Have a Hoot of a time in Patong

Posted on July 23, 2014

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From humble beginnings 30 years ago in Clearwater, Florida, Hooters has now become three impressive things: an American icon, an international phenomenon and the latest addition to Phuket’s restaurant scene.

It definitely has a very American menu with everything your Yankee Doodle Dandee heart could wish for, plus a Spicy Thai Beef Salad – the only notable Asian addition.

Two immediate thoughts as we enter: there are more female diners than male (seriously) and the hiring policy is far more equal-opportunity than you might think.

In fact the ideals of the Korean-born, Manchester-raised, General Manager Bok Shin, is “Anyone should have a chance to work here”. Her staff are smiley and attentive and come from all walks of life with varied backgrounds and experiences.

But Bok’s handpicked staff are going to have to learn fast as the restaurant was busy on a Tuesday night in low season – and not many places are saying that right now.

The food is all prepared and cooked fresh in-house, including the breading and seasoning for the restaurant’s famous chicken wings, which adds to the flavor of the food. It can also add to the time it takes to serve, but definitely worth the wait. Luckily there is an extensive cocktail menu to choose from while you wait, plus several choices of draught on tap.

We ordered the Daytona spiced wings and the barbecue burger and we tucked (our napkins) in and got started. The wings are spicy, but not explosive (although I suspect the Triple Dog Dare sauce is if you like it hot). The wings are very meaty, particularly the drumsticks.

They give you that finger licking satisfaction without the need for a shower like some sauces leave you with. The burger was delicious; I could taste the beef, the bacon and the cheese, so it was well proportioned.

Given the burger was cut in half and put down several times to take notes (unusual for me when eating), the bun did a great job holding everything together. The beef patties were cooked medium, so juicy enough to be very tasty but dry enough not to turn everything messy.

Next, a frosty pint of my favourite draught arrived (and quickly disappeared) which was very welcome on what was a warm summer’s night.

It has to be said at this point I was ready to agree that ‘Hooters Makes you happy’ – the company’s new slogan.

At about 9pm the DJ started up and spun a few tunes, but it is worth noting that Hooters has seating for a further 30 people inside and up the stairs should you prefer a quieter place to enjoy your meal. For meetings of larger groups, this is ideal.

If you have had your fill of pad Thai and green curry I would highly recommend Hooters for comfort food from the good ol’ US of A, and a fun night out – for everyone, not just the boys!

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