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Thai food delight, Vareeya, Paklok, Phuket

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I've discovered a new great restaurant! When I say discovered, more like, was-told-about and then followed the directions. This is a word-of-mouth restaurant, happy diners tell their friends.

It's called the Vareeya in Paklok Phuket, up in the North East corner of the island, and it was everything I'd been told it was. The food is cheap, the standard is excellent and the surroundings relaxing, moody, sensuous, romantic.

See the rain outside? That's not rain, that's a waterfall running down the windows. The restaurant is a husband and wife team, he's an engineer and he's really gone to town on this place, water features abound, lighting and styling are perfect, but none of this would matter if the food couldn't match, and it does.

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Proper creamy Tom-Kha-Guy, and not just the chicken ghost, plenty of chicken meat in there, fresh squid, crisp fresh vegetables. This is proper Thai food.

The owner makes her own cakes too, I had a layered crepe/cream cake with strawberry sauce. There's something odd about that strawberry sauce, what was it? I know, it's made from strawberries! So many times I've had strawberry sauce and its red sugar-syrup with fake strawberry flavour. A parody strawberry sauce, a 'you gotta be kidding that ain't strawberry'. Not here, real strawberries, a real sauce.

To the basics, price, 80-120 baht per dish, that's $3 or $4. So a dinner for 2 can easily be had for $20. It's open 8am till 10:30pm. There's a resort attached to it, it has a pool, you can book online at their website, the owner speaks English. You can eat outside next to the pool if you like. Close to Paklok are the boat piers for Phang Na bay, so if you want to visit the islands and caves this is a good kicking off point.

Phuket has 2 airports, the main international airport, and a smaller one for private light aircraft known as Phuket Airpark. You'll find the resort just opposite that. Don't worry, very few planes land there and they're small prop planes, not jets, it's tranquil there.

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The classic Khiewchanta empty-plate aftermath shot is different this time. The owners came and joined me for the photograph. I had a chat with them, they're from Bangkok, living in Phuket 30 years, they know the area, and have supply lines direct with the fishermen near here, which is why the squid was so fresh not supermarket bought.

I managed to find a place where the window leaked and the waterfall on the windows became a puddle inside. I overheard her say to her husband, "again! how could you make me lose face!". This is a new restaurant and tweaks are to be expected.

This is well worth a visit. Perhaps on your way back from a boat trip, or when visiting Bangpea Waterfall & Gibbon Sanctuary.


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