Connect with us

Thai Life

PHUKET DINING: Great value at vintage vamp Kopitiam



PHUKET: If you crave quality Chinese-accented Thai cuisine, and might like to savor it in a retro ambiance, you need to visit the latest addition to Old Phuket Town’s culinary scene.

Kopitiam Cafe and Restaurant – a family-owned kitchen located at the Yaowarat Road end of Thalang Road – opened only three months ago but has already established itself as one of the most pleasant eateries in the Old Town.

What immediately strikes you about Kopitiam is its location. The restaurant is positioned smack in the middle of a neighborhood awash in tradition and history, and teeming with character.

Thalang Road, once the most important trading street in Phuket, today boasts a charming sweep of beautifully maintained Sino-Portuguese shop houses, each with a distinctive colorful door.

Kopitiam nestles snugly inside one of these shop houses, complete with sheltered verandah out front where customers can sit and watch map-wielding tourists amble by, or check out Thalang Road’s famous classic Volkswagen car collection.

Owners of the restaurant are Wirot Bumrungwong and his wife Wilai, who used to lecture at Phuket Rajabhat University.

Kopitiam is one of three businesses, all owned by the family, standing side-by-side along the landmark road.

Next door is Wirot’s parents’ 100-year-old Chinese herbal medicine shop, and two doors down is “Wilai”, a restaurant she has owned for 12 years.

Red and green colors greet you at the entrance to Kopitiam, while the interior boasts sturdy teak furniture and whitewashed walls, embellished with fascinating black-and-white photographs of Phuket during the early 20th century.

The restaurant is bright and airy, and crammed with antique knick-knacks, such as a wonderful Sun Standard typewriter, an antique vinyl record player, and a large creaking bookcase housing dusty Hemingway-esque novels and vintage comics.

But Kopitiam is not just a pretty face. It matches its aesthetic charisma with some very tasty goodies, all of which grace the menu at under the 100-baht mark.

The card includes a small but superb vegetarian collection of 10 dishes, all cooked by the lady in charge of the culinary end of things, Chef “Lek”.

“We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of the kitchen and the freshness of the ingredients we use,” says Wirot.

“Around 90 per cent of our customers have been foreigners so far… so our Pad Thai (60 baht) is very popular. We already have a lot of regulars,” he adds.

Start your meal with one of Kopitiam’s signature herbal drinks (20 baht). The refreshing Roselle herbal juice is crisp and sweet with just a hint of fresh cinnamon that tickles the tongue.

Follow this with the vegetarian spring rolls (50 baht). They’re made from shiitake mushroom and a couple of bristly spices, and are tasty and not too greasy. Or try the Tom Yam Goong (90 baht). It’s flavorful and made hearty with thickly cut vegetables.

For mains, the Kaeng Khiew Wan Kai (Green Curry, 70 baht) is excellent, thanks to whispers of basil and delicate salting. Or try the the Hokkien Mee (60 baht), a lip-smacking stir-fried chicken noodle dish in soy sauce.

If these suggestions don’t get you drooling, there are also plenty of standard Thai curry and seafood dishes on offer. There is also a good breakfast menu, and Kopitiam hopes to introduce a dessert menu in April.

Kopitiam is open from Monday to Saturday, 11am to 10pm. T: 081-8923723

— Andrew Jennings


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok12 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World12 hours ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Travel12 hours ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand13 hours ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime13 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime14 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime15 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video16 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World16 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand17 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand18 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11