Phuket is forever changing. New developments spring up continually that range from the tasteful to the hideous. Mali (meaning “jasmine” in Thai) Seafood, in Kata, is the flagship restaurant of the recently completed Sugar Marina Resort – and in itself a tasteful architectural achievement.
With impeccable design and an experienced chef on board, Mali has what it takes to deliver an impressive dining experience.
Where Is It?
Mali is situated in the southern part of Kata. Head south down Kata Rd., passing the Club Med on your right and if you’re walking, turn down the last soi on the left before the junction. The hotel restaurant is very well signposted and is snuggled next to Sugar Marina Resort at the very end of the walking street.
If driving, park on the road leading to the beach as the main car park opposite Kata Beach Resort has been mysteriously taken over by tuk tuks and double decker tour buses.
Very tasteful indeed; Mali features pine floors, ample dining space, good ceiling and wall ventilation and a modern off-white colour scheme with white tablecloths. It is open-sided with outside tables next to an open air “market” with food stalls diners can choose fresh seafood from.
There is a decent-sized bar and on the walls hang photos of Phuket’s vegetarian festival, Thailand’s beloved King Rama V, and the present king, his Royal Highness King Bhumibol. It’s obvious that a lot of thought has gone into Mali’s décor.
The 100-seater restaurant has an up-to-date cosmopolitan atmosphere and was doubtless built to cater for the tourist market and hotel guests at Sugar Palm. However, don’t let this put you off in the slightest bit; Mali is obviously very popular as on the evening we visited it was popping with activity. Diners from just about every European country were enjoying the food when we ate there although expect more Asians during the low season.
As previously mentioned, the restaurant is on a walking street so the dining experience here doesn’t include the usual noise and fumes from passing traffic. There is no live music; rather a continuous but unobtrusive flow of frothy chart pop – Santana, Maroon 5, the Scorpions and the like and the place is all the better for it. Two TV’s at both ends of the dining room show soundless European football.
Mali has a modest yet capable wine list featuring both old and new world favourites. A word of advice though; even though there are a few bargains it’s really best to choose from middle-priced labels on the list, as some of the lower-end wines can be a little rough.
The house red, an Arena Rossi, is eminently recommendable and is priced at 180 baht a glass. The usual beers and cocktails are available, along with an imaginative non-alcoholic cocktail list.
Mali is fortunate to have Executive Chef Varawut Duangnages, late of Phuket Yacht Club, Cape Panwa, the Sheraton, and Katathani. His cuisine is on par with other, far more expensive eateries in Patong. White snapper with saffron rice and classic white wine sauce with dill is excellent, as is the duck a l’orange with potato gratinee. The duck a l’orange goes for a reasonable 290 baht and incredibly a wholesome lobster bisque only costs 65 baht.
A selection of tropical fruit accompanied by rocket salad and smoked ham is also a light and tasty dish. Chef Varawut likes to label his cuisine “Thai Classic” but this moniker is slightly misleading as he is inventive as he is talented. As can be imagined, the seafood at Mali is as fresh as can be as local fishermen deliver both morning and evening catches to the eatery.
Cheerful and well presented, the staff members at Mali are a credit to the establishment. There are varying levels of spoken English but you won’t feel unwanted.
More to discover in this hotel! Take a look...
Sugar Marina Resort - FASHION - Kata Beach
Sugar Marina Resort - FASHION - Kata Beach is a trendy boutique three-star resort situated right in the heart of Kata Beachs southern cluster of shops and hotels.It is mere minutes from Kata Beach itself and is supremely convenient for access to 24-hour stores, restaurants, and several fine-dining locations.With a bold design and decor, Deluxe Rooms are black and white while Deluxe Pool View Rooms are on the first floor and feature antique curios.Deluxe Pool Access Rooms are comfortably large with an en-suite bathroom that can be opened up to enjoy a pool view from the bathtub. Read More...
- Address: 40/36 Kata Rd. Kata Beach.
- Tel: 076 284 760