A top-notch hilltop cafe that won’t break the bank.
All the restaurants at the top of Khao Rang Hill in Phuket are rated very highly, but Tunk-ka Cafe is the most popular. Perched on the edge of the hill next to the official city viewpoint, the amazing vista from this restaurant makes it a great spot for a relaxing lunchtime beer or romantic dinner. More than a tourist trap, the delicious food makes this cafe a favourite of the locals too.
Ambience & Amenities
Tunk-ka Cafe has lots of space, both uncovered and covered. The prime seats are the tables under the gable roof next to the railing or on the deck. We sat on the deck and had nearly a 180-degree view of the city below. However, the deck gets positively baked since there’s no shade until the sun moves behind the building. There is no air conditioning in this restaurant, only standing fans scattered around. However, many tables will have their own dedicated fan.
There will be some stairs that lead down to a metal gazebo where you can admire the city. There are a couple of benches here and a ledge that you can lean on with a drink. Again, it is sweltering to stand here for too long as there’s no shade. Honestly, the view is better from the tables I mentioned above since they’re higher.
The toilet is in the back corner of the restaurant. Walk past the bar counter and go down the corridor with a bunch of old photographs stuck on the wall. The women’s washroom was very clean with western-style toilets, toilet paper, soap and towels.
The menu at Tunk-ka Cafe is entirely Thai food, and many of the options include seafood. The dishes on the “Top 20” menu (the one with photos) annoyingly don’t have the prices listed, so you’ll have to ask the server. On the long menu, some of the items will have different prices. These represent small/large sizes or small/medium/large in the case of the rice and noodle dishes.
Click on menu pictures to enlarge
Juice and caffeinated beverages are the majority of the drinks menu, but there is a short selection of cocktails, beer and liquors. Water costs 25 Baht per bottle. Tunk-ka also offers desserts, which are mainly Thai desserts that will sound weird and exotic to western travellers.
For beverages, we ordered a Pineapple Juice (45 Baht) and a Phuket Beer (100 Baht), which was a very smooth lager. I question its authenticity since the back of the bottle read “Made in Cambodia.”
The Deep-Fried Tunk-ka Spring Rolls (120 Baht) were filled with minced chicken and glass noodles, with a bonus pickled salad on the side. A ramekin with a generous dollop of sweet Thai chilli sauce came with the dish. They were fresh and too hot to even touch for about five minutes. Once they were cool enough to eat, these gave off a noisy crunch when bitten into. The ratio of chicken to noodles was nicely balanced, and shredded carrots and cabbage provided some veg content.
We ordered the Stir-Fried Glass Noodle with Spicy Ingredients (100 Baht) with shrimp in a small size. There were three medium-sized prawns along with baby corn and cabbage. The noodles weren’t too gummy and didn’t stick together that much, and a good helping of fried Thai basil throughout imparted lots of flavour to this dish. We asked for medium spicy, and it was pretty intense for some bites. The chopped up bird’s eye chillies are easy to avoid, but the green chillies looked like green beans that we ate without thinking.
I was impressed with the quality of everything at Tunk-ka Cafe. I was expecting the classic “rooftop cafe” experience – overpriced, mediocre food but you’re paying for the view. The food at Tunk-ka Cafe was excellent at very fair prices. The restaurant was very clean and the service was cordial too. I noticed that many of the other diners were local Thai residents, so this is not just a tourist trap. If you’re spending a day or are staying in Old Phuket Town, I highly recommend having a meal at Tunk-ka Cafe.
Price for 2 Pax: 365 Baht
Deep-Fried Tunk-ka Spring Rolls (non-vegetarian): 120 Baht
Stir-Fried Glass Noodle with Spicy Ingredients with Shrimp, Small Size: 100 Baht
Phuket Beer: 100 Baht
Pineapple Juice: 45 Baht
Address: Mueang Phuket Exercise Park (next to Khao Rang Viewpoint), Khosimbi Road ถนนรัษฎาMueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm
Alcohol Served: Yes