The restaurant, which serves Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, is decorated in a natural theme, with vegetation inside and out, small statuettes positioned around the space, and gently lit by lanterns.
It is known to get very busy during high season, and even on a rainy night in May there were still several tables occupied by mostly local residents, keen to get their fix of Tony’s food.
The couple met around 2004 while Jo was living in Phuket and Tony was on holiday here. Jo joined Tony at his home in Singapore, before they moved back to Phuket in 2005 and opened Rum Jungle.
The name ‘Rum Jungle’ originates from a restaurant of the same name that belongs to a friend of Tony’s – and also due to the fact Tony is a fan of the beverage itself.
Head chef Tony is Italian but was born in Australia. Rum Jungle is his third food-related venture, after previously owning a restaurant in Sydney and a catering company in Hong Kong.
“Rum Jungle is Italian and Mediterranean, but leaning on the Italian side. We also have French, Spanish and North African food, and the specials change very regularly.”
Signature dishes on the menu include the avocado shrimp salad with spicy mango (B280), tuna carpaccio (B260); lamb mousakka with parmesan cream (B480); grilled fish fillet with lemon sauce, asparagus, tomatoes, sautéed potatoes and vegetables (B380); and the New Zealand beef tenderloin for B640. Pastas range from B240-B320, and salads start at B100.
Trying Tony’s home made ravioli is a must for diners.
The evening The Phuket News visited, the ravioli was stuffed with chicken and mushroom – probably some of the best ravioli we’ve had on the island and definitely a hit with the other guests on the night too.
One diner said he returned to Phuket every year and always had Tony’s famous ravioli, and we can’t blame him, it’s delicious.
Rum Jungle, 69/8 Baan Sai Yuan, (opposite the Bank of Ayudhya) Rawai, 076 388 153.