Gypsies restaurant jumped out at me whilst doing some research on restaurants on the Island of Phuket. Images of this restaurant covered head to toe in very warm rich red velvet curtains and arm chairs, huge elaborate chandeliers and Balinese umbrellas all lit by very beautiful silver candelabras imbued a presence of fun and magic. Fun and magic that might not be out of place in a Cirque Du Soleil performance or the huge tent of a resting Eastern European Gypsy caravan of old travelling to pastures new.
“Its Gypsies, it has to be loud, it has to have colour and be vibrant, it has to have a lot of life!”Nat, co-owner of ‘Gypsies restaurant’.
In my interview with Nat, I was informed that ‘Gypsies restaurant’ is part of a group of eateries all situated in an area called ‘Naiharn Lane’ and that Nat is co-owner of ‘Naiharn Lane’ with her business partner Sharla. The group of eateries consists of the ‘Gypsies restaurant’, the ‘Cannelle Coffee Shop and Bakery’ and the ‘Holy Shakes’ burger, milkshakes and churros bar.
Staying focused on ‘Gypsies’ I got to asking Nat what the concept was behind this very unique and ambitious project in both terms of the décor and the cuisine. Nat said we just thought of Gypsies and decided to have fun. “Its Gypsies, it has to be loud, it has to have colour and be vibrant, it has to have a lot of life!” she added.
In our conversation about the décor Nat told me that when they went about purchasing items they literally said how about some huge candelabras, different coloured plates, large chandeliers, long velvet curtains and authentic carpets. “We just had fun and rolled with it” she said.
The food was conceived apparently in a not too dissimilar fashion. The chefs were told to make it rustic and for the portions to be substantial. What they delivered in my opinion was an exciting menu the likes of which you’re not going to see for some time soon.
I did get the impression that the Gypsies spirit has been captured here and that a quiet meal and a couple of drinks in this environment could turn into a large night if one was so inclined. This would almost certainly be the case if you happened to attend a Gypsies special event night where guests are invited to pay for their meal and free flow drinks charge and then drink to their hearts content for 3 hours.
I went through the menu and selected a grilled chicken dish and then followed Nat en-route to the kitchen below the restaurant. On the way we walked past the ‘Holy Shakes’ burger bar hut and the ‘Cannelle’ coffee shop and bakery. An interesting point worth mentioning to any dog owners is that ‘Naiharn Lane’ is dog friendly and if you want to bring your dog with you (into or outside of the restaurant) your more than welcome. There is even a ‘Cannelle’ dog water bowl hydration station for your pup. Nat did say however, that your pooch must be well behaved.
I met Thai head chef Bass and chef Of who kindly agreed to me filming them make my meal. They knew what they were doing, and I watched with great excitement as the ingredients all came together and eventually got served in a real Moroccan tagine.
Following the removal of the tagine lid and the great reveal I sat and sampled some of the dish. A detail about tagines that I was unaware of is that when you sit and the lid is removed, all the aromas are supposed to be released toward the guests adding to the moment.
The food was well presented, hearty in size and tasted great. The vegetables were perfectly cooked, and the chicken marinated to perfection.
After saying goodbye to Nat I returned later that evening at around 19:00 following watching sunset at 18:30 on Naiharn beach. I managed to capture ‘Gypsies’ on its own and candlelit before guests arrived. What a unique looking restaurant, and one that really gives you a sense than anything can happen here, you just have to let go. Well done to everyone involved in making ‘Gypsies restaurant’ what it has become.
Thank you to Sharla and Nat for talking to the Farangbowl and making us feel so welcome.
Owner/s: Sharla and Nat
Address: Gypsies, Naiharn Lane, No. 15/99, Rawai, Phuket 83130
Open hrs: 17:00 – 23:00
Call: 063 015 5562
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/avFpQXmgwCnAcijc8
To watch the video that supports this article please use the media viewer below or go to the Farangbowl YouTube Channel.