Food That Will Make You Feel Good: Jaras is a Must in Phuket

October 20, 2022 Travel

Did you know that Phuket is not just famous for its beaches but is also a UNESCO city of gastronomy? With a multitude of tempting options, there’s a lot for everyone. For those looking for food that is not just flavorful but also good for our health and our planet, Jaras is a great option.

I visited Jaras recently with media members from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand, invited by Delivering Asia. We were in Phuket to attend the 2022 edition of PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism), held in Angsana Laguna Phuket.

During the summit, one of the topics advocated was food traceability. And that is one of the areas Jaras champions. 


Jaras is a 2022 Michelin Guide, fine dining restaurant located beachside in Intercontinental Phuket Resort. It serves Thai food prepared using the finest, sustainably sourced ingredients from local farmers and fishers in Phuket. This not only guarantees freshness but also supports farming communities.


Jaras sources its herbs and vegetables from Toltec Farm in Phuket; its organic chicken from The Tan Khun Farm in Nakhon Pathom; lobsters from Sarasin Farm in Phuket; goat from nearby Bang Tao Farm; organic palm sugar from a village in Songkhla; bor hua haad salt from Bueng Kan province; and fragrant hom dok hung rice from Sakhon Nakhon province.


For starters we had thod man poo, or donut-shaped, deep-fried crab meat and chicken mixed with breadcrumbs, served with chili jam made in-house. 

 thod man poo


Next up, we had yum soom O tubtim goong yang, or grilled Andaman tiger prawn with a refreshing combination of pomegranate, pomelo, coconut milk, roasted coconut, fried shallot, cashew nut and red onion.

yum soom O tubtim goong yang


We also had pad cha scallop pumpkins bok choy, which is flavored with oyster sauce and has scallop, pumpkin, bok choy, fresh pepper, finger root and basil. 

pad cha scallop pumpkins bok choy


As a seafood fan, I was delighted knowing I could eat these seafood dishes and not feel a tinge of guilt.


The words of Maggie Lee, one of the PHIST speakers, were ringing in my mind while I was eating. Her statement was something like if you want to counter depletion of our seafood, you can either avoid seafood or find out where your food is from.


Returning to the starters set, we were served gai yang takrai, or organic chicken skewers with crispy lemongrass, lemon jelly, fresh coriander and chili. This one was not only packed with flavor but also presented well. Very Instagrammable.

gai yang takrai


Our soup was pla krapong tom som, which is like the tom yum sour soup. Pla krapong tom som is a clear soup with snapper, shallot, lemongrass, turmeric and spring onion.

pla krapong tom som


At this point, I was already very full, but the dishes served were too hard to resist. Good thing I was able to walk a little inside the restaurant to watch Chef Chalermwut Srivolalkul or Chef Nui, Jaras’ Chef de Cuisine, in action. I was also able to look at the different pickled and fermented produce displayed at the restaurant. To make sure ingredients are always available, the team at Jaras ferments, cures and pickles produce, which also creates new flavors and textures.

Chef Nui


Four main dishes were served. These were organic Phuket pad pak miang goong seab, look chok southern yellow curry, pla nueng ma nao and grilled pork neck. 


The organic Phuket pad pak miang goong seab was one of my favorites. The flavors of the slightly bitter and sweet pak miang balanced well with that of the Phuket fried shrimp and crispy garlic. It was the first time I tasted pak miang, known as the queen of southern local vegetables.

organic Phuket pad pak miang goong seab


The two sea bass dishes were equally good.


Look chok southern yellow curry had lotus root, bitter leaf, potato, shallot, look chook, and chili oil. The steam sea bass dish, pla nueng ma nao, was spiced with lemongrass, galangal and a spicy lime dressing.

Look chok southern yellow curry


pla nueng ma nao

You can’t go wrong with either one of these delicious dishes. And if you are not in the mood for fish, there is grilled pork neck.

grilled pork neck


Lastly, for dessert, we had mango sticky rice. It was the best mango sticky rice I ever had and was very colorful and beautifully presented. I’m not a dessert fan but I cleared my plate.

mango sticky rice


This was a truly divine night of food and wine. The company was fun, the service was good, and of course, the food was amazing. Every plate served was so impressive and, true to its promise, the entire night was a memorable culinary experience. It felt good!


Wishing Jaras gets elevated to a Michelin star because they truly are deserving.

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