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Fun times with good friends in Phuket

PHUKET: On Ratsada Rd in Phuket Town, close to the fountain, is a long established bar and restaurant that you’ve probably walked past a thousand times and never noticed.

By Claire Connell

Tuesday 6 November 2012, 05:37PM

But despite its quiet presence, Anna’s has a strong, loyal local following, with regular patrons who come for the great atmosphere, reasonable food, drinks offers and live music.

The venue is run by friends Leilani Chiaravanond and Vattanee “Jun” Srikraivin. Jun opened Anna’s around six years ago, and it quickly became known as a chilled out cafe and restaurant.

Jun’s aunt had a restaurant in Bangkok with the same name, named after 1956 musical The King and I, one of her aunt’s favourite movies. The film is a fictionalised account of the true story of Anna Leonowens, a widower who worked as governess for King Mongkut in the late 19th century.

When Leilani came on board a few years ago (she used to run a bar in Bangkok) the two decided to turn Anna’s into more of a bar, and create a venue where their friends could hang out. The bar is now particularly well known for its excellent live music, which starts from 8.30pm every night.

“It started just as a place for our friends to have somewhere to go on a night out,” Leilani says.

Fittingly, considering the name, the building the bar and restaurant is in is almost 100 years-old (it used to be a dental clinic). Jun rebuilt the entire building and put in the second floor (ideal for larger groups to dine), making it far safer but still trying to keep what original interior she could.

Leilani says, “It is very different from other places in Phuket. The building, the furniture, the style of drinks and the food... it is very Bangkok influenced.”

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Speaking of the food, the restaurant has a Thai-European menu, plus a few Japanese and fusion dishes. Recommended orders include the chicken curry with roti (B150), the salmon spring rolls (B120), and the popular “Squiddy” calamari fries (B120). For something a little more substantial, try the Japanese Kurobuta pork chop, served with garlic rice and vegetables (B280).

But where Anna’s really comes into its own are the special drinks it offers.

The women say unusual cocktails such as the sparkling jelly (B250) are all the rage in Bangkok, but very few places in Phuket are offering them.

The drink is full of small floating, bubbling jellies (either peach or raspberry flavour) and is incredibly popular.

Anna’s also offers “XL” size cocktails – about the equivalent of five large cocktails served in a very large glass.

So if you find yourself wandering around Phuket’s Old Town in the evening looking for a cosmopolitan setting to enjoy a drink and bite to eat, you now know where to go.

Anna’s, 13 Ratsada Rd, Phuket Town (opposite Phuket Brasserie), 076 210 0535. Open daily 6.30pm to midnight, closed Mondays.



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