Teeing up a new menu at Banyan Cafe

PHUKET: If you’re looking for a change from all the sea-view dining on the island, head for Banyan Tree in Laguna Phuket and grab a table at the Banyan Cafe. A meal with a lush-green golf-course view will surely provide a break from the norm.

Even if you are one of the many returning customers of the Banyan Cafe, there is a new reason to pay the Laguna golfers’ favorite meeting place another visit. About one month ago, the menu underwent major changes, though maybe not as radical as the golf course itself, which was recently re-designed.

“We have many returning customers, Club members and such, and we wanted to offer them something new,” explains chef Worapon “Gai” Paenchoo.

Some of the additions to the cafe’s menu include a pomelo salad and a Greek salad, while some classics, like the obligatory Caesar salad.

“Whatever we kept from the old menu, we improved the presentation of to achieve a ‘wow effect’,” says Chef Gai.

It doesn’t end with the salads, though. New pizzas, curries and seafood dishes were all overhauled to keep up with the radical change the adjacent golf course underwent.

The cafe’s menu is packed with Thai and Western options. This international feel is now being taken even further: the flavors of Asia and the West are now meeting and mingling on a single plate, giving birth to the delicious tom yum pizza. But if there is one common characteristic true for the entire menu, it’s lightness. After all, Banyan Cafe is a meeting place of sportsmen and sportswomen.

“Most golfers end up here after a game. Many reward themselves with a good meal after a round or two,” explains the chef, adding that it’s the winners who are the best for his business.

“Winners like to celebrate, treat themselves and their friends to some food and drink. I always keep my fingers crossed for the players.”

Even if golf is not your cup of tea, a visit to the cafe still is a good idea. If not for the food, then for the upscale, yet relaxed atmosphere of the venue. The service is worthy of the nearby luxury resort and the cafe itself is open, airy and spacious, though an air-conditioned indoors dining option is also available.

— Maciek Klimowicz

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