Bampot Kitchen & Bar in Phuket breaks a lot of moulds in offering first-class innovative cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. With its name taken from the Scottish slang term for ‘crackpot’, the unique approach to almost every aspect of the dining experience would certainly make you crazy to miss it.
Found close to the entrance of Laguna Phuket – an area almost exclusively populated with the island’s finest resorts and hotels – Bampot’s modern bistro style makes it a popular dining and chilling spot for an eclectic crowd of friendly expatriates, locals and tourists alike. Its industrial-décor interior has a buzzy atmosphere rarely seen in a fine dining restaurant.
Jamie Wakeford, the Chef and Partner at Bampot, says that the atmosphere is an important part of the experience. “When I was a younger chef, I used to pay exorbitant amounts of money to experience Michelin-starred restaurants. Apart from one or two, the majority were very stiff,” he remembers. “That’s something I never liked; feeling a bit uncomfortable until you’ve had a couple of drinks.”
Having worked in some of the best restaurants and hotels in Europe and Asia, Jamie arrived in Phuket determined to do things differently. Bampot was born from his desire to create a contemporary restaurant serving excellent food and imaginative drinks, paired with a relaxed, fun atmosphere.
“I love the ambiance of a French bistro; the clutter, the glasses chinking. That’s what it feels like at Bampot Kitchen & Bar. It’s full of life,”
The cuisine on offer is difficult to pigeonhole. While it is based on Jamie’s extensive experience in European kitchens, the use of local ingredients inevitably adds a slight Asian twist. Many of the dishes are simple in concept but combine such remarkable flavours to create a unique taste explosion with every forkful.
“We use both modern and classical techniques but our dishes aren’t over complicated. We cherish simplicity. We keep it light, fresh with clean flavours,” says Jamie, when asked to describe the food and drink at Bampot.
The menu is presented on a clipboard, which demonstrates its constant evolution as it follows the seasons and availability of fresh produce in the local markets. With the exception of some popular dishes such as Beer Can Chicken or the Deconstructed Cheesecake, there’s always something new and surprising waiting to be discovered.
“We need to be excited about what we do at Bampot, so we keep it fresh by adding something new all the time, I’ve been here two years and I am still discovering ingredients I’ve never worked with before. I love it – it’s never boring.”
The drinks list is also constantly evolving – a process made easy by the extraordinary range of raw materials available. The list of gins and whiskeys is particularly impressive, though it is the hand-made custom cocktails which make Bampot’s bar really unique. Affordable fine wines are also something of a rarity in Phuket, but the team at Bampot pride themselves on providing great house pours at a very reasonable price.
Bampot Kitchen & Bar’s modern approach to its food and drink is a testament to Jamie’s vision of putting quality first in a relaxed atmosphere. It makes fine dining an experience which does not require you to dust off your tuxedo. It makes tasting truly remarkable flavours something which is not just approachable, but really enjoyable for everyone.