Four distinct venues offer authentic culinary experiences that create a social center for the island community and a must-try dining destination for island visitors.
With an unwavering focus that never compromises on quality, Director of Food and Beverage Giovanni Palmaccio oversees each culinary journey at Rosewood Phuket. An Italian national and culinary aficionado with a passion for wine, cocktails and cigars, Giovanni has more than 15 years’ experience in luxury hospitality across Europe and Asia.
“Extensive research into the origins of the recipes, and the curation of experiential-driven dining concepts, went into each of our distinctive restaurants,” says Giovanni. “Our chefs have learned firsthand how the older generations cooked and they appreciate the simple culinary pleasures centered around the kitchen in the traditional family home. Each of our venues offers the natural, flowing interaction between the host and their guests that is at the very heart of the best dining experiences across all cultures.”
At Ta Khai, the stand-alone Thai seafood restaurant opening December 1, guests will experience a glimpse of traditional island life still enjoyed in pockets of Phuket, in a small rustic fisherman’s village setting comprised of weathered houses and pavilions created from repurposed timber and other materials.
In addition to an indoor space, two open-sided pavilions will feature communal tables with barbecue prepared and served in Thai family style for small groups. Lounge seating will be scattered around open kitchens and live cooking stations, to allow guests to closely observe delicious, aromatic dishes being freshly prepared just as they would be in a local fisherman’s home. Ta Khai, which means “fishing net” in Thai, will offer a menu planned around the local fishermen's daily catch to ensure that only the freshest seafood appears on the tables. The charming site will include a kitchen-to-table herb and vegetable garden and live fish pond inspired by local seafood markets.
The authentic Thai dishes such as Poh Pia Sod (fresh Phuket spring rolls with prawns, jicama, bean sprouts, chili and tamarind dip), Moo Hong – Soy (braised pork with black pepper and garlic) and Khanom Tuay (steamed pandanus and coconut milk custard), will be prepared by the restaurant's Thai chef couple “Nun” Rotkaew and Sangchan “Yai” Suttitummanon. Having first met over a shared passion for authentic Southern Thai cooking, they have honed their culinary skills over a 30-year union, including running popular Thai food stalls to an acclaimed seafood restaurant.
The Andaman Sea view at Ta Khai, from beneath the shade of an ancient and sacred ficus tree, will be the perfect place to enjoy locally inspired, aged claypot cocktails such as Galangal Negroni Gin, Tom Yum Moscow Mule Vodka and Sweet Basil Mojito. Each will be a special blend of spirits and Thai herbs pre-mixed into cocktails and kept for six months in large clay pots to infuse flavors unlike any savored before.
Red Sauce, Rosewood Phuket’s Italian restaurant, is fittingly named after the fundamental mother sauce of Italian cuisine. In addition to indoor seating, an open-sided terrace overlooks the serene swimming pool and offers stunning Emerald Bay vistas. At the large central open kitchen, guests can gather with friends and family as is customary in Italian households and interact with the chefs and their team while enjoying a coffee and cake, an early evening aperitif or culinary creation.
Italian-born executive chef Luca De Negri expresses his passion for Italian cooking traditions and classical flavors in a menu of tantalizing dishes using imported prime cuts and locally sourced and naturally grown ingredients. Guests can start the day with an energizing breakfast, including à la carte items and selections from live cooking stations, enjoy a relaxed lunch with a choice of light and simple flavors such as Panzanella Salad with Seared Tuna, Speck and Stracchino Piadina, Arugula and Pachino Tomatoes, and Straciatella Pizza, or savor a dinner of authentic dishes such as Sea Bass Crudo Bistecca Fiorentina served for two and Roasted Free Range Half-Chicken.
Evenings at Red Sauce can begin the traditional way with the full experience of Italian vermouth, with three varieties -- bianco, dry and red – presented on a board and served with authentic Italian light bites. The sommelier will open a good bottle of wine for tasting with a quality cheese accompaniment served around an interactive wine counter, providing the opportunity for guests to converse and enjoy each other's company over a glass of wine served by the glass or carafe.
Mai has two distinct personalities: by day it is a laid-back pool bar, and after dark it morphs into a stylish, sophisticated lounge where the beachfront ambiance and live DJ music make this one of the island’s hippest night spots. Guests can choose to relax in the free-standing timber pavilion with open sides adorned with artisan-styled beaded curtains or on lounge beds and relaxed seating on the surrounding pool terrace.
Mai’s handcrafted, signature cocktails were designed by world famous barman Giancarlo Mancino. Under the afternoon sun, guests can lie back on oversized day beds sipping light and refreshing cocktails infused with local ingredients, such as the Mango Moscato Spritzer, Beer Margarita Tequila and Pina Colada Slush. The evening’s libations range from an impressive selection of aperitifs, spritzers and negronis such as The Unusual, a blend of Vermouth Bianco, Vodka and Orange Sorbet; Limoncello Spritzer; and the Vintage Negroni with Vermouth Rosso, Chinato, Gin, Rinomato and Bitters.
The rustic, laid-back atmosphere of The Shack is inspired by the world’s most memorable seaside joints, where simple is always best. An array of unpretentious seafood specials chalked up on the blackboard showcases the finest local ocean flavors, including Andaman Prawn, King Snapper and Grouper. An open kitchen with hot stone oven and charcoal grill features alongside counter seating at this casual poolside dining experience.
A Sense of Taste in Phuket
Guests can also discover Phuket’s rich culinary diversity through the resort’s “A Sense of Taste” program. This includes “Partners in Provenance,” a commitment to support area artisanal food suppliers and present diverse, seasonal menus of local fare. Chefs work closely with top quality local farmers and producers who deliver the finest home-grown ingredients, such as Bah Mi, a third-generation family-owned business whose handmade egg noodles are made with a 100-year-old kneading machine, Big Bee Farm which produces organic and wild honey products, Na Nua Goat Farm for organic/free range goats’ milk and local plantations for Phuket pineapples.
A Sense of Taste also includes “Epicurean Encounters” in which guests can embark on island culinary adventures. On “A Fisherman's Journey,” they board a luxury yacht to explore the exquisite natural splendor of the Andaman Sea and discover the freshest seafood in these tropical waters. After picking up traditional Thai fishing equipment from the bustling Rawai fishing village, guests sail out to pristine Raya Island where nets are be cast into the crystal-clear waters, leaving time for snorkeling, swimming and tanning on the island. Having retrieved the catch, refreshments will be served on the boat before heading back to the resort for cocktails and a private dinner of the day’s catch later, served in a Ta Khai pavilion.