At Nai Harn Beach
Open time: Daily 12.30-10pm
Resevation: 0 7638 0020www.thenaiharn.com
Breezy and casual, Rock Salt is trendy beachside restaurant where guests can enjoy a relaxed al fresco ambiance and an ingredient-driven menu showcasing cuisine from around the world.
The Nai Harn has undergone many transformations over the years. Nowadays, Rock Salt, a pebble’s throw from the waves lapping Nai Harn Bay, is perfect for a pre-prandial cocktail. Relax to funky music, admire the roseate sunset, and peruse the list of ‘Tribute and Signature Cocktails’ created by Salim Khoury. Awarded the accolade of UK ‘Bartender of the Year’ in 1992, and famous for his stewardship of the London Savoy’s American Bar, he has long been associated with The Nai Harn.
Little wonder the cocktails are so memorable. My partner has a Nai Harn Sunset, a deep pink confection made with Balls gin, fresh water melon, basil, lime and Prosecco. Mine, a Nai Harn Cooler, is a luscious offering: Kristall gin combined with zesty orange marmalade and the juice of lime, orange and pineapple. Also on the list are: Rumble, Blushing Monarch – featuring gin and Campari and, of course, Lady Nai Harn.
For a main course, a must-try is the ‘piece de resistance’, the Andaman Platter, a comprehensive sea-food offering for two, which pays homage to the very essence of Phuket’s marine heritage. Sea shrimps, tiger prawns, Fine de Claire oysters, steamed Rawai clams in chili, ginger, coriander and coconut milk, served with all the trimmings. Less demanding on pocket and palate, sample Mediterranean inspired flavours: Souvlaki – barbequed pork kebabs with grilled peppers – or the Italian-inspired Blue Mushroom Pizza.
Dessert was a Coconut Pannacotta (with fruit salad and homemade passion fruit ice cream) that looked good and tasted divine. My partner’s reluctance gave way and an order for one became two. It was just too hard to resist.
To top it all, there’s a DJ playing every Friday from 4 pm -10 pm. Daily Happy Hour ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ from 5.30 - 6.30 pm.
Rock Salt, despite its alfresco, dramatic beach setting, is cosy and intimate. The funky music, alcoves and different levels add to its charm. Comfortable sofas, attentive but unfussy service and valet parking, make the whole experience a relaxed, and pleasurable one.