Italian restaurant at Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort, Patong

Twisting your way around Karin Beach to the Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort sits this lovely Italian restaurant.

Walking through the reception area, the space is open and fresh orchids are everywhere. Portofino is situated between the Meridien's famous Japanese and seafood restaurants. It's interior decor is subtle, with grand looking furniture, yet comfortable, reminding me of a few Italian restaurants my father had brought our family to during our early years in New York. We opted to sit outside where a large swimming pool that extends down to the sandy beach joins the restaurant's outdoor sitting area.

The Chef greets us with a "good evening" in Italian and I ask him to recommend something to eat. After asking a few of my likes and dislikes he recommends the "Lobster Salad" with cocktail sauce and avocado tartare for our appetizer, "Homemade Macaroni with Sicilian Sauce, Eggplant and Mozzarella" for a main course for myself and the "Fettuccine with Porcini Mushroom and Veal" for my dining partner. She and I both nod with enthusiastic anticipation and he politely excuses himself. The waiters arrive with huge plates that contain our appetizers. The spread was a feast of colours, the red finely chopped tomato covered the pink and white of the lobster, the avocado donating a speckle of green. The combination of these simple ingredients with the more sophisticated lobster create a lovely taste, that is hard to resist while dots of cocktail sauce bordering the plate add a unique flavor to the dish.

The main course of pasta is served after a perfect length of time to allow the lobster to settle. The macaroni is certainly homemade, with it's deliciously rich sauce and a generous grating of parmesan cheese. My dining partner and I were happy to share our dishes of fine cuisine, yet I suspect the lovely house wine is partially responsible for the smiles on our faces. As I tasted her main course, I find that the veal is prepared perfectly while mushrooms are crisp. The entire dish is simply delicious.

Our waiter soon arrives with two desserts of lovely Sabayon with a dark crust on top concealing the egg yellow dessert below. As I dip into the dessert, I combine some of the crust with its spongy under layer as I detect a smell of porto vino in the sweet liquid sauce. I taste it and pause for a moment before swallowing, letting the taste roll around my mouth ... it is truly delectable.

Our skilled Italian chef prepares traditional "trattoria" style cuisine from various regions of Italy. Open for dinner daily.

Cuisine: Italian
Dress Code: Smart Casual
hours: 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Atmosphere: Rustic Italian
Setting: Air-conditioned