Watercourt at Banyan Tree Phuket is aptly named. Set by a tropical lake surrounded by exotic shrubs, trees, and flowers, the sound of running water pervades the peaceful atmosphere at this large L-shaped restaurant. With inside seating for 52 diners and outside for 32, cooling breezes as well as fans keep things fresh and comfortable here while an inner air-conditioned section holds display stands loaded with the freshest seafood imaginable.
Apart from being renowned for its wide-ranging international breakfasts, Watercourt has a seafood buffet five nights a week and serves a la carte dishes the other two.
Watercourt’s setup is deceptively simple. Its inner section (which is open-sided and enjoys views out over the lake) has parquet floors, classic wooden tables and chairs, and sports an impressive fresco to one side while the other side is flanked by the lobby bar.
Outside, the floor is fitted out with non-slip black granite tiles with the same arrangement of classic wooden tables and chairs and two tastefully lit-up banyan trees. Classically dressed wait staff members glide here and there while chefs ensure that the food displays are well stocked. A ‘live’ kitchen stands to the centre where diners can order expertly prepared steaks, filets, and cuts.
The standard of food here is commendable: As you enter from the terrace an array of seafood on ice will greet you such as oysters, crabs, and prawns while the inside choice of delicacies ranges from baked tuna pasta casserole with corn, grilled sea bass in lemon herb butter, a richly suave tuna and black sesame sauce tartar, potato and leek cream soup, lobster bisque and a whole array of salad choices.
Inventiveness abounds here but good old standards such as fish and chips are not forgotten and of course guests can round off their meal at the superbly fitted-out dessert bar.
As for the a la carte menu, several sections such as ‘Catch Them Raw – Eat Them Cold’ featuring chilled Canadian lobster, shrimp cocktail and smoked salmon, vie with ‘Hot From The Rocks, In and Out of the Shell’ that offers lobster and clam chowder, seafood broth, calamari, and poached salmon salad. Freshly shucked oysters, prawns in a bucket, and southern ocean (and Canadian) lobster, along with Andaman king prawns with Manila clams, black mussels, and blue crab can be served wok fried, pan fried, poached, or grilled.
Classic dishes such as battered fish and chips, white snapper or tuna filet, and Norwegian salmon also feature, while there’s a whole raft of vegetable choices and meat lovers can choose from six wagyu and pork, lamb and chicken preparations with béarnaise, peppercorn, and mushroom sauces.
In short, Watercourt is a gourmand’s dream and this dream is enriched by a good selection of worldwide wines and five-star service along with a peaceful lakeside atmosphere. Prices are value for money and this buffet runs from November to May; from May to October Watercourt has an a la carte menu.
Watercourt Restaurant at Banyan Tree Phuket
- Opening Hours: Breakfast: 6:30 - 11:30, Dinner: 18:30
- Location: Banyan Tree Phuket