Located beachfront at SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort
Al Fresco dining at its best, on the shores of Mai Khao Beach. Enjoy an extensive menu of fresh seafood, International flavours and Thai delicacies.
Open time: Daily 7am-11.30pm
Resevation: Tel: 0 7633 8888www.salahospitality.com/phuket/
There’s nothing about the Sala Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort that you would call ordinary. From the moment you skirt the lobby’s expansive water feature en route to reception, you’re aware that meticulous design is important to the Sala Group. Passing by the smiling faces at reception, you amble between stark high walls that enclose the resort’s exclusive Sala Pool Villas, heading towards the gardens and the beach.
Prepared to be awed by the Beachfront Bar’s huge circular daybeds, promising a decadent sunset sipping such delights as a Pisco Punch or a Lychee & Lemongrass ‘mixture’. Fresh pomelo, spicy pineapple, ginger ale and lychee juice are combined with Peruvian Pisco and Russian Vodka to make the perfect sunset libation.
Moving on, the Sala’s restaurant setting is unique; an expansive wooded lawn leads gently to the soft sand of an almost deserted Mai Khao Beach. There are few more serene settings to get started on a fine dinner, as the last light of the day morphs into a balmy starlit tropical night.
We shared the appetisers, Massaman Lamb and Ahi Tartare – the former, lamb meatballs in a mild peanut curry and garnished with goat cheese sour cream, the latter Ahi yellow fin tuna marinated in fresh herbs, chili lemon juice with a touch of sesame oil and avocado relish. The tuna was fresh and full of zing but the star of the appetiser ‘show’ for us was the lamb. The sauce was rich and creamy (but not too creamy) and successfully avoided overshadowing the impeccable flavour of the lamb.
We decided to share, yet again, for our main course – both the ‘Thai way’ and the best way… Twice Cooked Crispy Pork Belly contrasted well with Market Fresh White Snapper. The pork was served with pumpkin purée, morning glory, apple and ginger marmalade and red wine thyme gravy. Apart from the absolutely delicious mélange of flavours, the chef must be congratulated for producing a tender braised slice of belly pork with the contradictory crisp and crunchy crackling. No doubt his northern English origins helped…
The snapper came steamed with chilies, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, coriander and palm sugar. Served boneless, this constituted possibly the best ‘Pla Neung Manao’ I have ever tasted in 25 years living in Thailand (with the exception, naturally, of my wife’s cooking).
The White Chocolate Cheesecake (whipped local cream cheese with Belgian white chocolate on a dark chocolate cookie base with Malteser ice cream and caramel sauce) and the Coconut Pavlova (baked coconut meringue with vanilla whipped cream, buttery local mangoes and passionfruit purée) should have been refused as we had already eaten our fill; however, the descriptions were irresistible and the reality was just as good.
Our first course was complemented by a couple of glasses of La Segreta Bianco (an Italian Chardonnay), while a Paracombe Riesling paired perfectly with both the pork and the snapper.
Looking back on this fine meal experience, I am reminded of the excellent and charming service from the moment we arrived until, as the last guests in the restaurant, we waddled away replete.
Alcohol may be
a health hazard!