We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Top Notch Evening”

Top Of The Reef at Cape Panwa Hotel
Ranked #15 of 33 Restaurants in Cape Panwa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: European, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Croydon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Top Notch Evening”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Myself and my wife have stayed many time at Cape Panwa Hotel.Last October we had one of the rooms above this lovely restaurant and the location is great.If you stay at the hotel you can obtain a book (or two !) of tickets which can be used in any of their restaurants and makes it cheaper.There is a happy hour each evening 6.30-7.30 in the Otters bar (2 for 1 including a carafe of wine if you so choose!).With the daily menu about 800 bht I think very good value considering the service and ambiance.I would recommend the crepes as a dessert as they cook and serve to your table.We always ensure we dine here on our first and last nights and a "few" in between.Men must wear trousers but the air con does help.Chill out and have an evening or two here I`m sure you will enjoy.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank GeorgeMadiga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

121 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
192 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Overrated and Overpriced.”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

First Impressions
The restaurant is located within the Cape Panwa Hotel, it has the appearance of a colonial mansion house with a modern interior. There is a cocktail bar within this complex along with a resident musician. This is the flagship restaurant of the hotel and the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The Food & Service
This is the flagship restaurant of this hotel and they advertise this restaurant as a fine dining experience. The style of food is Thai and French combined as the executive chef Phillipe is from Burgundy and prides himself on his classical French training. I am afraid to say that their interpretation of fine dining is a bit of a joke. We had booked a table and waited 30 minutes beyond that time to be seated in the restaurant. The restaurant was not busy, however, we waited a further 20 minutes for the waiter to bring the first basket of bread and that was stale. There were only 3 staff working but they were running around the restaurant without any direction and looked lost in their surroundings however they were polite. We started with what was described as an amuse buse, It was a slice of chicken on a wedge of pineapple with a dollop of cranberry sauce. The plate and the food were freezing cold and obviously taken straight from the fridge and the chicken was tough as an old boot. This was followed by scallops in a cream sauce and Lobster in a cream sauce with asparagus. The sauces were so stodgy you could stand a spoon up in it. The lobster dish was served cold which was ok but it had been prepared and left to stand in the fridge for hours, it was disgusting. This was followed by a sorbet and then a main course of Fillet Du Sole which was sole, shrimps in a cream sauce with a pastry fish head and tail and some undercooked vegetables and the second dish of Baked sea bass in banana leaves, another two dishes that could have been cooked and served up by a kitchen maid. The service and knowledge of the staff was poor and although very polite at all times they were very inexperienced and had no idea of restaurant service.

This was without doubt one of the most appalling nights dining at a restaurant throughout my stay in Phuket. It was as close to fine dining as the earth is to the moon. There was a limited number of staff working in the restaurant, who did not know what they were doing and they did not know what food was on the menu or how it was served. The standard of food served could have been served by anyone learning to cook. Complaints were simply answered with a straight forward apology and nothing done to rectify the issues. We left the restaurant after the main course to avoid any further disasters.

Service- 3/10
The Food- 2/10
Value for Money - 1/10. The meal cost about £70.00 for 2 people on a set menu and drinks were extra.
Would I return - No

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank thehungrybutcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“Unintentionally hilarious”
Reviewed February 7, 2013

I'd completely forgotten about this venue, until the topic of 'so-bad-they're-funny' restaurants came up in conversation.

During our stay at the overrated Cape Panwa Hotel last year, we elected to spoil ourselves at the glamorous-sounding 'Top Of The Reef (fine dining) Restaurant.'

Well, we must have entered via some time-distorting portal and ended up back in the 1970's:
the vibe was ersatz French Bistro, with a touch of 'Hart to Hart' thrown in (and we half-expected Starskey & Hutch to pop in for prawn cocktail.)

The retro feel spilled over into the menu - I turned into Michael Winner and ordered steak au poivre, crêpes suzette, and some equally unfashionable starter.

We found it difficult to remain straight-faced throughout: the Maître d' was a Thai version of Manuel from Fawlty Towers, and the restaurant appeared overwhelmed - despite there being only four other people daft enough to dine there.

The food took forever. When it did arrive, the steak (ordered medium-rare) had been cooked until all succulence had left - and then cooked some more.
it was as tough as a badger's backside, but I was far too hungry to return it.

The Maître d' arrived at our table to ask if everything was o.k.
I showed him the vandalised slab of leather gracing my plate, and - after careful deliberation - he pronounced "the Chef has left it too long in the pan"
(...d'you think ?)
This genius statement brought a raspberry of laughter from my wife - and I nearly choked on the aforementioned steak, whilst suppressing my own amusement.

Absolutely priceless ! ...you really can't buy inadvertent fun like this.

The Maître d' tried his best (bless!) his small-town attempt at high-end flouncery continued 'til the bitter end.
This restaurant's attempt at a graceful swan-dive does result in a clumsy belly-flop, but the wine was good, the crêpes suzette were a retro-pleasure; and the memory of that evening still brings a smile to our faces in the middle of an English winter.

Visited March 2012
4 Thank kevinandjulie409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromsgrove, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“More style than substance”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

While the room decor and location top class the quality of cuisine did not achieve same standards which is presumably why there were so few other guests. On the plus side you can order 'happy hour' drinks @ adjacent piano bar and take these thru to dining room.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank 323RobinB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leicester england
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“small portions”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

food fine, but quite small portions - nice seating arrangements but quite expensive with it being in the hotel

Visited December 2012
Thank carolecaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Top Of The Reef at Cape Panwa Hotel also viewed

Cape Panwa, Phuket
Cape Panwa, Phuket
Cape Panwa, Phuket
Cape Panwa, Phuket

Been to Top Of The Reef at Cape Panwa Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing