Tastes to Travel For
Amazing isn’t enough. Superb, decadent, and intoxicating fall flat. When attempting to describe a perfect meal, adjectives become objects of vanity. The experience — the pure ambrosia of a slowcooked egg on Parmesan fondue, paired with a Sangiovese red wine — exists in a vacuum, ceasing the flow of time itself. An epicurean journey like this is rare, but
it’s here in Phuket. Look no further than Acqua.
Decked out in grayscale fixtures, Acqua’s interior design reflects the classic-meets-contemporary style that Chef Alessandro Frau has sought to achieve with his dishes. It’s complex and subliminal — all of it, from the red, blue, and warm vanilla accenting colours to the fennel leaves and taggiasche olives that give just the right amount of bite to the supple sous-vide octopus (B600) — a deliberate interplay of tones, textures, and tastes that turns the act of eating into an artistic endeavour.
“First, it’s the ingredients,” says Frau of his source of inspiration. “The best ingredients make all the difference. I buy as much as I can locally. Some things we make here, like our pancetta. We cure it in the wine cellar.”
Though high-quality ingredients are the focal point, Frau elevates them to a higher level of intensity with world-class technique and deep-rooted passion for cooking. The fresh brine of the sea lingers in the scallop carpaccio, served with black truffle, raw asparagus in olive oil and lemon juice, and a twist of truffle essence (B750); the uncooked vegetable adds a layer of texture that prevents the thin, buttery clam from becoming too soft, keeping the dish active and interesting. The pan-fried scallops, topped with seared foie gras and set on chilli jam and truffle-pumpkin sauce (B700), are so impeccably produced and harmoniously paired that the combination practically sings when it hits the tongue. It has a holistic effect: individual elements flourish as a whole.
The same philosophy rings true in presentation. Frau imparts his eclectic style into every dish. The wood-fired suckling pig — a fan favourite with a seemingly impossible depth of flavour in its roasted skin — with saffron and violette potatoes, broad beans, and a robust brown sauce (B1100) comes to the table on a tray that looks like driftwood. Seafood dishes are carried out on large white stones. The Marsala-flavoured cannoli, stuffed with sweet ricotta cheese, candied orange, and chocolate shavings (B450), is served on a section of tree.
It’s not just the food that distinguishes Acqua (but, oh, the food). It’s Frau’s yeoman-like dedication to making meals that diners will remember. Not many restaurants can deliver a perfect meal. Acqua belongs on the exclusive list of those that can.
324/15 Prabaramee Rd, Kalim Bay | 0 7661 8127 | acquarestaurantphuket.com