Living in Phuket Town for nearly two years, I must have driven past Rendez-Vous a hundred times. In a quiet little nook, and a big glass front to let tons of natural light inside – illuminating the exquisite tile work and turquoise walls – Rendez-Vous is the epitome of a hidden gem in the hustle and bustle of town. Owner Khun Ae is a lovely, hospitable man with such positivity and passion that it emanates from every detail of the restaurant – tranquil, beautiful, peaceful, almost as if you are in a culinary monastery.
Casual dining and coffee shop by day and bar with fine dining and an abundant choice of wine by night; Rendez-Vous wears many hats, and unlike me, wears them well. Our first little tester was the Fried “Laab Rendez-Vous”, which is a play on the traditional Thai dish Laab Moo (ground pork with Isan spices). Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and full of spice and lemongrass with just the right amount of heat, Khun Ae is very proud of this dish and it is easy to see why it has become a crowd favorite.
If you are missing some of the comforts of home, I truly recommend the French Onion Soup. Less salty than traditional French onion soups, Rendez-Vous still packs in the flavor and definitely does not skimp on the cheese! It is both filling and comforting and makes you wish that you were wearing a sweater next to a fire on a cold rainy day. However, a must-try dish is Rendez-Vous’s specialty the “Dirty Chick”, which consists of a perfectly deep-fried half chicken with a secret sauce that will have you begging for the recipe. In fact, while we were eating, we continually listed all of the things that we would put the sauce on… and basically it came down to everything. We would put he sauce on everything! The only ingredient that we could conjure out of Khun Ae was Dijon mustard, to which now my Google history is chock full of searches for ‘Dijon mustard sauce for chicken’.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, a last minute decision to try the Homemade Meat Ravioli with Cream Sauce and Parma Ham was one of the best culinary decisions I have ever made. Fresh, hand folded ravioli and salty Parma ham in a truly decadent sauce gave one goose bumps and me the giggles. Just from this one dish it was abundantly clear how much passion and dedication Khun Ae and the staff at Rendez-Vous put into their menu, their location and their guests.
Rendez-Vous is the perfect place to eat with friends, and even offers a larger, private room for 10-12 people. Khun Ae aims to provide fresh and local food for people from all walks of life – whether you are a backpacker, local, high-end tourist or CEO. From sandwiches to Wagyu beef, draft beer to fine wine, Rendez-Vous has something for everyone and is an absolute must-try in Phuket!