Chinatown is home to a new, swanky southern Thai restaurant: Phukej. The name of the restaurant is actually Phuket, with a distinct spelling that uses a “J” instead of the usual “T”. This isn’t a typo or a stylistic choice, but it’s actually the original spelling of Phuket, and hints at the old-school recipes they specialize in here.
In the past, Phuket was a common pitstop for sailors and the local cuisine slowly came to be influenced by Chinese and Malay travelers.
Aptly nestled in Yaowarat, the venue serves up high-end southern street food. For instance, classic grilled meats (B590) get a fancy touch up using Australian wagyu beef, cooked over charcoal and aromatic longan wood. It comes served with southern-style kapi (shrimp paste), Phuket pineapples, and Thai-style chimichurri.
It wouldn’t be a restaurant inspired by a port city without seafood bites, like the charcoal cups stuffed with Hokkaido scallop (B350) rich coconut, pomelo, and shrimp.
If you’re sharing a meal here with multiple people, order the southern-style crab curry and betel leaf (B420). Like most southern food, this packs some heat, but it’s for a good reason: balancing the crab and coconut base.
For desserts, opt for the traditional shaved ice—a treat adored by Phuket locals. Here, the granita Aiyu jelly (B180) is lychee and rose flavored, also served with rose meringue.
730 Mangkon Rd., 081-983-6650. Open Mon 11am-9pm, Thu-Sun 11am-9pm