On a terrace on the northern side of Patong bay, nuzzles one of the Novotel Phuket eateries called The Old Fisherman. Against a backdrop of palms and distance surf the restaurant tables are set with modern blue earthenware and goblet water-glasses that provide an interesting contrast to the Thai atmosphere of dark bamboo and Kim musicians.

Chef Josef Bender explained the menu that he and his predecessors at the Novotel have refined over several years. "It's not a kitchen of any one nationality, we take Mediterranean food and mixed it with Asian dishes, nothing heavy, which is perfect for the hot weather."

As we spoke the amuse-gueule arrived, diagonally cut sushi rolls coated in breadcrumbs, with a plum dip that had a Thai-zing of chili. For starters a salad dressing was prepares at the table for a green salad of iceberg and assorted other lettuces. As the waitress stirred and tossed I glanced over the pretty list of cocktails. Names such as Tropical Sunset, Ocean View, and Andaman Wave promises refreshing concoctions that married with the Cote D'Azur like, crescent bay beneath us.

After wetting our appetites with crisp greens and Dijon-mustard dressing, we were treated to Salmon Sashimi with anchovy sauce. This is a mouthwatering dish of raw-salmon topped by cabochons of black olives, with a bouquet of fennel and lettuce that gives the nouvelle cuisine presentation some height. "Fresh is everything," said Josef," eight-hours ago those fish were swimming around in Australia."

Our main course was a stunning display of sliced lobster-tail in red-wine mushroom sauce accompanied by vegetable lasagna-Verde. The taste wash rich, creamy and succulent and the portions ample.

To finish off I tried the waitress' suggestion, 'Phuket Delight,' "It is very popular." she giggled. Sharp without the tart, this lemon-grass sherbet, infused with gin and Kaffrin, a native herb, is made on the premises and packs quite a punch. It made a perfect, though alcoholic, sweet.

Blessed with a romantic vista the fisherman is also a culinary treasure-trove that uniquely amalgamates French, Italian, Japanese and Thai cuisines, conducted by a head chef from Germany.

The Old Fisherman’s outdoor grill prepares the best of the island’s seafood delights with one of the favourites, the Seafood Basket with lobster.

Seafood Terrace - Opens from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm