Then, in what has seemed like a blink of an eye, Phuket woke up. It was almost overnight that traffic increased, more tourists were in shopping centres and walking along the sidewalks of Phuket Town, sunning themselves at the beach. A positive wave washed over the island, people started to smile.
And so November is here and my first invite to a brunch arrived, at one of my ‘go to’ places to escape Phuket, without actually leaving the island.
The drive north from Phuket Town was enjoyable, and it was great to see more and more places with their doors open; my family and I were off to Sala Phuket to enjoy their new Saturday brunch. Yes, you read that right, Saturday brunch. Every Saturday, Chef Tony and his culinary team have created a combination of buffet and a la carte brunch. Let me explain…
After a short stroll through the resort grounds we were greeted by smiling staff – you could see the smile in their eyes – who escorted us to our table overlooking the ocean. We did not sit long, as it was into the aircon area to fill our plates with the buffet of fresh chilled seafood – Fin De Claire oysters, lobster, blue swimmer crab, Chilean mussels, poached salmon and Andaman white prawns – plus cold cuts, cheese and salads.
While we were still enjoying the seafood, staff arrived with canapes which they did continually all afternoon. My picks were the Andalusian gazpacho, created from Phang Nga Bay crab and sweet basil oil, and the Bolognese ragu arancini.As the afternoon passed, there was no reason to even leave our seats with eight dishes to choose from a la carte.
My wife and daughter chose the Laab tuna tartare, with its light and fresh flavours and a little chili kick, and the Pla Sam Rod, a crispy fried Andaman sea bass, and my daughter’s favourite, char-grilled Aussie ribeye with Chimichurri relish. Even with the dishes being half-sized portions, they couldn’t fit them all in.
Equal top picks for me were the Massaman lamb benedict, a soft poached egg placed on top of braised pulled lamb shoulder on a toasted sourdough with a Massaman hollandaise, along with the Lobster risotto with green peas, pecorino romano, lemon and bisque essence. Both were equally sensationally good.
Next time, we need to try the Patatas bravas, a serving of crispy roast potatoes; Tasmanian salmon fillet char-grilled and served with lemon polenta; and the Fettucine duck with confit duck leg ragu.
We enjoyed sitting outside with the alming ocean breeze, eating the inspiring food which was enhanced by live music from the very talented Pete McDowell and George Cordeiro. The seasoned acoustic guitar and vocal duo, popular for their unique style and classic blend of Pop, R&B and Soul, kept our feet tapping.
Tony Wrigley, Executive Chef of Sala Phuket sums it up perfectly and was true to his word: “We are really looking forward to introducing Phuket to our all new Saturday brunch offer. With a quality over quantity direction, we aim to bring only the freshest ingredients and delicious menus each week to our guests. SALA Phuket has always been popular choice for Phuketian’s looking for a beachfront dining option, and now we have another reason to rediscover SALA and Mai Khao.”
By Jason Beavan
Saturday Brunch is only B1,685++ per person. Available every Saturday 1-4pm. Free transfers available for bookings of four or more from anywhere in Phuket. For bookings: 076-338 888, firstname.lastname@example.org or LINE: @salaphuket