The Plantation Journey

Its spectacular hilltop location was already a perfect reason to give The Plantation Club restaurant at The Pavilions Phuket a visit. But now, there is one more – a brand-new menu, which will compete for your attention with the spectacular view.

To make the most of it, arrive just before sunset, that’s when this already fine view is at its finest. Observed from the resort’s wooden deck, it’s a reminder of Phuket’s mesmerizing beauty when taken in from the right vantage point, this vantage point. Setting sun flooding the landscape with every shade of pink, purple and orange, palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze set against the backdrop of the shimmering ocean… I’m trying, but words don’t do it justice.

And nor do photographs. Even the beautiful pictures adoring this text are but a teaser of what awaits you in real life. Standing there, with one of the resort’s signature, Phuket-inspired cocktails in hand, while the restaurant staff sets your table for the culinary journey you’re about to embark on, it’s one of those moments you wish you could hold on to and never let go.

But then you reach the bottom of your glass, the sun gets swallowed up by the ocean, and you’re invited to take your place at the table. There you can choose between à la carte options, four or six-course tasting menus or set out on the ‘Plantation Journey’ – a nine-course discovery of Thailand’s rich traditional cooking culture.

The new menus took over a year of careful planning, which included the resort creating its own organic garden, identifying suitable local farmers and producers, and painstaking menu research and development. Each dish is made with sustainable, locally and ethically sourced ingredients, each takes the form of an edible work of art on your place and each is a homage to authentic Thai culinary traditions.

Those dishes are creations of the Pavillions Culinary Director and Executive Chef Rey Ardonia, an innovative New Zealander with nearly 20 years of experience in fine dining – including a stint at the award-winning Bracu in New Zealand. His method starts from understanding the culinary roots and culture of where he is, before sourcing the best local ingredients and combining traditional cooking practices with ultra-modern cooking techniques. “The Plantation Club is serious about investing in local, that is why our menu is proudly 100% locally sourced. We believe in supporting our local farmers, sourcing fresh and ethically grown produce for rich, premium and natural flavors so that we do our part in supporting the community along with delivering a superior culinary experience,” he explains.

But even without this background information, the dishes speak for themselves. Whether you try the Chang Mai Khao Soi – sous vide ballotine of Khlong Farm baby chicken, chicken croquette, fragrant yellow curry, yellow egg noodles, pickled cabbage, and peanuts finished off with a delicate coconut foam; the Geang Poo Bai Chaplu – a flavoursome dish combining blue swimmer crab char-grilled and marinated with yellow Phuket curry and served with rice noodles and crispy bitter leaves or the Kanom Bliak Bun which is a perfect example of a reimagined Thai classic, fusing coconut ash pudding with peanut brittle, fresh young coconut, fresh mulberries, pandanus-scented coconut sauce, and black sesame seed ice cream – you will leave the table knowing you’ve just had one of the best meals Phuket island has to offer.

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Maciek Klimowicz
Maciek Klimowicz

Maciek Klimowicz is the former Editor in Chief at Real Life Phuket. Food, wine, culture and travel are some of the things he enjoys and writes about. Contact Maciek on

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