally in the south of Thailand and complements the pungent, bitter flavour with wild betel leaves from the same area.
Another example is the Hor Mok Talay, a traditional Tilapia fish mousse flavoured with curry. As Uncle Nun and Aunt Yai grew up in the southern coastal region, where an abundance of freshly caught seafood was readily available, they decided there to make their Hor Mok Talay with a whole variety of seafood ingredients and found the result won over even the most traditional of customers.
As modern steaming methods were not present in their small fishing community, they turned to the one thing that grew all around, banana trees. The dish is prepared using the time-honoured technique of steaming the mousse wrapped inside a banana leaf, which infuses the flavour of the banana leaf juices, which they complement with their own blend of indigenous herbs and spices.
Nun and Yai oversee the entire culinary operations at Ta Khai and prepare their dishes as they would when welcoming guests into their own home. With a ‘mama is cooking’ style of using only the freshest and finest ingredients to hand, they base their menus around the local fishermen's daily catch and the herbs that are grown in the kitchen’s own garden.
The dishes arriving at your table always stimulate the five fundamental taste senses in Thai cuisine: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy.