An island of Asian flavors in Patong’s fast-food strip

PHUKET: It’s easy to forget you’re in Asia when walking down the busy streets of Patong. Pizza, burgers and steaks are all widely available, but try and find some oriental flavors and you’ll be faced with a challenge. Here’s a hint – if you’re after some of the best Asian flavors in Patong, look up.

Located on the 7th floor of the the Kee Resort & Spa is the KEE Sky Lounge – a restaurant occupying what must be one of the best dining spaces in the coastal resort town. Make sure you show up at the Kee Sky Lounge before the sunset and prepare to be amazed – the 360-degree panorama is nothing short of breathtaking.

And so are the menu choices. A quick scan might leave you sort of confused as flavors and culinary traditions seem to mix here in some mysterious, and even chaotic, ways. Luckily, the KEE Sky Lounge Executive Chef Sonthaya Kaewpradit is here to explain.

“Our focus is on Asian fusion and 80 per cent of the menu is reserved for this category with the remaining 20 per cent covered by more traditional, Western and local flavors. The focus is on the Asian side with many different cuisines represented,” he says.

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Reading through the KEE Sky Lounge menu is like travelling across Asia. You can, for example, begin the journey in Vietnam with some fresh spring rolls; move on to Japan for a wasabi cured tuna steak; pay a visit to China while enjoying the tender Peking duck; or return to the Andaman coast for the creamy local seafood soup. All this while sitting comfortably at your table and enjoying the catchy tunes performed by the in-house band. The KEE Sky Lounge’s menu can take you down many different paths, but all will leave you fulfilled.

“Many Western visitors to Phuket want to enjoy local and Asian flavors. Patong offers a wide choice of Western cuisines as well as seafood restaurants, but in the way of Asian flavors, the choice is limited. Kee fills in this niche with its Asian fusion menu,” explains Chef Sonthaya.

He is a Phuket native and it’s on the island where he learned his trade, beginning very early on at the age of eight from his own father and later moving on to a culinary school. He turned pro about 10 years ago and has been working at the KEE Sky Lounge for the last two and a half years, which gave him enough time to experiment and perfect the menu, which changes every year.

The rooftop section for the restaurant has enough space for 50 guests and is perfect for an afternoon drink and a snack with an amazing view, but you wouldn’t want to miss out on the truly impressive dining experience.

When searching for treasures, we tend to look down and dig in the ground, but the KEE Sky Lounge proves that precious things are sometimes hidden way above our heads, up in the clouds.

— Maciek Klimowicz

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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