On a quiet stretch of Karon Beach, you will find the beautiful Centara Grand Beach Resort with its lush greenery, impeccable architecture and enormous pool and water park. What you might not know from at a glance is that it also houses one of the best award-winning Italian restaurants on the island.

Mare, which means ‘sea’ in Italian, offers spectacular views of just that. With outdoor and indoor seating for approximately 90 guests, this lovely eatery with tall white columns and marble floors feels very relaxed and intimate considering the size of the resort itself. Offering fantastic Italian cuisine using local produce and some of Italy’s finest imports, Mare is the perfect place for Karon beachside dining. Delicious menu items include perfectly cooked pastas, fire grilled pizzas, incredible meats and amazing antipasti; not to mention the excellent array of cocktails such as Moscow Mules and the prohibition-era inspired Prescription.

One must-try at any Italian restaurant is the pizza – it’s a great way to determine if the rest of the menu will be worth it. You’ll be happy to know that the pizza at Mare is exquisite, with freshly prepared dough, homemade sauce and quality ingredients. We tried the Parma ham pizza adorned with arugula and fresh Parmesan and were not disappointed! Salty, buttery and perfectly baked, the arugula cut up the savory flavor with a cool peppery bite. Great portion size and definitely a must on your table.

As far as pasta is concerned, there are two that stand out – one for seafood lovers and one for vegetarians. The Paccheri pasta with Canadian lobster is a wonderful and wholesome meal with a savory bisque sauce made slightly sweet with fresh basil. With an excellent amount of fresh lobster and great portion of pasta, this dish is quite filling but not overwhelming. The risotto Primavera is chockfull of veggies and flavor. A great creamy Parmesan sauce holds it together while a tomato puree and basil olive oil add a balance to the saltiness of the Parmesan. This dish is perfect for vegetarians, offering the best of Italian cuisine.

If it is more of a hearty meal you are seeking, the lamb is the way to go! Tender, juicy and full of flavor, this dish is served with a lovely rosemary sauce, basil olive oil, tomato puree and fresh vine tomatoes. It is also the perfect portion size to still have room for dessert, which is and absolute must!

Mare offers an incredible array of Italian sweets, but an absolute spectacular way to end your meal is with a freshly brewed latte and their panna cotta with fresh wild berries, crumbled macaroons and raspberry sorbet. Equal parts subtle, tart and sweet, this dessert is a sure-fire way to ensure you will be back for more! So if it’s authentic Italian cuisine with views of the sea and an incredibly relaxing atmosphere you are looking for, or if you are just wanting to know where to eat in Karon, Mare is the place for you! Bon appétit!

Written By Katie, E-Table Asia