Rum Jungle Cafe – Rawai, Phuket does surprise the casual diner. Tucked into a loud corner of Rawai’s very busy Sai Yuan Road, the restaurant is the surrounded by a small cluster of nocturnal establishments unique to Thailand’s entertainment industry.
Seaside it is not. Yet Rum Jungle Cafe’s funky ambiance and excellent Italian-Mediterranean food earned it a Trip Advisor’s top 20 restaurants in Rawai ranking plus an army of loyal customers. However this fork uses instinct, not reviews, to make key restaurant decisions. And this well placed restaurant is worth a culinary ‘rumble-in-da-jungle’. Almost every dish served (or drink for that matter) kicks ass. Chef Antonio Angelo Bruno is a proud Australian-Italian who presides over Rum Jungle Cafe with an iron fist (and very sharp knives). He demands perfection, and what he can produce from his tiny kitchen and serve in this 40-seat restaurant is just short of amazing. His ‘big board’ includes what many believe to be Phuket’s best daily specials (subject to availability), complemented by a concise two page regular menu that delivers like a boss.
Just a few best sellers include Hummus and Baba Ganoush with pita bread, or the daily fish special Mahi Mahi (or Silverjack) with avocado, cucumber and tomato salsa. Pasta favourite Spaghetti Frutti di Mare is prepared with the freshest available local seafood in white wine or tomato sauce. Local Thais like to request extra chilies and take this dish to another level. Tuna Tartar is another delicious Rum Jungle Cafe board special that is prepared with fresh Bluefin tuna, tomatoes, red onion, capers, cornichon and served with toasty baguette slices. Finally, pig out on Rum Jungle Cafe’s most popular dessert, profiteroles.
It features house-made pastry puffs piled into a sumptuous, luscious mound and packed with vanilla ice and topped with chocolate ganache and vanilla cream (pictured under large breast logo below). It lines the stomach very nicely before the multiple Mount Gay Rum and cokes start to flow. Rum Jungle Cafe – Rawai, Phuket serves dinner nightly from 5:30pm to 10:30pm; drinks late until 01:00am. It is also open for lunch Monday to Saturday 11:30am to 3pm.