Real, lovingly cooked Thai food.
Cha-Phu is a small eatery that’s authentically Thai but very welcoming to foreigners and tourists. This restaurant has a family-run feel, with a Thai matriarch in the kitchen and what may be her young descendants as serving staff.
Ambience & Amenities
Cha-Phu is a charming space that makes full use of cute colours. The right wall is covered in vivid blue paint and accented with fun, bright cushions from the bench seats. The opposite wall is covered in industrial fencing with cheeky wall hangings that make you smirk with amusement, mostly about the blessing that is alcohol.
The washroom is in a poorly lit storage area down the corridor at the back of the restaurant. It was a western-style toilet with a sink outside the room. This area was so dark that I couldn’t even touch up my makeup in the mirror.
There are enough meatless options for vegetarians, but most of Cha-Phu’s menu is meat-heavy. Pork and seafood make an appearance on every page of the menu. Water costs 20 Baht per bottle.
Click on menu pictures to enlarge
The Deep Fried Pork with Lime Leaves (120 Baht) is indulgent comfort food! These big strips of deep-fried fatty pork are a greasy snack but not dripping in oil. The outer shell of these pork nuggets was very crispy while the rendered fat melted in our mouths. There was sweet Thai chilli sauce on the side to balance the saltiness.
The Pad Thai with River Prawn (120 Baht) is magnificently assembled and looks like a perfect menu picture. There were bean sprouts mixed into the dish with more on the side so I could customise. Most other restaurants use cheap crushed peanuts in their pad thai, but Cha-Phu used lightly sauteed halved cashews. I asked for medium spicy and there was a decent but not unmanageable level of spice.
Cha-Phu served the best pad thai I had in Phuket. The noodles were satisfyingly chewy and infused with flavour. Mark isn’t a huge fan of pad thai. He says that most times they have this unappealing sweet taste, but this pad thai didn’t have that. He liked this enough to steal several bites, which he never does.
The Crab Curry with Noodle (250 Baht) was so smooth and rich with creamy coconut flavour. There were huge shreds of real, juicy crab, but we did get the occasional bite of shell or crab spine. We were asked about our desired spice level when ordering and Mark requested medium spicy. I suspect the chef used some insight and made it milder than the usual “medium” spicy due to Mark’s whiteness. The spiciness level was perfect – a little burn but not uncomfortable.
I was well impressed with the quality of the food at Cha-Phu. Our dishes were absolutely delicious and went above and beyond what we expected. The young girl serving us was very friendly, and the chef was jovial too even if she didn’t know a word of English. Anyone visiting Phuket Old Town should try to stop at Cha-Phu for a meal.
Price for 2 Pax: 650 Baht
Chang Beer: 80 Baht
Mango Smoothie: 80 Baht
Deep Fried Pork with Lime Leaves: 120 Baht
Pad Thai with River Prawn: 120 Baht
Crab Curry with Noodle: 250 Baht
Address: 24 Yaowarad Rd, Tambon Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11am – 10pm, Closed on Mondays
Alcohol Served: Yes