Opposite ‘The Nature’ hotel at the north end of Kalim beach
An elegant French restaurant located on the shores of Patong Bay, offering contemporary French cuisine with stunning sunset views and creative beverages. Perfect for special occasions.
Open time: Daily 4 -11.30pm
Resevation: Tel: 0 7634 6271en.laromegroup.com/laromebythesea
If location is everything then L'Arôme by the sea is onto a winner before we even enter the building. Perched at sea level just behind Kalim's rocky beach, this restaurant venue has long been a favourite with island residents and tourists alike. The current proprietors have taken things to a new level with their (predominantly) chic French cuisine, contemporary-style interior and a trendy beach club ambience on the rooftop. An efficient and smiling hostess meets and greets just inside the door on arrival. A glimpse here of the standard of service to come. With a choice of the elegant 1st floor (not the ground floor!) or the airy upper deck, we choose the latter to enjoy the sunset, the lively sea breeze and the gentle crashing of the surf on the rocks.
Delivered by our greeter to the team member who would take care of our every need throughout the evening, we began to realise how special the service at L'Arôme is. Service that is slightly formal, well trained, yet personable and friendly makes for a supremely comfortable experience.
Interested to find out what L'Arôme’s set menus offer, we opted for the 'Menu Découverte', literally the menu of discovery, at a special 'Phuket Sandbox' price of 999 baht++. Apart from this, L'Arôme also offers the 'Menu Expérience', a 6-course tasting menu priced at THB 1,999, with the option of a 'beverage'-pairing at 1,500 baht++ or juice pairing at 1,200 baht++.
The choice from just two appetisers on our discovery menu made life easy for us; one of each Mushroom velouté for me and Tuna tartare with beetroot, avocado and kalamansi for my dining partner. The main dish offered us a choice of three: Lobster ravioli with shrimp and shellfish in a Chardonnay coulis, Cauliflower risotto with asparagus and truffle or Tournedos Rossini with black truffle and truffled red wine reduction. We were both in a rare 'meat mood', so the Tournedos, albeit with a 500 baht surcharge, was our obvious choice.
However, before any of our selection was served, we were surprised to receive a complimentary amuse bouche, called The Secret Garden, made of homemade foie gras terrine and fresh mango jelly on toast, to enjoy with our mocktails. The mocktails are handcrafted by their mixologist with fresh pressed fruit juices, and perfect for enjoying the sunset views from the rooftop.
It was now the turn of France and my mushroom velouté, a former favourite, turned out to be the best I've tasted since moving to Thailand 26 years ago. The presentation of my companion's tuna tartare was exquisitely crafted, the tuna and the avocado nestling amongst whorls of crispy radish and beetroot. Fresh, flavourful with a tangy impact on the taste buds, this was consumed to frequent murmurs of appreciation.
It was time for the main event. Not usually a big meat-eater, I was a little nervous that I would struggle with this generous portion. I should not have worried. The steak was as tender as it could be, and combined with black truffle and the truffle-infused mashed potatoes, the flavour and texture call to mind perfection. It was only when I had left my plate completely empty that I stopped to realise how full I was – surely a sign of a good meal when the senses overpower practicality.
Fortunately, given this turn of events, our deserts would have far less impact on our ability to arise from the table. A novel Millefeuille gateau provided a beautifully light and fresh finale, while my Île flottante (poached meringues floating on a 'sea' of crème Anglaise) was refreshingly different for someone not often found with a meringue on his plate.
Thanks to the generosity of the portions, our descent from the top floor at the end of this exemplary meal experience was a little slower than our ascent earlier that evening.
L'Arôme is a very welcome addition to the fine dining opportunities on Phuket. A great location, a friendly and very able service team together with skillful and innovative food preparation by Chef Sopa Sosan (Ann) and her team of female chefs - all combine to ensure a great future for L'Arôme catering to the tastes of discerning Phuket residents and visitors alike.
Plenty of off-road parking.