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PHUKET, THAILAND (ภูเก็ต) – Welcome to Phuket, Thailand, an island that’s as much about beaches and holidays as it is culture and history. There’s a rich melting pot in Phuket with local Malays, Thai, Chinese, and many others. One of the unique cultures you’ll find is Peranakan, which typically refers to straits (Malacca Straits) born Chinese. Originally from China, Peranakans adapted to the local Malay culture, and their food is a reflection of Malay and Chinese. Today we’re going to one of the few Peranakan food restaurants in Phuket, The Charm Dining Gallery (

From the moment you enter the restaurant, you’ll know it’s a special place. The restaurant is within an old upscale shophouse, and while it has been fixed up and renovated to become a restaurant, much of the building, and antiques are original from a hundred years or so ago. The owner is of Peranakan heritage, and he also had deep roots with family in Phuket, and Penang, Malaysia. The Charm Dining Gallery is a reflection of the owners heritage and food culture. Most of the recipes are all his family recipes, from his immediate family and his relatives. The Malay Chinese fish curry for instance is his Aunt’s recipe from Penang.

Along with a full menu of Peranakan food, which is all good, one of the things they are famous for and you don’t want to miss is their Peranakan fish curry. We got a huge fish head grouper head, which was first steamed and then made into an impressive fish head curry. The combination of fresh spices and dry spices, plus herbs and torch ginger flower is what really made it stand out.

Other dishes you don’t want to miss are stink beans with crab, shrimp fried with tamarind sauce, Hokkien style fried jicama, and another spectacular family dish of seared fish in a sesame oil and black pepper soup.

The food was excellent, good quality, and in addition to the delicious Peranakan food, the setting and atmosphere makes it even more impressive. Highly recommended for a wonderful meal when you’re in Phuket and a learning culinary experience.

Our total bill for everything came to 3,000 THB

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