One of these is Aziamendi. Located at the recently opened Iniala Beach House, a luxurious three-villa resort on Natai Beach, 30 minutes north of Phuket Airport, Aziamendi is linked with the three-Michelin starred Azurmendi Restaurant in Bilbao, Spain, and it has been painstakingly developed to offer a superlative dining experience similar to what you'd find at the parent venue.
The menu, developed by Azurmendi's owner and Executive Chef, Enexo Atxa, offers three different dining 'journeys': Tribute, a 10-course retrospective of Enexo's most successful dishes available at Azurmendi (B6,500++); Twist, a 14-course avant garde menu inspired by the flavours and products of Thailand; and Vegatalis, a 14-course vegetarian menu featuring highlights such as Morning glory ravioli, and Pumpkin and zucchini noodles. Wine or cocktail pairings can be added to each menu from just B2,000++.
All dining journeys begin in the restaurant’s garden with the Bonsai Tree and Picnic experience. Here, diners pluck tomatoes injected with a juicy, fruity filling from a Bonsai tree, and experience new takes on familiar Thai favourites, such as a refreshing Mai Tai – served here not to drink, but to eat.
The next course, a Truffled egg (an egg yolk, cooked to perfection and injected with a black truffle jus, which bursts in the mouth in riot of rich and earthy flavours) is then presented inside the kitchen, where Chef de Cuisine, Alex Burger, formerly of Daniel Boulud in New York, explains more about Aziamendi and its unique approach to cooking.
The rest of the meal then continues in the restaurant proper, where diners can marvel at works of art by some of the region's most talented and best-known contemporary artists, while having their palates and minds blown by familiar flavours presented in new and exciting ways.
Aziamendi is open to the public and offers free transfers from and to most of the resorts in the north of Phuket (subject to availability). Every Wednesday evening the Tribute menu is now on offer for just B3,000++.
40/14 Moo 6 Baan Natai, Phang-Nga. Open Tues-Sun 6pm-midnight (last seating 9pm. Closed Mon).
Tel: 093 779 2312 www.aziamendi.com