Rat-U-Thid Rd, Soi Deevana Hotel. Follow sign.
Open time: Daily 5pm till late,
Last kitchen order 10:30pm
Resevation: Tel: 08 1079 2699www.the9thfloor.com
The trendiest open air restaurant in Phuket. Enjoy the outstanding view and the fashionable setting.
It’s always fun to surprise someone who thinks he’s seen it all. So, when I realised a good friend who has lived in Phuket for 15 years had never dined at The 9th Floor, it was time to head for Patong.
There’s plenty of car parking for those with their own transport – but you need a keen eye to spot the narrow left turn off Rat-u-thit Road. A very short walk from the car park takes you to the building entrance and lobby – which may make the uninitiated think they’re in the wrong place. Just ignore it and head up in the lift to – yes – The 9th floor… and another world!
“This is like walking into a Bond movie,” said my friend as he stepped out of a remarkably ordinary lift straight into the stylish lounge area, populated by staff uniformly attired in slinky black evening dresses. Indeed, style is one of The 9th Floor’s attractions – as is the view across Patong.
But it doesn’t end with the impeccable, superbly trained waitresses; or the all-black seating and table cloths with perfect table settings; or the panoramic view. There’s much more. There’s a menu that manages a host of fascinating surprises in a town where ‘same-same’ is par for the course – yet is realistically priced to suit a wide range of pockets. And there’s a wine cellar boasting 300+ labels, ranging in price from 1,000 – 89,000 baht!
We started with Herbs bouillon (a delicate mix of herbs and spring onions) and Eggplant gratin (a truly amazing concoction of feta cheese, chick peas and tomato au gratin with parmesan). The soup was just as it should be – a subtle precursor to the riot of tastes in the upcoming Veal saltimbocca (pan fried veal with Parma ham and sage leaf, served with tomato risotto and white wine butter jus). “This is exquisite!” exclaimed my dining companion – a cynical lifelong expat who rarely enthuses about anything.
By contrast, my rich eggplant starter faultlessly complemented a simple Australian Entrecôte ‘Café de Paris’ with French fries. I rarely eat steak and, when I do, I’m rarely impressed. This was different. I don’t know where The 9th Floor sources its beef, but everyone should go there. Just perfect.
We helped the food along with a very reasonable Woodbridge Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon which, at 1,900 baht, didn’t break the bank but was perfectly acceptable, demonstrating that you don’t have to go far from the bottom of the list to get something drinkable. We’re happy to leave that 89,000 baht bottle for someone else!
Our desserts lived up to the promise of the first two courses. Fresh strawberry & peach melba (mascarpone cream trifle perfumed with peach liqueur & chocolate ice cream) and a much more straightforward, but nonetheless absolutely divine, Brownies (served with whipped cream) and kept us glued to our seats – with a tangy limoncello and excellent espresso – while everything settled.
It’s not often I leave a restaurant thinking “That was faultless.” At The 9th Floor the food was perfect – obviously well purchased and cooked just as it should be – and the service unbelievably professional with just the right touch of friendliness. This you would expect in Paris, New York, Milan – and maybe London. But in Phuket? Bravo! to the owners and management of one of Phuket’s very top tier of restaurants.
The 9th Floor motto, “Heavenly food served by angels”, is no exaggeration. And, in our case, all for just over 2,500 baht each, including wine.