The restaurant inside the Panwa Boutique Beach Resort
Open time: Daily 6.30am-11pm.
Resevation: 0 7639 3300www.panwaboutiquebeachresort.com
Explore the exotic flavours of Thai cuisine at Baan Thai: a wide range of spicy and non-spicy local dishes in a stylish setting, overlooking the resort pool and Chalong Bay.
Imagine a beach-side restaurant with spectacular ocean views, attentive staff and above all, haute cuisine food at reasonable prices. Difficult to envisage? Panwa Boutique Beach Resort ticks all these boxes.
Created on the sea’s forested headland near Cape Panwa, the resort offers dining either on a beachfront terrace at alfresco Coco Beach, or in air-conditioned luxury at adjacent Baan Thai, the principal restaurant. Both secluded settings feature a panoramic vista of palm-fringed infinity pool, with shimmering Chalong Bay beyond.
Enjoy a cocktail on the beach, by the pool, or watching the iridescent sunset from the cossetted comfort of Baan Thai. Talking of which, my partner begins with freshly squeezed orange juice while I sample a house speciality – a roseate Dragon Sling created for the Chinese New Year with gin, cherry brandy and fresh pitaya. Seasonable and delectable.
The menu runs the gamut from western favourites, such as fish and chips and pork cordon bleu, to classic Thai cuisine. Everything we order is not only of superlative quality and beautifully-presented, but extremely good value for money. There is virtually nothing over 200 baht – extraordinary for a restaurant in such a favoured locale. The resort even runs an inexpensive steak buffet on Tuesdays, and a BBQ on Thursdays. I immediately make a mental note to come again.
The fried prawns in tempura are crisp and light yet succulent, with onion rings as accompaniment. For my main course I choose the grilled sea bass with garlic and pepper sauce. Sealed in light batter, the fish portions are generous and flavoursome, the sauce piquant and a perfect complement to the dish. My partner goes for two Thai meat dishes: a starter of minced pork which is pronounced superb, and juicy stir-fried beef with oyster sauce to follow.
There is a lot more to choose from: everything from soups and salads, Thai staples such as chicken with cashew nuts, green curry, lui suan or beef with oyster sauce, to international dishes such as Australian beef and duck breast with shiitake sauce. Wines are available both by the glass, carafe and bottle.
Not hard on the pocket and a perfect place for a getaway.