The restaurant, owned by Phanpat “Ott” Khanchanakub and his wife Archara, only opened in September but is already creating a name for itself in the local food scene.
The Slug N’ Lettuce is modelled on the English pub chain of the same name.
Originally from Bangkok, Ott spent 10 years working in the United Kingdom for the brewer Hall & Woodhouse. He was the head of the catering team, which ran 250 English pubs and restaurants, so it’s fair to say he knows his stuff.
Ott first moved to Phuket 15 years ago, and his family (Archara and the couple’s two sons Indhapot, 13, and Ittipoom, 9) remained on the island during his long stint overseas.
He’s been a chef all his working life, ever since he enrolled at the International Hotel Tourism Training Institute, (run by the Tourism Authority of Thailand) to complete a one-year chef course at age 21. Since then he’s run catering and restaurant businesses in Pattaya and Bangkok, and now can add Phuket to his list.
The food at the Slug N’ Lettuce is what Ott calls “homestyle, simple” English pub food, modelled around the British “gastro pub” craze (high-end pub food, for those non-Brits out there).
“I did a lot of research before I opened this restaurant,” Ott says.
“I checked the demographic, and there are a lot of English and Australian people [in the Cherng Talay area], plus around 900 villas.
“The demographic is right for this kind of food, and it is what I can do successfully. I understand the market and the culture – anyone can make a burger, but to make a burger for the Western market is different.”
Signature dishes at the Slug include beer-battered fish and chips (B280) which I can personally vouch for; steak and mushroom pie (B300), baked Camembert served with tomato and ginger chutney (B490); and the famous Sunday roast complete with Yorkshire pudding (from B280). Starters start at B150 and mains start at B250.
The Slug has some of the best desserts I’ve tried on Phuket, but special mention must be given to the chocolate brownie – generous pieces tasting similar to chocolate self-saucing pudding, and just divine.
The restaurant is a mix of indoor, romantic seating with clever lighting, and the more relaxed outdoor area. Despite the location being less than ideal for most Western expats, the Slug N’ Lettuce is already making its mark as one of the top dining experiences in the north.
The Slug N’ Lettuce, Bandon-Cherng Talay Rd, Thalang, 085 677 9184. Coming from the Cherng Talay Police Station towards, Laguna, turn right at the first set of lights, as if heading for Thalang town. The Slug is about 5-10 minutes up the road, on the right-hand side.