Located on top of the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort in Kamala
Open time: Daily 6pm-10pm
Resevation: Tel: 0 7623 1234www.hyattregencyphuket.com
Hilltop dining with a view every evening from 6-10pm. Sip your favourite drink while watching the sun plunge into the Andaman Sea, from an epic hilltop viewpoint.
Most up-market restaurants in Phuket boast either a beach-side setting or a panoramic view. Only a select few possess both virtues. The Hyatt’s Sunset Grill is such a rarity. The signature restaurant of a 200-room hotel, it is perched precariously on a steep hillside above ‘Millionaire’s Mile’. A shuttle service takes you heavenwards, where – through expansive picture windows – you gaze down on a palm-fringed shore and an inky sea, jewelled with lights. The whole sweep of Kamala Bay is before you. At sunset it must be truly spectacular.
A gin and tonic is an appropriate aperitif; a glass of elegant French Pinot Noir the perfect complement to the feast that follows. Bottles of wine are attractively arranged on a large, flower-bedecked table, where it is possible to inspect the labels before making one’s choice. One of many thoughtful touches.
The new chef Heiko, responsible for creating an innovative range of dishes based on quality grilled meats and widely sourced seafood, has prepared a special menu. It begins, like the view, in spectacular fashion, with a huge stack of exotic sea-food, artistically presented atop a pile of vaporous ice. Alaska crab, scallops, lobster, jumbo prawns – all utterly fresh and savouring of the sea. The king crab claws – the ‘pièce de résistance’ – are so large, they require a massive effort to crack open their armour, in order to enjoy the succulent white meat. The confection is served with an exotic choice of sauces: Saffron aioli, Thousand island dressing, Marie Rose sauce or Tabasco. Great care is taken to create appropriate accompaniments.
My partner chooses another seafood dish: a lavish dish of squid, delicately seasoned with garlic and ginger, and garnished with green leaves. She requests a spicy chili sauce, and pronounces it excellent.
For the main course, the special menu offers Australian beef tenderloin (150 days grain fed) – which completely lives up to its name – matched with a foie gras slice, gravy and red onion jam. The truffled and buttery mashed potatoes are superb. My partner’s choice is lamb, which arrives in the form of three juicy grilled chops, served with traditional mint sauce.
The luscious dessert reiterates the Alaskan theme: a generous Bombe Alaska flambé with forest berries and cognac. It is a rich and satisfying way to conclude our celestial experience. The buggy, thank heavens, is there to take mere mortals back to earth.