Situated only 5 minutes from the airport.
The resort’s signature grill and seafood restaurant and bar that offers both delicious food and breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea.
Even getting to Big Fish is an adventure. Narrow, winding roads, then a buggy ride around the complex of 180 rooms and beach front villas that is Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa at Nai Yang Beach. Is it worth it? You bet! Cross the bridge over the loop swimming pool and you arrive at two low-rise buildings: the Big Fish Restaurant and Bar. Beyond, the beach – fringed with coconut palms and beds of ruellias. Lights are twinkling across the bay.
The dining experience matches the surroundings. We enjoy a pre-prandial aperitif in the bar, where my partner chooses a Chalawan craft beer, locally produced, and I opt for a JW Black Label whisky. Service and setting are impeccable: the spacious and elegantly understated bar boasts natural wood fittings, black glass tables and comfortable seating. The huge sliding doors are open to the elements, adding an alfresco feel.
Enchanted, we decide to take our starters in the bar – a lobster bisque and crab cakes. Both are delicious: the crab cakes, served on a bed of spicy raw vegetables, taste authentically Thai, while the bisque, one of three available soups and larded with chunks of lobster, is richly reduced and creamy…
We move into the restaurant for our main course, where I opt for a Thai wine, a Shiraz from Monsoon Valley. The wine list is eclectic with four whites and six reds available by the glass. Bottles, which come from all the major wine-producing countries, are listed by grape varietal – Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot/Malbec and so on. A thoughtful touch. And the prices – most start at 1,700 baht - are reasonable. For a celebration, there are five champagnes. Premium ones are available.The restaurant prides itself, justifiably on its locally sourced seafood – there are seven fish dishes – and I go for the signature seafood platter. Fit for a king, it consists of a lobster, two rock lobsters, large prawns, squid and a sea bass fillet as delicious as I have ever tasted. The dipping sauce to accompany it is also memorable: garlic, chili, and coriander in palm sugar syrup. Other ‘whole fish’ dishes are available including – unusually – black pomfret, and genuine red snapper.
Another time, I must try the sea-bass cooked in a banana leaf and garlic butter, or maybe the fashionable Surf and Turf, which combines Oz tenderloin, prawns and sea-bass. For carnivores, there are other prime Australian steaks, such as rib eye... Prices are reasonable and, for main courses, start around 580 baht. Chef Pattapol has devised an original Thai inflected menu, which is sure to be appreciated by Marriott’s international clientele. He is to be congratulated. One small example: the focaccia bread “hinted at” tom yam, while the dip might have come straight from southern Thailand.
It should be added that there is a very different lunch menu which includes four salads, sandwiches, wraps and bagels. Big Fish has something to chime with all times of the day, and satisfy all tastes.