Kata Rocks 186/22, Kok Tanode Road, Karon
Open time: Daily 6.30am-10pm
Resevation: Tel: 0 7637 0777www.katarocks.com
Located right on the oceanfront, featuring authentic Mediterranean and Thai delicacies and spectacular views over the Andaman Sea.
We arrive in the midst of a wild tropical storm. But nothing fazes Kata Rocks; this establishment rightly prides itself on a scrupulous attention to detail. Whisked away by buggy to the serene calm of the oceanfront bar, we are instantly in another world: lights twinkle beyond the azure infinity pool as we relax in luxurious armchairs and a guitarist strikes up with ‘Pretty Woman’. The gold-award winning house gin, complete with Chiang Mai strawberries and tonic, is just the first of many special touches. Within minutes, delectable tapas arrive – Italian Bruschetta, smoked salmon with guacamole, Spanish Manchego cheese.
Charming chef, Laia Pons, trained at Michelin starred restaurants in Barcelona – an education which may explain a genuflection to high-end Mediterranean cuisine and opulent ingredients. But the reader-friendly menu, with clearly described dishes, is an international treasure-trove of culinary delights with an exciting selection of seafood-based dishes, as well as a range of eleven Thai classics. Something for every conceivable taste. From the wine list – quite remarkable for its breadth and range – I choose two glasses: a fruity Beringer Californian Chardonnay and a well-balanced Zinfandel. All wines are kept in state of-the-art controlled conditions in an Enomatic dispenser. It shows…
We begin with two starters. My partner enjoyed the tapas so much that she opts for a full serving of smoked salmon with guacamole, which is accompanied by sour cream, pickled caper berries, sprouts and lime dressing. I venture into uncharted territory with an artistically presented salad of creamy Burrata cheese and cherry tomatoes with seeds, pesto dressing and extra virgin olive oil. Another memorable starter is Foie gras au torchon with fig and caramelized hazelnuts.
Before our main course arrives, there’s another surprise: a house ‘extra’ of cold, buttery leek soup with salmon roe. From the principal offerings, my friend selects a spicy and authentic Panaeng nuea (red beef curry with coconut milk, sweet basil and palm sugar). My choice is Grilled turbot with potato, carrot framed by an exotic purple beetroot sauce. Two generous fillets of succulent fish make this a memorable experience. Among other dishes especially recommended are Butter poached lobster with tagliatelle pasta, bisque emulsion salmon roe and dill, Pan seared scallops and calamari, and Waygu beef tenderloin Rossini. Desserts include Baroffee and Pineapple carpaccio with Cointreau.
‘Perfection without compromise’ says the brochure. In the case of Kata Rocks, it is no idle exaggeration.