Article published on www.phuket.com
A few years ago on the island there was a small and select band of restaurants that hardly advertised and yet each was famous amongst the smart-dining set and well-informed visitors. One restaurant that figured prominently on this elite list is Lim's in Kalim and it's not hard to see why it has this distinction.
The 60-cover hillside restaurant encompasses everything a class act should: ultra-fresh food, expertly prepared select ingredients, great background tunes and a sense of occasion in unusual and tasteful surroundings.
WHERE IS IT?
Lim's is located in Kalim, just to the north of Patong, but this beach feels like it's on another planet – the difference in atmosphere being that great. If coming from Patong, drive one kilometer along the Beach Road and, just after where the road separates around a tree in the centre, turn right up Soi 7 where the Orchid Hotel makes the corner. You'll find Lim's up the hill on the right-hand side of the soi.
In recent months it has been reported that taxi drivers, on being requested to drive to Lim's, have been dropping diners off at other destinations to obtain commission, so be aware of this and insist on arriving at the correct address.
Lim's owner, Khun Kop, is an accomplished artist and his abstract works hang on the buffed concrete walls.
With buffed concrete floors, too, you could say that the whole restaurant is something of a bare canvas for Kop's colorful creations and what with vivid throw cushions and sofa covers it has an eclectic yet balanced feel to its décor.
As for al fresco dining, expect lush tropical foliage with a comfortable wall-hugging sofa, a large mirror and ample lighting.
Effortlessly chic. As previously mentioned, Lim's is frequented by diners and partygoers in the know, as Zurich-born co-owner Daniel Bosshard has his finger firmly on Phuket's social pulse.
Kalim is becoming an ideal alternative evening out for those who prefer to opt out of Patong's brashness and Lim's, on a quiet soi, is ideal.
Good sounds, a friendly clientele, discreet service and great food all add up to a place definitely worth checking out.
Lim's has an extensive wine list featuring choices from over 10 countries that shows a slight preference for Old World labels.
Rest assured; you'll find what you're looking for here with such a wide-ranging and regularly reviewed list. We enjoy a robust Chilean Merlot with our meal.
A recent addition to Lim's is NINE lounge and bar next door – a great place for chilling with a cocktail.
Accurately described as 'modern Thai', the fare at Lim's is deliciously fresh, skillfully presented and the perfect complement to an extremely attractive eatery.
Duck breast salad is perfectly yielding with natural local herbs while the grilled sticks of chicken with papaya salad are exemplary in their tenderness.
The fried tofu with peanut sauce is remarkably soft while green chicken curry fairly bounces with freshness. But the star of the evening is deep-fried sea bass with green mango salad; its juicy and wholesome filets almost a meal in itself. This is great stuff and well worth sampling.
Diners can also order set meals at Lim's and there is a vegetarian section on the menu.
• Sliced north-eastern Thai-style beef filet with spicy local sauce
• Ma-Sa-Man curry
• Deep-fried sea bass with green mango salad
• Duck breast salad with local herbs
Discreet and dignified, the young service team doesn't put a step wrong.
On www.concierge.com "The Insider Take"
This old Muslim house hidden in the hills overlooking Patong Beach has a second life as Phuket's insider after-dark address. Frangipani trees soar above the sea-facing veranda lined width cozy daybeds, and upstairs in the private party room an ornate Chinese imperial altar table, birdcages, and an opium bed add just a dash of kitsch alongside dramatic oil paintings by local talent Kob Alongkorn. Chill jazz tunes accompany signature sips like the Chili Moon martini, which mixes vodka and Cointreau with muddled Kaffir lime leaves and fresh chili, or the Frozen Passion, with vodka, tequila, and cranberry juice, plus passion fruit and mango sorbet.
Online at www.phukettatler.com "Refined Palettes"
Art and the art of dining combine in gloriously delicious and creative ways among Phuket’s collection of hybrid gallery-restaurants, reports Sam Wilkinson
Phuket is a magnet for artists of a mix of genres, ambitions and degrees of talent. While art galleries are not an unusual sight around the island, each enclave has its own characteristics, with Rawai playing host to an eclectically minded art village featuring artists from all corners of Thailand. Phuket Town is home to several pioneering art galleries, some of which offer art classes.
If you’re looking for copies of classic works along with oil renderings of family portraits they can be found at Patong, Karon and Kata beaches, along with many other skilful counterfeits such as clothes, fashion accessories and music. Cherng Talay and much of the area around this tourist hub centering on the Laguna Hotel complex is where to find upper-scale art galleries that feature sculptures and innovative oil-on-canvas works, some with their prices approaching those of London, New York or Paris.
A key way of exposing Phuket-based artists is to combine the concept of dining in, or surrounded by, an art exhibition. Several of the island’s restaurants, ranging from Miguel Kirjon’s almost whacky but certainly unforgettable Gitano Restaurant & Love near the Two Heroine’s Monument, to the impressive beachside setting of John Underwood’s Brush Restaurant & Lounge in Kalim, have artistic creativity as an integral draw to their dining experience while others, such as Siam Indigo in Phuket Town and Taste in Surin beach, along with Lim’s in Kalim sell a fair few pieces of art a month – all in all an aesthetic and high-end alternative in the holiday souvenir market. Here are some of the best Phuket venues featuring this unique art-and-dining experience.
Lim’s pioneered Phuket’s art-and-dining scene, pure and simple. Opened 12 years ago as a fine-dining-with-art concept that has constantly rated as one of the best of Phuket’s cutting-edge and chic destinations, the restaurant features not only the paintings of Kob, aka Alongkorn Poochamchote from Nong Khai, but his cuisine concept, too – oh and his gardening skills. “Everything you see here is Kob and everything you don’t see is me,” jokes his long-time Swiss partner Daniel Bosshard. With its buffed-concrete-and-stone theme, three separate dining spaces (two featuring Kob’s art) and a loyal clientele along with visitors recommended by Phuket’s top-end resorts, Lim’s is a happening hub of creativity. Traditional chic is the best way to describe the décor, atmosphere and cuisine here, with the Bosshard-Alongkorn culinary partnership sticking adamantly to Asian fusion with liberal Thai accents.
As for Kob’s art, the main, air-conditioned dining room is the place to see some of his immense and colourful abstract works while smaller creations dot the walls of the other inside, fan-cooled dining space. “We ship paintings taken off the frame,” remarks Bosshard. “Exporting them along with the frame doubles the cost. So rolling them up and sending them by DHL is the best way.” Works sell from 35,000 to 300,000 baht.
Lim’s staff members are, for the most part, there for the long run and the menu hasn’t changed much over the years, an unusual combination for a place known for its creativity, but Bosshard says, “If you go regularly to your favourite pizzeria you’re generally going to order the same combination. We’ve been operating over 10 years now and we’re still successful and were, along with Baan Rim Pa, the first restaurant outside the hotels on the island to feature genuine top-end Thai dining. People know what to expect here.”
What you can expect at Lim’s is modern décor, a highly recommendable mix of traditional and Asian fusion dishes, fine wines, intimacy, a good service team led by Italian-born maitre d’ Matteo Pavlic, and some pretty impressive abstract works, many of which will need a large wall space to display them on if you decide to buy.