On the hillside 5 minutes from Chalong Circle to Kata
Open time: Daily 11am-11pm
Resevation: Tel: 0 7660 8899www.villaroyalephuket.com
The new Mom Tri’s sister restaurant with beautiful ambience, delicious food, professional, friendly service and stunning panoramic views over Chalong Bay, marina and islands.
One of Phuket’s most spectacular locations, perched on a hillside high over Chalong Bay. Wok Gallery Kitchen, Mom Tri’s latest venture, enjoys panoramic views from easterly Cape Panwa to Rawai in the south. Set like jewels in the turquoise ocean below are green-clad islands. On a clear day you can see the misty outline of Ko Phi Phi. Marvellous.
The restaurant has two spacious verandahs to take full advantage of the setting – one, open to the sea and sky, the upper level enclosed by glass. Imaginative touches include jungly paintings after Henry Rousseau and large mirrors reflecting the ocean theme. A garden supplies fresh herbs. Like the classy and friendly service, the décor is unpretentious, but entirely appropriate: granite-topped tables, comfortable chairs, wine glasses that will not disappear in a gust of wind. Nearby is the yakitori bar, serving delicious tapas with drinks.
The menu is relatively small so diners can select from a number of dishes intended to be shared – Thai style. It is also a sampler: popular dishes will be retained once Wok Pagoda embarks on a wider range. The emphasis is on ultra-fresh ingredients, locally sourced, and prepared with the lightest of cooking touches: “the charcoal grill is the hearth of our kitchen”. In addition, every dish looks beautiful, a delight to the eye. And the emphasis on fusion cuisine means that both chefs can combine western and Thai styles in their creations.
My entrée is Steamed scallops, served in their shells in a delectable ginger and seaweed sauce: Plump, succulent and with a real tang of the ocean. My partner chooses Seared tuna with spices Wasabi. The melt-in-the-mouth flesh is a gorgeous deep pink, thinly sliced, and with a sauce that is ‘hot stuff’ even for a Thai palate. Sea bass is accompanied by a rich tarragon and white wine sauce. Dessert is a simple but delectable Thai offering of mango with ice-cream and rice. Other memorable-looking dishes include Tiger prawns with cilantro and white wine, Breast of duck with orange lamyai tempura and chuchee curry. Prices are extremely reasonable.
Finally drinks. A wide-ranging list includes six whiskies, 10 liqueurs and 14 cocktails. From four “Around the World Reds”, I choose the Sommelier’s Selection, a Chilean merlot. A snip at 220 baht a glass.