Saffron at Banyan Tree Phuket serves traditional Thai cuisine. On Saturdays, it presents a sumptuous buffet spread in the form of a street market in Thailand. The food stalls are located along the “Banyan Tree Market” which is the corridor just outside the restaurant. Having quite small appetites, we would have preferred to order from their normal menu, but it seems that only the buffet is available on Saturdays. Being too lazy to change our plans, we opted to go with the flow. You have probably read enough of our Phuket food adventures by now. This is our fourth and last story from our trip.
With a musician playing a Thai xylophone providing some soothing traditional music on the background, the stalls do provide a somewhat festive atmosphere. Some of the items such as the curries, rice and noodles have been pre-cooked. Others like the grilled seafood, tom yam soup, Thai fish cakes, Thai satay were being cooked on the spot. Very helpful staff were on hand to assist with the orders and to help with the conveyance of food. It was a very civilised buffet. With so many items on offer, we can barely recall what items we tried. We will try our best to identify the dishes based on the photos we had taken.
We made a beeline for our favourites : tom yam goong and Thai fish cakes. They were very good and well made. The soup in particular was so delicious we went for a second round. The highlight of the buffet was the seafood station. Here the slipper lobsters, king prawns and fish fillets were grilled and served on request. The slipper lobsters and fish was quite ordinary. The king prawns were spectacularly large and firm. We would have gone for more rounds but for the fear of skyrocketing cholesterol levels if we did not restrain ourselves. Which was also a good thing as we kept some space for the remaining buffet items. It is also from here onwards that our recollection of the items get hazy, with so many similar looking types of curries and noodles on display. It suffices to say that they were all good and we do advise that you save some space to at least try them. The Phad Thai is singled out for praise. The only let down of the evening came at the end.
After such a good showing, we were looking forward to the Thai desserts as they looked really scrumptuous on the display. We are afraid to say however that they look better than they taste. Most of the time they were too sweet for our liking, with the sweetness drowning out the distinctive taste of the dish. We will leave you with the pictures of the other dishes and the dessert. Do we recommend this place? For sure we would recommend Saffron as the Thai food standard here is very high. But whether or not we recommend the buffet would depend on a couple of things. Yes if you have a really good appetite or you want to try the Saffron restaurant and this is your last night and it turns our to be Saturday and you therefore have no choice. No, if you are a small eater and the ordinary menu is available. The buffet which costs 2,500 Baht (roughly – we can’t recall the exact amount) is quite expensive.
Banyan Tree Hotel