Created by its Thai owner 23 years ago, Nikita’s enjoys a sensational location. Close to the ocean at Rawai Beach, customers dine in a lush garden setting surrounded by tropical plants, yet right at the sea’s edge with white sand underfoot. Add to that, spectacular ocean and island panoramas during the day and a romantic atmosphere at night, with candles and lanterns suspended beneath mature tamarind trees.
As befits an enterprise celebrated for its bar, there are no fewer than 18 cocktails, but we settle for a traditional gin and tonic. A Tomato bruschetta comes as appetizer, followed by an unusual dish, a spicy salad with glass noodles and peeled prawns. The wine list is well chosen – 12 whites and 15 reds, plus five choices available by the glass. A competitively priced Santa Alicia cabernet sauvignon from Chile – full bodied with supple tannins – provides a perfect complement to our meal.
Seeking something distinctive for the main course, my friend orders a firm-fleshed and succulent Mahi-mahi (dorado). Served with a creamy white sauce laced with Thai herbs and mashed potato, it is pronounced superb. My choice is a whole, Deep-fried white snapper in fish sauce (sweet and sour sauce is also available) with a Thai inspired salad of crisp slivers of green mango and peanuts. Delectable. It is worth noting that many of the vegetables served here are sourced from Nikita’s own farm.
Famous for its thin-crust pizzas – all cooked in a highly visible wood-fired oven – the choice from 15 pizzas includes classics such as Margarita with mozzarella, tomato and basil. All Nikita’s pizzas are justly celebrated for their lavish toppings. The Quattro stagione is one I recall with pleasure from a previous visit, while English style fish and chips, reasonably priced and coated in beer batter, is a house speciality. Though Nikita’s emphasis is on seafood and international dishes, such as lamb chops with home prepared fries and mixed vegetables, or up-scale local Lobster thermidor, there is, as befits the restaurant’s provenance, an impressive range of classic Thai dishes, including Massaman and Green curries.
We finish in style with one of the best desserts it has been my pleasure to eat. A slab of hot, dark chocolate mousse and a scoop of fragrant ice-cream. A sensational and contrasting mix of flavours, textures and temperatures.
A visit to Nikita’s certainly leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth…