Anantara Layan Phuket Resort
Open time: Daily 6-10.30pm
Resevation: Tel: 0 7631 7200www.phuket-layan.anantara.com
A remarkable standalone Thai restaurant on the hillside overlooking the Andaman Sea. A true pleasure for all of the senses.
If every up-scale restaurant needs to be distinctive, then Dee Plee succeeds. The location is spectacular, perched on an escarpment which commands lofty views of the resort and the sea beyond. The refined Thai menu offers an imaginative range of dishes from all over the kingdom. Add to that, an emphasis on ultra-fresh herbs and vegetables, and superlative presentation – a feast for the eye as well as the palate – and you will have some sense of the Dee Plee’s unique charms.
The attention to surprising detail is evident from the start. We begin with a glass of butterfly pea tea, followed by an ‘amuse-bouche’ of Perilla leaves with five dips including ginger, chili and fish-based ones and three nibbles – fried coconut, galangal pickle, and peanuts.
The chef recommends a starter which takes us on a gastronomic journey around Thailand. Colourfully served in bowls with accompanying sauces, it consists of Kor Moo Yang Jim Jeaw – North-east style grilled pork neck with lime sauce, Larb Gai – minced chicken salad with rice powder and mint leaves, Som Tum Thai – a spicy papaya salad with dry shrimps and peanuts from central Thailand, Thod Mun Goong – fried patties of minced shrimp, and Yum Nua Yang, a beef salad with lime, chili sauce, tomato and onion, which my partner loves for its piquant edge. For me the ‘piece de resistance’ is the shrimp patty, succulent and densely flavoured.
For the main course, we both opt for traditional Thai curries. My friend’s choice – predictably since she hails from Trang – is Kua Gling, finely minced southern kurabuta pork, stir-fried in curry paste with lemon grass and kaffir lime. My selection is a Panang fish curry, Pla Grapong Dang, with snapper and cumin. The real deal, with a rich red sauce and moist fillets of fish. Choice of three kinds of rice too….And, for those who cannot make up their minds, the Curry Platter offers a selection of five different classics including Gang Keaw Waan (green curry) and Masssaman Nua. There is even a selection of vegetarian dishes based on Phuket’s own traditions.
The wine list is impressively extensive – with 21 choices available by the glass. I order a tannic Australian Barossa Stonefish Shiraz and follow up with a classically plummy Merlot from the same vintner.
No stone is left unturned at Dee Plee to ensure your experience is memorable.