Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc offers plentiful dining options for guests, both in-room and through its three standalone F&B venues, however there is no doubt that Essence Restaurant is the culinary soul of this one-of-a-kind beach resort.
Located in the south-west wing of the resort’s ground floor, Essence Restaurant is impressive not only in size but also in the excellent cuisine it delivers. A generously sized venue, the scale of Essence Restaurant’s ambitious design, a space which can seat up to 350 people, is matched by its expansive and spectacular menu. Guests may relish in the fine-dining indoor ambience of mosaic patterns and a pearl-like sheen, or enjoy the atmospheric alfresco terrace, which provides a welcome combination of sun shade and a refreshing Phu Quoc sea breeze.
Guests meet every morning and marvel at the appetizing selection of Essence Restaurant’s local and international dishes in its breakfast buffet, which features dishes cooked in front of you, fresh fruit juices, a wide variety of coffee, freshly baked bread and pastries, and traditional Vietnamese breakfast options, such as the famed pho beef noodle soup.
Australian Head Chef Timothy Hill, whose culinary background includes successful stints at resorts in Thailand and the Maldives, is proud of sourcing locally grown produce and seafood. “One of the advantages of living next to the ocean is the freshness of our seafood, which we take great pride in. Each day, fishing boats will come to shore and offer the day’s fresh catch to be enjoyed by guests. Sometimes, we even let our guests pick the day’s catch themselves!”
The South-East Asian-style tradition of inviting guests to pick out fresh fish is well complemented by a sustainable supply chain of local produce and ingredients, including Phu Quoc’s spicy black pepper and famous fish sauce. The use of the island’s locally grown pepper is a natural accompaniment to Essence Restaurant’s food, and it is one of the island’s best known gifts to the world, with Vietnam the largest producer and exporter of black pepper worldwide.
A selection of light snacks and dishes are available throughout the day and, in the evening, Essence Restaurant becomes an exquisite setting for family meals and special occasions. Expert chefs have created a menu of around 60 mouth-watering dishes in the International Menu, including salads, pizza, seafood, poultry, desserts and a Kids’ Menu. Equally significant are more than 20 dishes from traditional Vietnamese cuisine, with native styles and flavors from across the country.
For families with young children, Essence Restaurant features a cute side area for kids with a mini buffet and colourful seating and tables at a lower level. This allows parents to keep their young ones suitably entertained while feeling a little grown up as they enjoy their delicious meals.
The International Menu offers light and refreshing salads, such as the Classic Greek Salad which comes with mixed lettuce, feta cheese, cherry tomate, shallot, cucumber, capsicum, olives, and grilled aubergine in vinaigrette. The Chef’s Salad includes grilled chicken and smoked ham, while the Crabmeat Salad contains avocado, yellow mango, and shallot in a tangy cilantro-lime dressing.
Other options include the American-style pizza options (yes, including Hawaiian), as well as “Make Your Own Pasta”, which allows for 15 different pasta-sauce combinations. Besides pepper, the Lobster Bisque Soup has secret ingredients that will make the best food enthusiast salivate in awe.
As BWP Sonasea Phu Quoc’s flagship dining venue, providing flexible options to guests is essential to Essence Restaurant. A great example of this is allowing guests the choice of enjoying one of the most nourishing meals offered on the island within normal hours, or receiving an Early Express Breakfast that can be arranged the evening before for a pre-ordered box of breakfast goodies for very early starters.
Bearing a delectable selection of international food with a Vietnamese spin and locally sourced ingredients, the aptly named Essence Restaurant embodies the culinary spirit of Phu Quoc island in Vietnam.