Open: 8am-midnight all year
Address: 11/2 Ao Sane Bungalow, Nai Harn beach, Phuket 83130
Style: Thai seafood/International
Price range: Seafood dishes mostly in the 150 baht range. Sweet and sour shrimp (120 baht) tom yum gung (100 baht) green chicken curry (80 baht) grilled squid (150 baht) pork steak with mushroom sauce (150 baht) fish steak (150 baht) sandwiches, Singha beer (50/80 baht).
What the manager/chef says: The restaurant has been here for almost 30 years. We have 25 bungalows behind the restaurant and they are very reasonably priced at 700-800 baht for the high season and 400-500 baht for the low season.
What Phuketwan says: This is one of the most striking and quirky dining destinations on the island, largely because you have to drive through the entrance gates of the Royal Phuket Yacht Club a Puravana Resort then out the back gates to get there. And yes, that is just about the most pretentious mouthful of a resort name on the island. In a previous brand incarnation, there was a court case questioning the resort's right to block access to the public beach at Ao Sane. The upshot is that you simply tell the security guard on the resort gate that you are heading for Ao Sane, and drive through and under the resort (yes, under the resort) and out the other side. Ao Sane is a delightful spot. The beach is small and rocky and just as ideal on a moody green season day as in the middle of January. It's a great beach for playing among the rocks and the waves. The little restaurant is mostly satisfying in a practical sense. Don't hold out great expectations. But the setting is superb. An afternoon with friends here can pass in a twinkling, and just getting there is a quintessential island experience. Friends who have stayed at the bungalows say there's nothing better than being able to hear the waves crackling on the shore at night, a simple pleasure that has disappeared with Phuket's craving for five-star resorts. We happen to think that it's probably the best spot on the island for a three-hat Michelin chef to let loose in natural surroundings. And as any top chef could tell you, keep it simple. The name Ao Sane says it all.
How to find it: Head for Nai Harn beach, where the waves are sometimes sweet enough to bodysurf. At the northern end, drive in the gates of the Yacht Club (for short) and keep going until you find the beach down some stairs on your left.
Parking: You can drive down to park almost right on the beach or look for a space close to the road.
Phuketwan restaurant reviewers pay for their meals. If someone else does, we tell you so