Morten Nielsen, executive chef, Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong
With a CV that includes working at Dusit International, Guam, for three years as executive sous chef and stints at Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Kempinski Hotel, Bangkok, the Michelin-starred Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen and Nahm in London, Morten Nielsen blends his loves of prime aged meats, seasonal produce and Thai cuisine at Patong's new Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong. See phuketpatong.hotelindigo.com
Briley Chicken Rice opens early, at 6am, and that's when the locals start coming. This restaurant is an institution and inside, it's a slice of old Patong, with plastic stools, whirling ceiling fans and portraits of the Thai Royal Family everywhere. The khao man gai, or Hainanese chicken rice will set you back not much more than 100 baht ($4.60) but will keep you going for a day at the beach or shopping in Patong's laneways and marketplaces. It's a dish of boiled, grilled or deep fried chicken with rice cooked in chicken fat. Wash it down with a Thai iced tea or juice. (143/6 Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road)
Coffee Mania brought serious coffee to Patong. They have two cafes and they're always busy. They have a variety of beans and a menu of different hot and cold drinks. The Nanai Road cafe, Coffeemania House, is where they also roast the beans. It's in a residential area, nice and relaxed with a lot of creatives hanging out on the terrace. (171 Nanai Road)
Lunch in Patong is not good business – unless you are a street vendor, because a lot of people stay on the beach. It's all about the pork or chicken skewers from the carts and a Chang beer from a chiller box. For something a bit more, try Kaab Gluay. Order the miang gung sod (shrimp wrap), moo hong (pork belly stew) and nam prik goong seab (smoked shrimp chilli dip). (58/3 Phrabaramee Road)
At sunset along the road at Kalim Beach, the bay just north of Patong, street food vendors set up shop, serving a huge array of Thai snacks and meals. Locals pull up on their motorbikes and dine alfresco at the tables and chairs behind the vendors. The sunset view is incredible. Grab a few takeaway snacks to share and head across the road to Somtum Yum Pao, next to the convenience store, for the best papaya salad you'll ever have. You can eat your takeaway at the table, and it's licensed, so you can enjoy a beer, as well.
We do our own dry ageing at Butcher's Garden and have a fantastic meat cabinet that keeps everything at just the right temperature and humidity to ensure the meat ages perfectly. There are plenty of choices – but for me, the pick is a nice rib eye with good marbling. As the meat dehydrates in the cabinet, the flavour intensifies. Pair it with a wine from our great selection and after dinner, make sure you head to Pots, Pints and Tikis, for one of their killer cocktails.