Sip, Savour and Stargaze as Anantara Layan Phuket Resort Launches Thailand’s First Dining and Sky Observatory

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Dara Cuisine Phuket offers Thailand's first dining and stargazing experience

12 April, 2024

From a grill-focused menu brimming with seasonal produce to guided astronomy sessions paired with craft cocktails and hands-on Thai cooking classes, Dara Cuisine Phuket and Sky Observatory at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is poised to become the island’s new go-to venue for modern Thai dining and stargazing.

Dara, meaning ‘star’ in Thai, celebrates the country’s culinary heritage and intrepid Andaman seafarers who used stars for navigation and the new Sky Observatory is a stargazer’s paradise. The breezy observatory deck, equipped with a custom-built Ash dome, offers an intimate rooftop experience where the universe unfolds. As guests sip on constellation-inspired craft cocktails, Sky Storytellers guide them through the wonders of the night sky, inviting them to cast their gazes skyward through the Phuket’s most powerful state-of-the-art telescope.

During the day, an all-star team of Anantara chefs takes the lead in the show kitchen, giving masterclasses in Thai cooking. But it is during dinner service that Dara truly shines as the menu takes diners on a culinary journey offering a taste of local specialties from all corners of Thailand alongside revered Royal Thai cuisine.

The Southern region is represented by the succulent Moohong Phuket, a slow-cooked pork belly seasoned with soy, star anise and cinnamon. From the North, Khao Soi curry noodle soup stands out with translucent river prawns served with homemade egg noodles and pickles, as well as the restaurant’s signature Tam Ka Noon Mun Wan – a dish of pounded young jackfruit salad, served with sweet potato chips for added crunch. Central Thailand’s complex flavours shine in Miang Kham Khai Hoy Mhen, a popular snack of the Siamese court, and the luscious green curry with Phuket lobster.

In the Northeastern dishes, such as the Kob Thod Nam Pla with crispy frog legs and the Nam Tok Nuea Ko Kun featuring Korat wagyu beef, regional ingredients get a creative twist inspired by Head Chef, Supakarn (nicknamed Hong) Lienpanich’s family recipes and passion for fermentation. For those with a penchant for sweetness, the goat cheese and honey ice cream paired with Krabi cashew praline offers sublime melting moments.

Complementing the food is a delightful array of craft cocktails featuring local spirits, each themed after celestial wonders, and fine wines. The signature cocktails showcase the diversity and quality of Thai ingredients, from milky coconut and grassy pandan to fragrant jasmine and earthy hibiscus, as well as spotlighting the mastery of local distillers.

Dara Cuisine Phuket offers Thailand's first dining and stargazing experience

With an on-site fermentation kitchen, barrel-aged fish sauce cellar, and a verdant herb garden, Dara is a living ecosystem that nurtures every ingredient to its fullest potential. “Dara’s culinary philosophy is simple: honour the natural taste of quality local produce and let the ingredients shine,” explains Chef Hong. “In addition to growing our own herbs, we’ve partnered with eco-conscious local farms and fisheries, which allows us to adapt to the rhythm of the seasons – from serving crisp harvest in the dry months to showcasing Thailand’s natural abundance when the monsoon comes.”

Dara Cuisine’s interior is a sophisticated homage to Thailand’s artisan heritage. A curated collection of regional crafts, from northern wooden carvings to northeastern handwoven baskets, creating an ambiance that tells a story of tradition and artistry, inviting diners to connect with Thailand’s rich cultural legacy.

Dara Cuisine Phuket is open daily for cooking classes from noon till 3.00 pm, for dinner from 6.00 pm till 10.00 pm, while the Sky Observatory, drinks and stargazing are available from 6.00 pm till midnight.

Experience luxury accommodation and exclusive stargazing sessions with our Sky Storyteller. Toast under the stars and awaken to a sunrise breakfast. Book now for an unforgettable celestial journey.


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