Phuket Hotels in Bangtao Beach


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Dining with the Lizard

Angsana Laguna Phuket (prev Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket)

Angsana Laguna Phuket (prev Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket)

People sometimes forget Phuket's massive Laguna Phuket Resort complex is open to everyone. But its numerous restaurants are especially attractive to people from outside the resort.

The newly opened Gekko Steak and Seafood Lizard Lounge (talk about a name selected by a committee) at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket is a case in point. It radically changes the concept of beachside dining. The journey begins with a buggy ride from the hotel reception with a whirlwind tour of the immaculate resort gardens and pools. The short trip to the beachside Gekko Lounge gives the feeling that one has arrived at an ultimate destination.

"Gekko" is an open-air oasis of four beautifully crafted Thai-style salas that provide shade, views of the beach, and cooling breezes from the ocean. The funky sounds of salsa and easy-listening tunes greet you on arrival; 7th Heaven, the resident six-piece band, has toes a-tapping while diners enjoy cocktails and fine wines.

It's the food at Gekko, however, that changes the concept of beachside dining. The "first bites" section of the snack menu, for example, contains items such as Vodka Jelly with Beluga Caviar (220 baht) and Spicy Fried Anchovies with Tequila (190 baht). We never got to sample these, however, as we never got past the six Sydney Rock Oysters Drowned in Spicy Bloody Mary (480 baht). If you're still standing, you can follow this up with something like BBQ Chicken Wings Stuffed with Seafood (210 baht). This is definitely our idea of how to snack.

The dinner menu is cut from the same mould. For a "first plate", we had a smashing Gekko Salad (280 baht). It was tossed at our table (we didn't even duck), and we were able to select from a wide variety of greens and vegetables. We also revelled in the Marinated Tasmanian Salmon with Hand Picked Garden Greens (480 baht). For main courses, we enjoyed a perfectly grilled 285gm/10oz Prime Steer Rib Eye Steak (750 baht) and a delightfully prepared slab of Seared Yellow Fin Tuna with Curry Mustard Sauce (620 baht). For a side plate, we shared the Piquant Beach Fries (110 baht) and looked forward to having them as a snack while enjoying a cold cocktail. For dessert, we enjoyed a unique Lemongrass Soup with Pistachio Ice Cream (250 baht) and a platter of delightfully presented tropical fruit (210 baht).

This is a class act, serving a wide variety of delightful drinks, snacks and other good things to eat. The next time you're in the Bang Tao area, head for the Sheraton Grande. Park your car in the lot and hop on one of their electric powered buggies for a ride down to the Gekko on the beach. It's open seven days a week from 11am until late at night. There are lots of good things to eat and do at Laguna Phuket, and the classy lizard on the beach at the Sheraton Grande is definitely one of them.

Gekko Steak and Seafood Lizard Lounge
Sheraton Grande Laguna Resort Phuket
Open: from Oct 1 till midnight
Tel: +66 (0) 76 324 101

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