Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Lifestyle: Feeding the gypsy in you



PHUKET: If you’re passing through Cherng Talay, heading down to Surin or Bangtao beaches, you’d have to be blind not to notice the startling yellow and pink building on the left hand side of the road – opposite Tesco Lotus.

This is Gitano Restaurant & Love, the latest incarnation of the innovative couple, Miguel Kirjon and Lin Prachakrich. Miguel and Lin, here in Phuket for 17 years, have had other Gitano branches before, in Phuket Town, Patong and Pa Klok. They are presently planning one in the Boat Lagoon, but this particular Gitano creation perhaps best personifies their runaway creative impulses.

Is the inside décor less conservative than the ‘look at me’, almost shocking exterior? Er, not much.

The same yellow and pink theme runs throughout. There are trippy, glazed ceramic floorings, 3D acrylic paintings (sporting what appear to be boobies), hand-painted lampshades, brightly colored furniture, a central aquarium, and over in the corner a semi-partitioned kids’ play area, complete with the Disney Channel on a large LCD TV, books and games.

Oh, and a naked mannequin’s torso stuck to the toilet door, thrown in for good luck. It sort of comes as a surprise that the wait staff doesn’t turn up on rollerblades, wearing fluorescent Darth Vader outfits with flashing helmets, but hey – that’s life.

Still, Gitano makes a welcome difference from the somewhat predictably average Phuket eatery where rocking the boat is the last thing on the designer’s mind. Here, you can feel inebriated without a drink having passed your lips and that – when you stop and think about it – can only be a good thing.

But what about the food at Gitano? This is Lin’s domain and she balances a one-page Mexican-tinged menu against several pages of photo-illustrated Thai dishes.

Anyone who has dined over in Patong knows that a dreaded photo menu means gulping down the aperitifs and heading for the next, photo-menu-less restaurant. But, Miguel’s pics pull the trick off smoother than olive oil on aluminum roll-out paper.

We opt for a balance of Thai and Mexican dishes, starting with a pretty neat chile con carne with a great enchilada pollo complemented by a panaeng gai grob – crispy chicken in a clever mélange of what tastes like penang and massaman curry.

It has to be mentioned that attention to detail is paramount here. The square white plates and quality wine glasses are conducive to making the evening feel special, even though Gitano has no pretensions to fine dining, and the plate on which my grilled white snapper, mango salad and fried potatoes is served could easily carry a full round of Guinness pints in a backstreet Dublin pub.

That said, even though the other dishes were prepared to perfection, the snapper was slightly overdone with the unusual result that I paid more attention to the delicious salad and tasty potatoes.

Prices range from reasonable (a lunchtime set menu with a glass of iced lemon tea for 95 baht) to extravagant (a Billecourt Salmon Brut Reserve NV Champagne at 4,990 baht), with a lot of dishes floating around the 170-200 baht region.

But what this place does more than anything is cater to families with its amusing and cool design, kids’ facilities and youthful outlook. It’s the mixture of almost childish euphoria, coupled with eclectic art and original creativity that makes Gitano Restaurant & Love stand out as a great place for fun-loving families and people looking for a great place to eat in a decidedly wacky atmosphere. Oh, and the food’s pretty good too.

Gitano Restaurant & Love are open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Tel: 081-892 2419 or visit

— Sam Wilkinson


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:

Crime4 mins ago

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

World7 mins ago

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

Crime1 hour ago

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

Sponsored1 day ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime2 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video2 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
World3 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand4 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand4 hours ago

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

Thailand5 hours ago

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

Thailand5 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Guides5 hours ago

English-speaking counselling/therapy services in Bangkok

Thailand6 hours ago

Thai man faces prison for growing & selling corals online

Crime6 hours ago

‘Real owner’ of Mountain B nightclub released on bail for 1 million baht cash

South7 hours ago

UPDATE: 21 year old man found dead after Deep South bombing

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