PHUKET: Iki is best described as an expression of simplicity, sophistication, spontaneity, and originality. The phrase iki is generally used in Japanese culture to describe qualities that are aesthetically appealing, and when applied to a person, what they do or have, constitutes a high compliment. It is a broad term that encompasses various characteristics related to refinement with flair.
The decor at Sri Panwa’s Baba Iki Japanese Restaurant on Cape Panwa is just that – simple, elegant, offering a panoramic view of the Andaman sea.
Staff are kind and attentive, happy to answer any questions about the menu, as if this is your first visit to a Japanese-style restaurant, you may have a few.
The seafood looks so fresh, as if you had just walked down to the water yourself and plucked it from the sea.
With the open counters where chefs prepare and cook the dishes, you are able to watch the cooking techniques as your sushi, salad, or meats are prepared. It almost gives an air of a fancier hibachi restaurant, except that the cooking is done out in the open as opposed to right at your table.
The selection of dishes is enormous, offering many seafood items, exotic beef and traditional Japanese cuisine.
The most decadent item on the menu is definitely the hida beef.
Hida beef, hailing from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, is best know for its marbling texture of both the meat and the fat, which prevents the juices from escaping during the cooking process.
Words can hardly do it justice. There is not much seasoning needed, a hint of salt maybe. Tender is not even an adequate word to describe its texture.
The food is also beautiful to look at, with the perfected art of simple elegance throughout the menu. When the food is presented to you, it is something to admire before jumping in and devouring it.
Dessert is equally decadent. From lava cake, flan and chocolate brownies, to the green tea, strawberry and coconut sorbets. It is the perfect ending to a wonderful meal as you stare out across the cape.
One of the best things to admire about Baba Iki, besides the food, is that it is a wonderful place to bring family or friends, as it is entertaining to watch the chefs. However, it is also an absolutely romantic place for a sunset dinner for two while sitting outside and taking in the grand view that only the beautiful Sri Panwa can offer.
Whether you are staying at the resort, or just want to have a serene dinner getaway, Baba Iki Japanese Restaurant is definitely a place to relax, dine, enjoy and never forget.
— Katie P Arnold
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