At Trisara Phuket, Naithon Beach
Seafood at Trisara is inspired by authentic Thai `Mama´ recipes passed on through the generations, offered in a relaxed, ocean front setting.
‘Trisara’ (pronounced tree-sa-raa) means “Garden in the Third Heaven” in Sanskrit. Opened 12 years ago, the title is no exaggeration; this really is an enchanting locale fit for the gods. After a drive past elegant pool villas discreetly shrouded in trees and exotic gardens, we arrive at the bar, one of several elegant pavilions on an immense expanse of natural wood decking. So close to the beach, you can both see and hear the crash of white-topped breakers. From an extensive list, my friend orders an American Deschutes craft beer. I choose a riesling from Western Australia as aperitif.
Launched in July, Chef Kla’s aim at Seafood is to create authentic Thai ‘Mama’ dishes, drawing “inspiration from secret local recipes”. Some of the dishes are indeed a pleasant surprise – innovative and unfamiliar. Given their Thai name in the menu, a helpful description in English follows. The service is friendly yet unobtrusive. Our charming waiter, Woody, is constantly on hand to advise and inform.
We begin with lon poo, a crunchy selection of raw vegetables wrapped in rice paper, accompanied by a Phuket crab dip of coconut cream and authentic bilimbi fruit juice. We then opt for a special Thai favourite – pla sai thad kamin – crispy sand fish fried with garlic and turmeric. The best example of this dish I have ever sampled.
The main course, so rich and generous that we decide to share, is gam poo phad pong kari, stir-fried crab meat, in homemade yellow curry paste, eggs and celery. There is a scrupulous attention to detail: an unusual range of breads, and colourful dipping sauces, based on, seafood, ginger flowers and tamarind. Other signature dishes include deep fried stuffed sea bass with home-grown herbs, and a distinctively different lobster – served with cashew nuts.
This culinary cornucopia comes with a bottle of Australian Saloman shiraz, rich in tannins and fruit. My partner stays with the Deschutes beer. The wine list is the most comprehensive I have encountered in Phuket 18 different wines by the glass and literally hundreds of bottles to choose from. Amazing food and drink. Is it any wonder that Trisara has won so many culinary awards?