Issara Restaurant & Bar is the newest contender in the Phuket food scene, occupying a segment often forgotten by other restaurateurs; a menu created using only locally sourced ingredients and a true passion for delivering exceptional dishes.
Issara, in the Thai language, can be translated as freedom, independence, or self-sufficiency. We could not think of a better name to describe one of Phuket’s newest restaurants, located on the road leading to Kata Noi, as Executive Chef Nikola Lesar has created a menu using only locally sourced ingredients.
And it tastes absolutely superb!
We visited the venue a few weeks ago, after receiving an invitation to try out their innovative approach to gastronomy, which blends foreign culinary influences with local ingredients.
The venue itself is rather large and separated into different seating areas, some being alfresco while the others provide a fresh breeze from the air conditioning. We chose to sit inside and were promptly offered drinks and recommendations by the professional staff. We decided to trust Chef Nikola’s passion and asked him to decide on our lunch, which, in hindsight, was a fantastic decision.
We started with the Korean fried chicken bao buns, served with a spicy glaze and pickled cucumber, which offered a festival of textures in our mouths, the crispy fried chicken balancing the softness of the bao bun. A true delight!
We then followed with the Soft-shell crab tempura and the Barracuda teriyaki with shitake orzotto. The crab dish reminded us of a Yam Som-O, yet it provided distinct flavors that reinforced the delectable aromas from the shell. The true star, however, was the Barracuda fish, cooked to perfection and served with orzotto, an Italian dish similar to risotto, but made with pearl barley instead of rice.
A special mention would go directly to their Chef’s Cheeseburger served with salted egg yolk potato fries, as their secret sauce is to die for.
Issara Restaurant & Bar is a fantastic addition to the Phuket’s dining scene, and a venue we are sure you’ll come to love and appreciate as much as we do, especially if you believe in the importance of cooking with local ingredients over expensive imports. Oh, and it is a great place to chill out, too, whether you are planning to visit with your loved one or with a group of friends.
Issara Restaurant & Bar is located on 1/34 Kata Noi Road, on the way to Kata Noi’s beach. The restaurant is open from 1:30 pm to 11:00 pm and it closes on Mondays. For more information and bookings, please call +66 76 604 296 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/restaurant.issara.