PRIME is the home of smoke and fire on Nai Harn Beach
Open time: Daily 6-10pm
Resevation: 0 7638 0200www.thenaiharn.com/dining/prime-rock-salt/
The al fresco dining experience is completed with panoramic ocean views across Nai Harn Beach and fine wines handpicked by global wine critic James Suckling.
With less than 20 seats, this newly-opened, exclusive little jewel – Prime @ Rock Salt – is perched on the Rock Salt restaurant rooftop at The Nai Harn.
The entrance is through Rock Salt itself and up a discrete staircase. The early evening view from here is sublime: the whole bay spread out before you, yachts at anchor and a spectacular sunset ‘on the way’.
Add to this impeccable service and wines selected (and paired) by renowned wine critic, James Suckling, and you have a formula for guaranteed success. And that’s before we’ve even touched on the food!
Prime offers an assortment of roasted, smoked and chargrilled creations from custom-built kitchens, featuring a wood-fired brick oven.
I started with Spanish Octopus (sous vide and chargrilled octopus, skordalia and gremolata) while my dining partner opted for the Cold Smoked Native Hebridean Salmon (lightly cured and cold smoked with raw crispy fennel salad, dill, granny smith apple, lemon, extra virgin olive oil and fresh root wasabi mayonnaise). I’m not usually a fan of octopus, which can be tough and tasteless, so this was my test of how good Prime really is. It passed with flying colours! The octopus was surprisingly succulent and tender – and the combination of flavours in the dish made for a mouth-watering beginning to our Prime experience. The salmon was everything you’d expect. Delicate, yet full of flavour, and brilliantly enhanced by the imaginative salad combination.
Main course for both of us was Ranger’s Valley Wagyu Rib Eye Marble Score 6, Grain Fed for 360 Days (chargrilled to the guest’s liking and served with truffle pomme purée, charred Romanesco cauliflower and red wine jus).
Aside from the monster-sized portions that would satisfy the biggest of appetites, this was probably the tastiest, tenderest, most succulent steak I have enjoyed for as long as I can recall – and certainly the best ever on Phuket. One or two places renowned for steak may come close, but for steak perfection on a plate, The Naiharn’s executive chef, Mark Jones, has put Prime @ Rock Salt way out in front.
We accompanied our rooftop feast with a bottle of ‘91-point’ El Enemigo Cabernet Franc Mendoza Familia 2014 from Argentina. At 2,280 baht, this was at the lower end of a mightily impressive wine list – but is testament to the fact that you do not have to empty your pockets to enjoy a very drinkable wine.
For the view, the ambience, the service and – of course – the food and wine, Prime @ Rock Salt is a must-try. You will go back again but, with less than 20 seats, you’d be advised to book ahead. This is going to be one popular venue.
Open for dinner only.