Located by Koktanode Road, restaurant on Kata Beachfront.
Open time: Daily 11am-midnight (Last order at 11pm)
Resevation: 0 7633 0015-7www.boathousephuket.com
Modern nautical-themed dining room with open kitchen, wine cellar with cellar’s table and lounge bar with both air con and alfresco seating.
The Boathouse is a legendary boutique hotel and restaurant, one of the first in Phuket and now the beneficiary of a most imaginative refurbishment. Sip your cocktail in a bar area with blue and white nautical motifs, then dine al fresco amid venerable trees and wooden decking in an atmosphere of rustic grace and charm. Beyond is the sea, now silvered by moonlight, with black silhouettes of late bathers, and revellers launching illuminated lanterns into the tropic night. Magical.
There is, of course, an air-conditioned option, still with the sea view.
We begin with drinks – a classy Oz chardonnay available by the glass – then adjourn to the spacious restaurant where the cool sounds from a trio playing jazz standards, filter through. From a selection of 14 starters, all living up to their stated claim to be “fresh and delicate”, I opt for the King Prawn Salad, a crunchy, spicy amalgam of sliced baby eggplant, lemongrass, lime, mint and chili paste, the perfect green complement to massive grilled prawns. My partner’s seared marinated scallops, on a bed of asparagus and fresh leaves, are succulent and enhanced by an intense chili-garlic sauce.
The ‘new’ Boathouse is already celebrated for two iconic dishes: the slow-cooked Duck Confit in “tangy” tamarind sauce and the Lamb Shank Massaman. The restaurant’s most popular offering, this southern Thai curry featuring lamb on the bone is served in a delectable and aromatic sauce with sweet potatoes. Massaman like you have never experienced it. Sensational. The Gaeng Kathi Neua Poo, yellow crab meat curry in coconut milk with betel leaves, is densely flavoured and creamy. Also recommended are Grouper Fillet, Razor Clams with Cashews and Okra, and Smoked Roasted Pork Neck in Green Banana Curry.
The wine list is legendary. Everything up to Chateau Petrus. I settle for an Australian Shiraz, the perfect partner for a sumptuous repast. The Boathouse has everything: history, attentive service, a unique setting, a romantic ambience and above all, ambrosial food. Do go… You will not be disappointed.