Kata Rocks 186/22, Kok Tanode Road, Karon
We arrive amid a wild tropical storm. But nothing fazes Kata Rocks; this establishment rightly prides itself on scrupulous attention to detail. Whisked away by buggy to the serene calm of the oceanfront bar, we are instantly in another world: lights twinkle beyond the azure infinity pool as we relax in luxurious armchairs and a guitarist strikes up with ‘Pretty Woman’.
Within minutes, delectable tapas arrive – Italian bruschetta, Smoked salmon with guacamole, Spanish Manchego cheese.
Executive Chef Andrew Dickie has brought his international influence to the menu, balanced with beautiful Thai and regional cuisine in a lovely location near Kata Beach. But the reader-friendly menu, with clearly described dishes, is an international treasure-trove of culinary delights with an exciting selection of seafood-based dishes, as well as a range of 11 Thai classics. There is something for every conceivable taste. The wine list is quite remarkable for its wide range and selection.
We begin with two starters. My partner enjoyed the tapas so much that she opts for a full serving of Smoked salmon with guacamole, which is accompanied by sour cream, pickled caper berries, sprouts, and lime dressing. I venture into uncharted territory with an artistically presented salad of creamy Burrata cheese and cherry tomatoes with seeds, pesto dressing, and extra virgin olive oil. Another memorable starter is Foie gras au torchon with fig and caramelized hazelnuts.
Before our main course arrives, there’s another surprise: a house ‘extra’ of cold, buttery leek soup with salmon roe. From the principal offerings, my friend selects a spicy and authentic Panaeng nuea (red beef curry with coconut milk, sweet basil, and palm sugar). My choice is Grilled amberjack with cauliflower framed by a delicate hazelnuts and truffle emulsion. This succulent fish makes for a memorable experience.
Among other dishes especially recommended are Butter poached lobster with tagliatelle pasta, bisque emulsion, salmon roe and dill, and Wagyu beef tenderloin Rossini. Desserts include Banoffee and a signature Phuketienne (brioche, vanilla Chantilly, and fresh pineapple).
‘Perfection without compromise’ says the brochure. In the case of Kata Rocks, it is no idle exaggeration.