|360 Degree Bar at Sunset|
360° Bar and Grill, Cocktails and Tapas
The Pavilions, Phuket
Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
‘One Martini is all right, two are too many and three are not enough,’ croons the William Faulkner quote on the menu. I’ll happily take that for the directional theme of this sultry evening at 360° Bar and Grill. The casual outdoors atmosphere at this hilltop bar, immediately appeals to country Aussie girl Monica, and the view out over the hinterlands and the ocean gives me a great sense of space. We’re thoroughly relaxed as we debate some of the fabulous sounding drinks on offer tonight.
Like so much at this resort, the overall feeling is of flirty fun. Although this adult only resort primarily hosts couples in spa and pool villas, 360° Bar and Grill is popular with outside visitors, and I completely recommend it for a group of friends or some sexy singles looking for some outright good food and drinks. Because that’s what you’ll find here – a simply sensational cocktail list and a delightful selection of original tapas and grill flavours. And with a price range of THB 250 -300 a drink for branded alcohol and generous serves, it should really be on your ‘do not miss’ list.
With Chef Belinda Tuckwell’s helpful guidance we start with two hot favourites. Hex Appeal is a zingy starter to the night. Kaffir lime leaves have been muddled with chili and sugar then shaken with plenty of vodka infused Tequila. Not a taste for everyone, but if like me you love a bit of zip to your drink, this will certainly get your engine running.
If you’re used to coconut drinks that are thick and creamy, I can assure you that Young Coconut and Kaffir Lime Martini is nothing like that at all. It’s a fresh, light and delicious tasting drink that we think is the best use of coconut that we’ve found yet. If it wasn’t for the sake of testing more options to tempt you with, dear reader, I could stick with this one all right.
‘Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough,’ Mark Twain quotes from our menu, well we’re not there yet, but we’re on our way. The 6:30 at 360° is cultured for the sunset, and wow, it’s a visually exciting cocktail. In fact so eye catching that Monica has to paparazzi it endlessly while my tongue is hanging out to taste. Another great sensation! The blazing blue colour comes from Curacao but the fresh taste comes from lime, vodka and lychee juice.
|6:30 at 360°|
These cocktails are right up our alleyway and they just keep a-coming. Inspired by one of Thailand’s famous salads, Pomelo and Thai Basil Martini does not fail to impress. Soury, sweet and herby sipping. Happiness right now is cocktails on a hilltop. They're amongst the best we’ve tasted in the entire of Phuket.
|Pomelo and Thai Basil Martini|
Although we’re not here on a romantic break, we adore the subtle branding on 360°’s cocktail and tapas menus. So let us take you through the experience from top to toe. Starting with Desire; piquant green olives stuffed with salty goats cheese, quick fried and served warm with a smooth aioli. This simple snack only whets our appetite to taste and taste again.
Romance is Seared Scallops (THB380) served straight in the spoon. Just pick up the handle and let juicy moist moreish plumpness with a tickle of roe and slip of dukkah spiced apple puree slip right between your teeth. Suck, swallow, smile! Yum. Two each. Grateful for that!
Passion begins with Soft Shell Crab (THB200) lying temptingly atop betel leaf. Wrap one up and pop it right onto your tongue. Crunch! Feel the explosion of lime and chili bursting in your mouth. Subtler tastes of tamarind and lemongrass follow to prolong the pleasure. I dare you to try it! Go on, we all need a little passion in our lives!
Passion continues with the devil of a dish, Murtabak (THB240). Monica is already tasting and I see the silent expression of delight on her face. I pick up a crispy, buttery triangle of fried roti and bite down. Silence ensues as I savour the sensation within. Monica’s face is a picture, and I can’t help laughing. This is a very clever ‘Oh my god, to hell with the diet’ hip buster. Belinda has taken a typical street-food and blasted it into a new dimension.
Passion is over. I had a plate, it remained pristine. This is finger food at its sexiest. No need for manners. We lean back in comfort while the plates are cleared and our Cravings arrive. Raw Tuna (THB380) comes with quail’s egg, sour lemon and capers. For lovers of bitter tastes this is a rather different take on a tuna carpaccio. The buttery quails egg softens the edge slightly as the fresh tuna slithers down our throats.
Red Snapper is grilled and served simply with soft baby potatoes and delightful fresh asparagus. What makes this dish special are the artichokes that melt in your mouth and bring a punch of flavour when you add a bite to your forkful of flaky fish. We’re almost full, but we can’t end without just a touch of love.
Love? Yes, it has to be dessert because we all love our dessert!
Chocolate fondant made with Swiss chocolate, a trio of homemade truffles and a dark chocolate ice cream is our ultimate choice for love tonight, Chocolate Indulgence (THB260). The flavours are cocoa toned, which I enjoy much more than the sweeter kind of chocolate. The truffles are scrummy as truffles always are, and we slurp on the creamy ice cream before it melts too quickly.
Chocolate is always a great way to end the night, so to go completely over the top we sneak in one final cocktail, Vodka, crème de cacao and Baileys blend with milk and oodles of homemade chocolate sauce to form the Choco Late Lover (THB260).
|Choco Late Lover|
‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,’ are seminal words from Virginia Woolf. And we’ve dined so well tonight. It’s one of our favourite dining experiences in Phuket. We’re glad we only have to stagger to the bottom of the hill to find our good night’s sleep too.
Reason to visit: Best Cocktails in Phuket, Best Tapas in Phuket, Fantastic fresh flavours in a fantastic fresh setting.
360° Bar and Grill
31/1 Moo 6
+66 7631 7600
Open from 5:30pm for drinks and tapas.