Real Thai flavours with panache
With a big, well-priced menu and a serene setting on the edge of a pond, Rimtang @ Chalong is worth a visit for its real Thai flavours served up with a bit of panache.
Set just across the road from the back entrance of Wat Chalong, Rimtang (we’ll drop the unfortunate @ symbol from here on out) has a grand entrance with double-height carved wooden doors, fish ponds and bright Sino-Portuguese style tiling that opens into the air-con indoor dining area.
Down the entire length of one side of the restaurant is an open kitchen, with different stations for different dish types, similar to what you’d see at a shopping centre food court. We enjoy watching the busy chefs in action, though something with the restaurant’s acoustics make it a helluva clattery place at times.
At the back of the restaurant is a souvenir centre, with row upon row of colourful decor items, local snack foods, clothing accessories and even wines for sale. Good quality stuff, for the most part, and many items we haven’t seen for sale elsewhere in Phuket.
Extending out the side is a large shaded terrace with several more tables overlooking the water, which tend to fill up quickly at peak dining hours. A garden area and see-saw give kids some running-around space. The outdoor dining area is certainly the more serene space here.
The menu is confusingly organised but gives you a lot of choice of Thai dishes from different regions. One whole page is devoted to spicy salads. The som tam here is tasty and, with mostly Thai patrons eating here, not watered down for foreign tastes (unless you ask). We also really love the laab chicken and namtok pork dishes.
You’ll find all the Thai favourites here including tom yam soup, chicken satay, and a range of curries, with a few unusual choices such as salmon som tam and laab salmon, or wild boar stir-fry. The menu has a few Western dishes, too, but we wouldn’t bother with those.
Desserts and drinks are also plentiful here, with a whole page of mango desserts, plus several fruity smoothies, shakes and juices. Beer and wine are on the menu, too, though a touch pricey at 80 baht for a small beer bottle and 120 baht for house wine.
The food is more reasonably priced, with most dishes in the 100-200 baht range, not bad value for a dining spot with a bit of added style, comfy seating, air-con and free WiFi, especially being found just steps away from one of the island’s most heavily-visited attractions.
Rimtang is open 10:00 till 22:00. Busy particularly at lunchtime and with the occasional wedding event. It’s an especially inviting place to relax after a day of tromping up to the Big Buddha, fighting the crowds of Wat Chalong and visiting other sights in the Chalong area.
If you can’t make it out to Chalong, try the original, and more sensibly named, Rimtang Restaurant by the same owner, found in Phuket Town on Thung Kha Road near the Phuket Merlin Hotel.
Address: 40/999 Moo 4, Luang Pho Chaem Road, Chalong, Phuket
T: (076) 374 911, (081) 677 5115
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º20'19.29" E, 7º50'47.53" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Lana Willocks is a freelance writer from Canada based in Phuket. Her love affair with Thailand began on a university exchange programme in Bangkok, then she returned to Phuket on the auspicious date of 9-9-1999 and never left.