The most iconic fine Phuket restaurant, Baan Rim Pa will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month. It was in March 1990 that the legendary international restaurateur and entrepreneur Tom Mc Namara turned his attention away from marlin fishing, the original reason he came to Phuket, and decided to launch one of the best Thai restaurants in Phuket and some would say, in Thailand.

Tom found the most marvelous piece of cliff top headland property upon which to cite his creation, which was originally his own home, but quickly became established as Baan Rim Pa. Despite the “nay sayers” who said this unlikely vantage point couldn’t be developed, Tom went ahead with building the luxurious wooden structure of the original restaurant.

When complete, the building perched precariously upon the cliff top with the crashing waves of Kalim Bay beneath it, and verdantly explosive vegetation all around. And so Tom named his fabulous new palace of the senses Baan Rim Pa literally meaning “House on the Cliff” in Thai.

Having found this perfect location the next priority was of course to serve food. Here again Tom was as creative as ever. He decided upon a menu of Royal Thai Cuisine featuring the dishes and ingredients formerly found only in the Grand Palace of Thailand and hitherto savoured exclusively by royalty. He tracked down the descendants of the chefs who had cooked for Thai Royalty and working closely with them developed a kitchen dedicated to serving the most authentic re-creation of Thai Royal Cuisine to be found anywhere.

Word quickly spread about Tom’s wondrous palace of gustatory delight and very soon Baan Rim Pa became the “must do” experience for a savvy crowd of wealthy and often famous visiting jet setters and locals alike.

One reason they flocked to this fine Phuket restaurant was that they were treated as friends, not celebrities, once they entered the laid back space, so that they could relax and enjoy the food, the wines, the views and the ambiance late into the evening in this fine Phuket restaurant.

Another draw which quickly became a part of the “soul” of Baan Rim Pa was the famously talented pianist Tommy Doyle, who plays jazz, blues and Broadway hits every evening, along with an ever changing array of musical associates.

The wealthy and elite group who rapidly became Baan Rim Pa’s regulars, naturally wanted to drink the finest cocktails, beers and wines with their sumptuous food and so Tom became an early pioneer in developing the Andaman region’s wine culture, which in the 1990’s was only in its infancy.

By 2002. the restaurant’s cellar was of world class standards in the breath and depth of viticultural selection on offer, and fittingly it then won the prestigious Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence that year.

While staying at the legendary Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, Tom asked Charlie Amatykul, the Head Chef, to help him develop his new restaurant’s Royal Thai menu. Charlie in turn introduced Tom to Chalermpol (Das) Na Nakorn who became Baan Rim Pa’s Managing Director. Das is totally “hands on” and can be seen most evenings wandering the floor and greeting so many visitors as old friends.

Sue Ultmann, who is Director of Marketing Communications, has spent many years making Baan Rim Pa famous. She has overseen many TV shows featuring the restaurant, such as The Great Outdoors Australia, BBC’s Holiday Show, The Travel Channel USA, Travel Asia and Beyond, and Destination Thailand. Sue has also played host to a plethora of leading travel writers from all over the world who have filmed and written about this unique bastion of good taste.

In November 2008 Tom Mc Namara sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer. But Tom’s family and the highly skilled team of associates who have managed the group since its inception continue to build upon his legacy of continuing to run one of the very best restaurants in Thailand.

Baan Rim Pa fine Phuket restaurant is certainly a part of Phuket’s living history and so, if you have the chance, seize the opportunity by dropping by for a pre-dinner drink at the bar, lend an ear to Tommy Doyle and enjoy a fabulous Royal Thai cuisine supper during the month of March. You will feel privileged to be a part of this famous Phuket institution.

Baan Rim Pa Piano Bar and Restaurant
223, Prabaramee Road, Patong (Kalim)
Phuket, Thailand 83150
Tel: 076 340 789

Article Source: Phuket Post

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