The Hilltop at Six Senses Yao Noi focuses on sustainability and local flair in picture-perfect surrounds

If you’re prone to a wanderlust-fuelled Instagram scrolling spree, you’ve probably already seen Phuket’s Hilltop.

The restaurant’s idyllic infinity pool, commanding an enchanting view over the island’s Pha Nga Bay, has played host to many an influencer – and easily ranks among one of the most photographed spots in all of Thailand.

Yet this iconic eatery, perched on the hillside of the five-star Six Senses Yao Noi hotel, is far more than just a photogenic spot.

Instead, The Hilltop – housed in a cocoon inspired by the nest of the Oriental Pied Hornbill, a rare species of bird that makes its home on the resort’s island – is a den of culinary excellence.

As the day gives way to the soft hues of twilight, The Hilltop’s pool area undergoes a transformation.

The laid-back, sun-drenched haven of the day morphs into a fine dining spectacle, where the vibrancy of international and Thai flavours fused with creative cooking takes centre stage.

The culinary team, headed by the resort’s seasoned chefs, focuses on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, many of which are plucked from the resort’s own gardens and mushroom hut.

A prime example of this is the Beetroot Risotto, bringing together the earthiness of beetroot, the creaminess of mascarpone, and the sharpness of aged grana padano in a velvety bowl of goodness.

The addition of asparagus brings a slight crunch and freshness that elevates the dish – each spoonful a testament to the kitchen’s dedication to coaxing the most flavour out of simple, high-quality ingredients.

Equally impressive is the Hand-cut Tagliatelle, a celebration of the resort’s farm-to-table ethos.

The pasta, prepared with meticulous care, is adorned with wild mushrooms from the on-site hut, their earthy flavours perfectly complemented by the nuttiness of parmesan and the luxurious aroma of black truffle.

The dish is an exploration of texture and taste, an ode to the culinary potential of humble, local ingredients.

For guests seeking lighter fare, the Home Grown Butternut Squash showcases the creativity of the kitchen, with the softness of the butternut squash beautifully juxtaposed with the crunch of spice-crusted nuts.

The opulence of black truffle adds a layer of complexity to this otherwise simple dish, resulting in an experience that is both wholesome and indulgent.

The gastronomic journey reaches its zenith with the Butterfly Pea Mousse, a dessert that delights both the eyes and the palate.

Its vibrant hues, a nod to the butterfly pea flower, provide a striking contrast to the array of fresh berries strewn across the plate.

The sweetness of the mousse is tempered by the tartness of the berries and the slight crunch of the crumble, resulting in a symphony of flavours that keeps the palate engaged until the last bite.

For those who visit The Hilltop during the day, the poolside offerings present an appealing blend of casual and refined dining options.

The Tom Yum Crudo, for instance, is a clever reinterpretation of the classic Thai soup.

Fresh hamachi is served with a cilantro, coconut, sesame, and lemongrass dressing, the fiery heat of the traditional Tom Yum expertly tamed to a mellow spiciness that highlights rather than overwhelms the delicate fish.

This is beautifully complemented by the Hilltop Sandwich, a hearty medley of green lettuce, fresh pesto, farm-fresh eggs, and grilled chicken.

Each bite of the sandwich is perfectly balanced, the freshness of the lettuce and pesto playing off the richness of the egg and chicken.

The potato wedges that accompany the sandwich are just as noteworthy, their exterior crisped to perfection and the insides delightfully fluffy.

The four-course set tasting menus at The Hilltop offer a comprehensive showcase of the resort’s culinary prowess.

These expertly curated menus guide diners through a culinary narrative that draws from the local landscape and the resort’s commitment to sustainability.

A meal at The Hilltop, whether enjoyed under the stars or in the warm light of the day, is more than just a feast for the senses.

It is a testament to the power of good food to inspire, to create connections, and to elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary – something that is core to the exceptional experience of visiting Six Senses Yao Noi.