Thong Dee – The Kathu Brasserie, located in Kathu in a quiet soi less than 15 min drive from Patong or Phuket Town has become a popular go-to foodie destination, away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket. The atmosphere at Thong Dee is certainly friendly and relaxed but also chic and stylish. The restaurant offers open-air dining where locals and visitors comfortably sit and watch the tiny world of Kathu go by.
The restaurant is currently ranked #1 on TripAdvisor (April 2019), undoubtedly a favourite for foodies looking for quality in a breezy brasserie which doesn’t burn their wallets. But the journey to finding this perfect balance was certainly not a smooth one.
Established on the 25th December 2010, married couple Patrik Lundgren, from Sweden, and Phonchan Chiarram, originally from the Buriram province, opened “Thong Dee Restaurant & Bar”, literally meaning “Good Gold” in Thai, a colloquial expression that better translates as “Good Quality”.
Thong Dee began as only a dream for the two. Phonchan already owned her own bar at only 21 and Patrik always considered himself a devout foodie. He was the one to make the bold decision to become restaurateurs. With the help of Patrik’s mother, the couple, with their love for F&B and strong entrepreneurial spirit, made that dream into reality.
“I consider myself a genuine foodie and always had a huge passion for food. I rather have a big bill from a fabulous restaurant then a trendy nightclub” – Patrik
Phonchan never had any formal training as a Chef but with Patrik’s belief in her skills and Patrik’s mother’s training, Phonchan started in her own restaurant as the cook. Here she not only had the opportunity to develop her delicious family recipes but began experimenting with Western and European cuisine.
The menu opened with 80 % percent Thai food until Patrik realised it was an already over-saturated market. “We had to be different from that “green curry” you can eat anywhere in Phuket”. Over the next 6 years the restaurant went through huge changes, both in layout and in menu.
Through the first stages, they enlisted the talents of André, a young chef who worked in France & Scandinavia at Michelin fine dining establishments, most notably, at Restaurant Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen. It was from him that Phonchan learned the fundamentals of fine dining, such as mise en place and creating stocks and sauces.
“He also taught me about the art of plating and classic dishes from French cuisine as well as fusion creations” – Phonchan
In 2016 they partnered up with an experienced Irish chef, from whom they learned about the strict operations of running a restaurant and creating a positive flow in the kitchen.
“He also taught me a lot form the European and English kitchen, such as the Sunday roasts, chicken liver parfait and desserts” – Phonchan.
The couple found their groove through their own culinary explorations, research and development combined with the knowledge of experienced chefs. “Finally, we reached our middle ground and with six years experience in our back pocket, Thong Dee – The Kathu Brasserie was born”. – Patrik
“…almost all of the dishes on our menu are different from how I learned from the start, both in Thai cuisine and European. I discovered in the world of cooking, all dishes can be made from the chef’s own interpretation.” – Phonchan
Patrik describes the cuisine at Thong Dee in detail as – “European with French, English & Swedish influences in addition to authentic Thai dishes with premium main ingredients.”
You will find Patrik at the front of house being the charismatic host, paying close attention to detail and customers’ every need. Thong Dee’s client’s range from local expat families and friends looking for a taste of home, and tourists looking for finer Thai food and good wines to match. Thong Dee has also become a favourite spot for local F&B industry management staff.
“Our philosophy is like the old saying “Carpe Diem”, seize the day, we are all here on this paradise island and we should enjoy life to its fullest. That’s why we want to give you the essence of both the European classics, the Thai kitchen and our own culinary creations.” – Patrik – Patrik
People flock from around the Island and even globally to experience Phonchan’s signature Thai duck dishes, even stews and Swedish meatballs. The also offer ever-changing weekly specials. Their Sunday Roast is also a drawcard, that attracts playful groups and families looking for a wide variety of succulent roast meats.
In the future, Thong Dee are considering to expand into Phuket Town, where the offering will be much more focused on classic European Brasserie cuisine, with starters, salads and steaks and a high value wine list and of course, the same friendly service in a stylish and relaxed atmosphere.
Thong Dee Phuket : Thong Dee – The Kathu Brasserie
Address: 110/25-26 Soi Bangthong, Moo 7, Kathu, Phuket, Thailand 83120
Restaurant phone number: 076-319 323
Restaurant email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating days/time: Tuesday – Saturday 4pm-10pm. Sunday 12pm-10pm.
Facebook: Thong Dee – The Kathu Brasserie