Kantok at Burasari has long enjoyed a reputation as a haven in the pulsating heart of Patong. The atmosphere is cosy and comfortable: one can enjoy an unhurried drink by the pool or dine in a tranquil green setting.
The introduction of a menu based entirely on traditional Phuket cuisine now provides an added incentive to visit Kantok; it’s a master-stroke. The accomplished chef, who has worked in Switzerland and Australia, is in fact Thai. He’s an enthusiast of Phuket-inspired food and Kantok is the only restaurant in Patong to have created a menu based entirely on regional Thai delicacies.
Incorporating a rich mix of cultural and culinary influences, this ‘classic fusion’ cuisine combines ‘Baba’ (Thai/Chinese) and Malaysian dishes with indigenous seafood (a legacy of Mon sea gypsies), local herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Though an à la carte version is available, we opt for the set menu. It proves to be a wise choice. All the dishes arrive together, artistically presented and pretty as a picture. It is, of course, an invitation to share, Thai style, rather than select a single dish. We begin with po paie sod kub satay, steamed spring rolls filled with chicken marinated with lemon grass, kaffir lime and coriander. Enhanced by a tangy dipping sauce, they are crunchily delicious.
The main dishes include mu hong, a classic Hokkien (south Chinese) inspired dish of stewed pork belly in rich black soy sauce. The meat is so succulent and tender, it melts in the mouth. An absolute classic. Next up is a whole crisply fried white snapper, garnished with a fresh salad based on long green beans. Unlike so many so-called ‘snapper’ dishes, this is the real deal – meaty and with a real tang of the sea.
To add some piquancy to the feast, we sample mee prig goong seab, thin white rice noodles with a spicy and flavoursome crab curry. A blend of Chinese and local inspirations.
The dessert is an unfamiliar and exotic dish, o aew, which combines clear banana jelly and red beans in an iced syrup of palm sugar. Cooling and cleansing.
This reasonably priced meal, accompanied by two glasses of excellent Chilean primitivo wine from a well-chosen list, shows that a carefully compiled set menu offers the perfect gastronomic balance – as well as celebrating the virtues of an impressive local cuisine.