Acqua restaurant in Phuket is the conception of Alessandro Frau, a Sardinian-born chef who has perfected his culinary skills in many fine kitchens worldwide.With a classy setting and an innovative cuisine, this place to dine promises to be one of the island’s most popular.
Acqua lies roughly one kilometre north of Patong on the Beach Road. Diagonally opposite the White Box restaurant, the restaurant is on an elevation, affording views over the road to Kalim Beach and further out to sea.
Following a black-and-white theme that gifts the restaurant clean lines and a good sense of proportion, Acqua’s design fully complements an all-round satisfying dining experience. The restaurant has imaginative lighting, nowhere more so than at the bar. Trendy without being gratuitously chic, cutting edge without going over the top and spacious without being cavernous, Acqua’s décor is a lesson for all would-be restaurateurs in balancing practicality and aesthetics.
The combination of such a beautiful looking place, a good selection of background tunes and a very competent staff helps Acqua impart a chic, capable yet chilled-out atmosphere. Alessandro is not only dedicated to his food, he’s also very personable, with excellent English, and is a hands-on chef, supervising each and every dish as it comes out of the kitchen. As a result, Acqua imparts a smooth professionalism that sets it in a class of its own.
Foods and drinks
There’s nothing short of a phenomenal wine list here – Acqua has 50 Italian labels alone – and with a list this long there’s bound to be something for everyone. We sample an excellent Cabernet Cuvee IGT Villa Sandi 2006 and it’s a delight – fruity and light but packing a satisfying punch, it marries well with the food.
Chef Alessandro’s Sardinian roots are evident in his traditional dishes. For starters, yellow fin tuna and swordfish carpaccio with pantelleria capers, cherry tomatoes, dried musciame of tuna in lemon and mature extra-virgin olive oil is in keeping with the standards of this excellent restaurant while fresh artichokes salad with bottarga (treated fish roe shavings), celery and fresh sheep milk ricotta cheese dressed with fine extra virgin olive oil is faithful to the original recipe. For mains, grilled tuna fillet on eggplants and zucchini, fresh cherry tomatoes, capers and oregano sauce is admirable. The sea bass fillet cooked in Vermentino wine, with fresh artichokes, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and capers is a tour de force – the fish done perfectly and the vegetables more than complementing the dish as a whole. This, of course, all comes at a price and Acqua is not for people who count the pennies.
Service Alessandro and certain members of his staff have previously worked together at the Sheraton Grande Laguna where he was Executive Chef for four years so it’s no wonder that Acqua’s service is professional and exemplary. Expect to be handled with care.
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