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PHUKET: With the Cherng Talay area filled with flashy eateries, it is often difficult to decide where to grab a bite to eat. Driving down Lagoon Road, a small joint named Moon Bistro and Restaurant catches the eye at first glance.

This elegantly-designed restaurant appeals to tourists, as well as long-term expats and locals, with both indoor and outdoor seating separated by large glass doors.

The owner, Mazar Jobi, is an interior designer by profession, and has done a commendable job creating an atmosphere that is both functional and inviting, by painstakingly crafting each aspect from the walls to the furniture. The high canopy-style ceiling fits well with the wooden interior, while the walls are adorned with large paintings that complement the funky, yet laid-back atmosphere Ms Jobi has strived to create.

The restaurant has recently expanded their menu to include a larger variety of both Thai and ‘farang’ food, with regular favorites such as burgers, sandwiches, soups and steaks, as well as offerings for those with a more adventurous palate.

After a refreshing lemon and ginger welcome drink, I started with some ‘nibbles’, including spring rolls wrapped in shrimp, and chicken satay. Ms Jobi, who is a gracious host and interacts frequently with all her customers, explained that the idea behind her restaurant is an upscale joint with a relaxed vibe, offering reasonable prices and quality food.

The main course consisted of pasta served with a chicken creme sauce and mushrooms, calamari stuffed with minced chicken, Tom Yum seafood soup, garlic fried rice and chicken with coconut curry, as well as a sausage chicken baguette which I packed away for some delicious midnight snacking.

Although I was quite full before dessert (the portions are generous, unlike some other restaurants in the area), I couldn’t help but reach for a few mouthfulls of mango with sticky rice, which was a great end to a satisfying meal.

In an area brimming with higher-priced cafes and bars, the Moon Bistro is refreshingly affordable. Average prices for entrees are 200-250 baht, unless you’re ordering steak, which will set you back about 550 baht tops. A number of meal-in-a-box options are also available, with prices starting at 120 baht (not including delivery charges).

For more information, contact Moon Bistro and Restaurant on 092-414 2914. Delivery is free within a 5km radius.

— Zohaib Sikander