Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Serene cuisine at SALA Phuket

I count myself, like many of you reading this article, as extremely fortunate and perhaps slightly privileged to be able to say I am a resident of Phuket.

Dining
By Chris Watson

Saturday 6 April 2019, 10:00AM


Blessed with a climate which is never re­ally too hot (with the exception of our current year), a winter akin to a British summer (when somewhat amusingly many Phuketians reach for their woollen jumpers) and a general avoidance of the tropical storms which batter other Asian countries, this is, for me, a paradise.

One of my many reasons for choos­ing this as home was undoubtedly the array of dining options, from deeply deli­cious and value-for-money street food to the ever-increasing number of upscale restaurants offering high-level prod­ucts imaginatively combined to provide world-class dining.

There is also a plethora of uber-luxe resorts located, inevitably, by the sea, some cliffside, others beachside, but all offering spectacular vistas. Without exception, they all provide a wonderful dining experience and service which can now rival that of anywhere in the world.

In Phuket, I believe we are at a tip­ping point. With new six-star hotels entering the market, innovative concepts in dining and the arrival of the Michelin Guide, many are competing for the holy grail of a Michelin star. Phuket has truly become a gastronomic location.

I thought I knew most fine establish­ments that fit into the above category as I regularly cross the North/South divide and am frequently a victim of the no-end-in-sight traffic jams at Chalong Circle. But, perhaps not.

When invited to visit SALA Phuket, I must sheepishly admit that I did have to check it out on the net to ascertain the journey time. Discovering its location in Mai Khao, I steeled myself for the con­gestion and set off.

SALA is located at the end of a rather charming dimly-lit lane. Turning into the entrance, signage discreet, one has the impression of arriving at a private residence, with little visible normal hotel indicators. The arrival is enhanced by the tranquil, almost zen-like pond and walkway I pass before I arrive at the brightly-illuminated reception counter where I am directed towards the beach and my venue for dinner.

As I meander towards the restaurant, the atmosphere created by the subdued pathway only heightens my anticipa­tion. I am greeted by Basil, who is much younger, more debonair and clearly more professional than his Torquay namesake.

Rounding the corner, the setting is truly stunning. The restaurant is coloni­ally furnished and boasts spectacular seashore views. There are even a couple of salas on the beach, perfect for that all-important popping of the question.

The restaurant is on two levels, the upper largely devoted to those couples seeking a veritable intimate experience and offering yet even more panoramic vistas. I plum for the lower level and am introduced to Khun Suthisa, who in­forms me I can refer to her as Khun Nan.

La Boucherie

The menus are truly tempting. With choices of Thai set menus, an extensive Thai and Western à la carte and inti­mate dining options for two, I am spoilt for choice.

The Chef, Tony, a fellow Brit, has worked in Thailand for a number of years and encouraged me to experience his signature dishes of Poo Nim Tod Yum Mamuang (soft-shell crab), twice-cooked crispy pork belly and harissa-spiced lamb cutlets – it would be churlish not to.

Whilst Khun Nan takes care of me with a creamy lobster bisque and a cou­ple of crunchy crab cakes, Tony prepares his specialties. The lightly tempura-bat­tered soft-shell crab is deliciously crisp and moist and comes with a chili and lime dressing, the perfect foil to accentu­ate the sweetness of the crab meat.

This is followed by the pork belly. Normally a very English dish, this is served with a nod to Asia, accompanied with wok-fried morning glory and roast­ed pumpkin purée, and surrounded by a fragrant thyme gravy. This is topped off with a tasty apple and ginger mar­malade that perfectly complements the rich pork.

Whilst almost full, I manage to find room for the lamb cutlets, delicately spiced with harissa, chargrilled on the outside but remaining tender and pink inside and served with an unusual orange and pistachio couscous and a chermoula dressing of herbs and garlic. Thank you, Chef Tony!

Khun Nan insists that I try a dessert before I leave and I choose the decadent chocolate molten lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream on the side and a ribbon of slightly bitter raspberry coulis that perfectly cuts through the richness of the fondant. Thank you, Khun Nan!

I began this article by commenting on the multitude of super deluxe hotels and cosmopolitan restaurants available in Phuket, but for that truly special celebration, SALA Phuket has it all. Be it a special anniversary, a milestone birthday, that evening for asking “Will you…?”, call Basil, book a beach villa and head to SALA Phuket for the night.

www.salahospitality.com/phuket
info@salaphuket.com
+66-76-338-888


Chris is a former Michelin Guide In­spector who, following an international career in hospitality spanning 30 years in both the Middle East and Asia, has now settled in Thailand and contributes a monthly restaurant column.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
AoT gives B42bn Suvarnabhumi airport expansion green light

Well, it seems 'the sky is the limit'. But thai tourist numbers are already over the hill. ...(Read More)


Five-metre python caught in Wichit, residents worry over missing cats

Is it really a good idea to release all these pythons in the 'jungle' on Phuket? Perhaps a g...(Read More)


Thanathorn disqualified as MP

After reading this article, the thought popped up to make a nice tv thai opera show of the whole hap...(Read More)


Patong gets B11mn ‘smart CCTV’ surveillance system

All connected to a network, that is proven to be poorly maintained. I hope it works, but history sho...(Read More)


Patong gets B11mn ‘smart CCTV’ surveillance system

Why do I think this is just an exercise to give people a false sense of security. No real mention of...(Read More)


Patong gets B11mn ‘smart CCTV’ surveillance system

Great...so now you can go back and watch people drown...but make sure the cameras don't home in ...(Read More)


Patong gets B11mn ‘smart CCTV’ surveillance system

Ha, Ha- how many cameras have we seen announced and 'installed' over the years'? Funny ...(Read More)


Power outage to affect Cherng Talay

Nice sat pic of the formerly salt water lagoon before Laguna filled in the beach. ...(Read More)


Patong gets B11mn ‘smart CCTV’ surveillance system

Well, this costly CCTV system is at least good for one thing, and that is to monitor the beach life ...(Read More)


Chinese tourists rescued from Phuket surf die in hospital

Gerry,,, I fully understand that, but you seem to quick to belittle me, and in the process completel...(Read More)