A new Suan Bua Restaurant at Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka in Bentota Now serving up authentic Thai home-style dishes to Sri Lankan diners
Centara Hotels & Resorts Group’s signature Thai restaurant Suan Bua opened its doors to discerning diners at Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa in Bentota last week, offering guests and visitors a tantalizing new taste of Thailand in Sri Lanka. Suan Bua, which means ‘lotus garden’ in Thai language, is known across Asia for its authentic home-style Thai cuisine with a contemporary twist.
The celebration of the opening began with a relaxing cruise on the river with cocktails at sunset, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, performed by Mr. Ashok Pathirage, Group Chairman and Managing Director of Softlogic Holdings PLC and Thai Ambassador H.E. Mr. Nopporn Adchariyavanich. The restaurant, with its immaculately-set tables, was designed to please the eye as much as the palate, and the evening featured a well-planned menu filled with delicious Thai favourites, presented with an eye to aesthetics.
Suan Bua was opened with the intention of offering something different to diners, asserted Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa General Manager Riaan Drever. “We opened Suan Bua in order to present more dining options to guests on the property as well as people from Colombo, Galle and from neighbouring hotels. While the closest Asian restaurant is a Chinese restaurant, there’s nothing in the area like this. It was also important for us to demonstrate that we are, at heart, a Thai hospitality brand, operating in Sri Lanka. And the best way to express this is through a signature Thai restaurant.”
Suan Bua has been an institution in Bangkok for over 30 years, and is dedicated to creating authentic Thai cuisine, featuring dishes from every corner of the country, ranging from ultra-spicy Southern through to tangy Northeastern and milder Northern fare. Currently, Suan Bua Restaurant is operated in 6 properties of Centara Hotels and Resorts Group, including Centara Grand and Central Ladprao Bangkok, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives, Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives and the latest one at Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka.
The brand’s unique take on many popular Thai dishes is displayed in Bentota via a deceptively simple menu, formulated by Thai Chef Thanida Amornvatin, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry and has worked extensively overseas. The concept for the restaurant is contemporary, she explains, while maintaining Thai authenticity. “The taste is authentic Thai and many of the products are sourced from Thailand. The food is easy for everyone to enjoy – it’s not too spicy and ideal for the European palate.” she said. Chef Amornvatin is based at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa in Maldives. She has trained the staff here extensively for over a month, while the hotel will appoint a fulltime Thai chef soon. Until then, Executive Sous Chef Upul Amaratunga will manage Suan Bua along with his team.
The a la carte menu features 24 delectable items, such as Gai Satay-marinated chicken skewers, Som Tam Thai – Green papaya salad, Tom Yam Goong – Thai spicy soup with jumbo prawns in clear broth or coconut milk variety, Phad Thai Goong – stir fried Thai noodles with prawns, and signature Thai desserts such as a sticky rice and mango, as well as refreshing coconut ice-cream. The restaurant also offers seven different set menus, one for each of the seven days of the week. Suan Bua is open for dinner from 7 to 10 p.m, and a lunch opening is in the planning stages. The restaurant is able to accommodate approximately 60 people in one sitting, with a dining area that flows out into the garden so guests have the option of dining inside or outside. Currently, the ‘All Inclusive’ guests have the option of dining from the daily changing set menu or using a ‘dine around’ credit that is available from the a la carte menu. The same dine around credit option is given to ‘full board’ and ‘half board’ guests.