março 2, 2024

Fine dining isn’t commonly associated with the tropical island of Phuket, Thailand. But did you know that the country’s largest island is home to PRU, the only MICHELIN-starred restaurant outside of Bangkok?

Following on the heels of the success of PRU—which retained its one MICHELIN star and MICHELIN Green Star accolades at the MICHELIN Guide Thailand Star Revelation 2023 at the end of last year—the award-winning hospitality group behind the fancy farm-to-table establishment launched Jampa, a sister restaurant that shares the same passion for celebrating local produce and eco-conscious dining.

The Food and Drinks
The distinguishing factor about Jampa is its philosophy of “local ingredients, live fire and zero-waste cuisine”. What you eat is transformed this way and not only does it taste good—it also feels good, knowing that in some small way, you’re supporting sustainable sourcing and cooking.

Alongside the a la carte menu, we partook in the Experience menu. Kicking things off—after two amuse-bouche—we tucked in to the first course: a watermelon, dhala flower, avocado and dried fish shavings starter. It was a curious combination of ingredients but pleasantly surprising in its taste and texture.

The pretty start to our meal: Watermelon, dhala flower, avocado and dried fish

Next, a beetroot, kohlrabi, black garlic and cucumber dish, which wasn’t overwhelming either, thanks to the clever mashup of the lively, slightly bitter vegetables offset by the refreshing ones.

For the veggie lovers: Beetroot, kohlrabi, black garlic and cucumber

The third course was my favourite, featuring sea bass, pomelo, sweet potato and beurre noisette (brown butter). It looked healthy, homey and inviting; one of those dishes that makes you want to tuck in to immediately. The fish was buttery and crisp, the pomelo lent a juicy finish with every bite, and the sauce was simply delicious. An exquisite entrée.

Favourite of the night: Sea bass, pomelo, sweet potato and beurre noisette

This was followed by a serving of farm eggplant, dukkha (Middle Eastern nut, seed and spice blend), Thai chestnut and root vegetables jus. Though it was a tad too earthy for my tastes, I appreciated the creative mix of healthy ingredients.

The farm eggplant, dukkha, Thai chestnut and root vegetables jus dish featured flavours of the land

The fifth course was a river prawn, piccalilli (mustard pickle), cha kram (Thai vegetable) and quinoa entrée, which boasted sumptuous salty and sweet flavours that we quickly gobbled up.

A simple but original seafood course of river prawn, piccalilli, cha kram and quinoa

For the penultimate course, one of the most innovative dishes of the lot was a palate cleanser of sorts in the form of tomme de cherve (uncooked pressed cheese), guava and macadamia nut. Again, the fusion was unexpected but it tickled our taste buds all the same.

Our palate cleanser of tomme de cherve, guava and macadamia nut

Finally, we arrived at the dessert of farm mulberry, chumphon chocolate 70% and hibiscus. As chocolate lovers, we scarfed this down; including every bit of the dark cacao.

Ending things on a sweet note: Farm mulberry, chumphon chocolate 70% and hibiscus

The Hospitality
Service was impeccable. The food was timed to perfect intervals, and the attention to our pace didn’t go unnoticed. Special thanks too to Chef Rick Dingen, who served us himself, and whom we spoke to briefly before we took our leave about his restaurant’s concept; including his palpable passion for zero-waste cooking and love for Thai produce.

Chef Rick Dingen of Jampa

Location
Jampa is located at the gorgeous Tri Vananda wellness area in northwestern Phuket, and is easily accessible by car; just 15 minutes drive from the international airport. Surrounded by the rainforest, the restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows, light wooden furnishings and a massive granite bar at the entrance. It’s truly a picturesque and welcoming spot to socialise or dine at.

Cosy nooks at Jampa offer a semi-private space for a leisurely fine dining experience

The Noteworthy
Every single dish was beautifully plated and thoughtfully conceived. The portions were just right and the showcasing of local ingredients baptised by fire really came through.

The entrance at Jampa

The Summary
Jampa is fully deserving of its MICHELIN Green Star—an accolade that, according to the MICHELIN Guide website, “highlights restaurants at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices” and “offers dining experiences that combine culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitments”.

If you only have time for one meal in Phuket, make a beeline for Jampa.

Staff
Polished and polite

Food & Drinks
Creative and thoughtful


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