Daintiness you order
‘Kitchen Plus’ staff told people that it is a new style restaurant in Phuket and invite everyone to try it out. Phuketindex.com couldn’t resist sending us out to prove the claim. At Kitchen Plus located in HomePro Village Chalong, we walked around, grabbed a seat, tasted the food and talked to the owner; Mr. Teerasak Phonngam (Kim) and Restaurant Manager; Mr. Thanaphat Nuansakul (Kob) to learn all about ‘Kitchen Plus’.
Are you food lovers?
We two enjoy eating as much as loving to cook. The idea quietly came up when we were travelling around – visiting this and that restaurant– and started to think about our own childhood dream. It took a while to open the restaurant though, crafting the menu, and searching for proficient cooks: these processes took time as we all knew that cooking needs elaboration.
Do you serve to all tastes?
You are all welcome at ‘Kitchen Plus’. Thai cuisine is the main focus of our restaurant but we do add western items as well, to attract foreigners, for example in the menu we have soup, American breakfast, spaghetti and steak. Talking about Thai restaurants in Phuket, people might think that we cook to please foreigners, and the taste or spice may be cooled down. But for ‘Kitchen Plus’, taste & spice is standard Thai except when the customers require a mild flavour or no spice.
With two guys in the kitchen, do you have to be ‘able’ to cook?
(Kim) Yes, I was a cook on my own before. When I was studying and living abroad, I always cooked for myself and took food to a temple. Further than this, it was my mother who was very good at cooking and I think it passed down and I learnt her way. So for me cooking is reckoned as a real ‘heart catcher’. Kob himself has to do it as well.
(Kob) When our cook is absent, we have to be able to replace her. I sometimes have to enter The Kitchen, cooking Som Tam and everything myself.
What are on today’s menu?
They are all are some of ‘Kitchen Plus’s’ popular dishes. Pad Thai with our own homemade sauce – somewhat spicy; Stir-fried Shrimp with Curry Powder in which we use fresh White Shrimps – not cultured nor frozen shrimps; Deep Fried Sea Bass with Fish Sauce to eat with Mango Spicy Salad – crispy outside but tender inside. Other popular dishes are Spicy Mixed Vegetable Soup with Prawns, Sea Bass with Curry Powder, and set dishes like Thai Red Curry Soup with Thai goramy fish especially for Thais’ favourite choice. Here we have over 200 dishes and all of them are cooked with the freshest ingredients we get daily.
How do you get employees’ hearts?
We see everyone as a family member which is all important. Whether they are a steward, a waitress, or a cook, we treat them equally. For ‘Kitchen Plus’, we are just like a father, a pillar of our family.
Have there been difficult experiences?
(Kob) Running a restaurant is totally new to us. So difficulties were inevitable. I graduated with an engineering degree. Kim has been engaged in the property industry. We had no restaurant experience before. It’s kind of lots of work with hard homework to do. We realized that part of the success is ‘teamwork’. We then tried to give our staff our hearts and hope deeply they will give theirs back in return.
(Kim) We had so many problems to cope with when we first opened. It was September and we planned to run a soft opening but things turned out to be far beyond our expectations. With good feedback and word of mouth power, our restaurant was crowded with customers. We underestimated its popularity. There were only a few people at that time to run the operation and deal with complaints of slow service. Everyone had to help each other. But now everything is set in its place. We have experience and learnt the lessons. I have to admit that it was really stressful. We don’t want to let anyone in with a negative first impression that will undoubtedly ruin our business.
What are your future plans?
We plan to expand with more branches when everything is systemized and settled. It probably will be in a franchise pattern. There are a few customers from other provinces showing their interest and discussing this with us. So we consider them and wait for the time we are really ready to move on. For Phuket, new branches might be at Central Festival Phuket or Jungceylon – a tourist zone with high potential.
What are the keywords for running a restaurant?
This is easy; one is honesty and another is service-mind. With these two things, you can do it. It is very tiring but if you have the heart, you will get good feed back.
What are your lifestyles like?
(Kob) Lifestyle has a lot of influence on our restaurant. We are easy-going people and that is reflected in our food presentation. We keep it simple and focus on a comfy atmosphere instead.
(Kim) I like travelling, eating, experiencing something new and interior design. These inspire me a lot in my own restaurant. The concept is not limited to one style. It’s the mixture, the blending of our characters that is different in each corner.
What’s your message to the readers?
(Kob) – We try to serve the finest food with the best service. If you are looking for an easy restaurant with a good price, please come.
(Kim) I would like to invite everyone. It’s true that we are a newly opened restaurant – our food is not though. You can enjoy our signature cocktail. Come and be entertained with nice folk songs by a Philippines live band every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Say hi to us and we will recommend you some dishes.