After more than a few mediocre meals in Phuket town, I discovered Suay Restaurant, hidden behind the proverbial white picket fence in a comfy-cozy whitewashed house, complete with a wrap-around veranda, cooling overhead fans, and white wooden table and chairs, all airily accented with touches of grass-green that blend in nicely with its garden surroundings. Suay offers creative interpretations of traditional Thai cuisine, stylishly plated, graciously served, with wallet-friendly prices, making this find a thing of beauty, which works out well since Suay means ‘beautiful”.
The charming Thai chef/owner, Tammasak Chootong (who goes by Chef Noi) first attended culinary school in Germany in the 90’s. He honed his skills for over a decade, cooking in some of Europe’s finest kitchens (including a Michelin starred restaurant) followed up by stints on world-class cruise lines before he returned to Thailand. Noi fine-tuned his eclectic Thai style at some of Phuket’s leading five-star resorts (while racking up an impressive wall of culinary awards) before deciding it was time to open his own restaurant and catering operation, offering simplified haute cuisine at a fraction of the cost.
Suay’s food can best be appreciated when paired with one of their unique drinks incorporating exotic Thai herbs and fruits, such as Butterfly Pea Juice. A perfect example of Noi’s eclectic culinary background can be seen when ordering a Suay salad, which can be topped with items ranging from Grilled chicken tandoori, Giant Japanese scallops, Crispy soft-shell crab, etc. I couldn’t resist trying the “Mrs. Piggy took sunbath” which resulted in an addictive pile of deep-fried pork jerky being brought to my table, followed by a pristine larb tuna, fresh prawn rolls and one of the best curry dishes of my life: Khao Soi steamed salmon in yellow curry over rice noodles. Almost as good was Noi’s twist on sticky rice with mango, which he serves in a spring roll with scoops of black sesame ice cream.
After such an enjoyable meal I wanted to find out more so I emailed Chef Noi a few questions and here are his answers:
When did you first know you want to be a chef?
“Since I always wanted to come back to Thailand, so my parent advise is to go work in hotel industry, so I applied to work as service staff in hotel, the management put me in the kitchen since I need to know the food before I can serve the guests, from that day until today I stayed in the kitchen I have found my excitement from the first day till today and it will never stop.”
Have you cooked for anyone famous?
“Yes surely I did, many of them from “take that “ the boy band to royalty family member, as a chef in the kitchen I didn’t care much which celebrity going to eat my food for me is to deliver the food in it best shape, however I remember once I have bake a cake for Santana on a cruise ship and that was exciting for me since I like his music.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
“I want to open a few more restaurants may be 2 more in places that I like to be so the people can taste my food and I can travel around and be where I like.”
What Chef do you most respect?
“Gordon Ramsay for his passion and Eckart Witzigmann for his food.”
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:00 pm till 11:00 pm.
Location: 50/2 Takuapa Road.
Tel: +66 (0)87 888 6990