Issuu on Google+

SAMUI FREE COPY

Happy New Year! If you’re celebrating the first month of 2014 on Samui, here’s what to look forward to on the dining scene. Firstly, a very happy and healthy New Year to all our readers. This is but the first of three New Years to be celebrated in Thailand, with the Chinese Lunar New Year taking place on 31st January this year, and Songkran (Thai New Year) in April. In this issue, we tell you about that all-time-favourite cocktail, the mojito, and where to find the best ones on the island. Golfers and non-players alike can enjoy lunch with a view at Santiburi Country Club, and we’ll also fill you in on enjoying crabs dishes around the island. Foodies can learn about the unique cuisine of Korea, and if you have no idea what a sapodilla is, read on to solve the mystery. There’s also a feature on food photography, and the masterpieces that can be created. We also feature two new establishments in this issue: Nadimos Lebanese restaurant in Bangrak, and Grill Bophut in the fashionable Fisherman’s Village. Chok Dee! Cheers to the New Year!

Romantic Dining at Chaweng Beach

www.samuiholiday.com

1st _ 31st JANUARY 2014

Sareeraya Villas & Suites Call + 66 (0) 77 914 333 www.sareeraya.com


SAMUI

Graeme Malley Editor

Angkanang Somwang (Peung) Graphic Designer

Ugrit Komlue (Grit) Photographer

Seksak Kerdkanno (Klauy) Webmaster

Rob De Wet Feature Writer

Rosanne Turner Feature Writer

Colleen Setchell Feature Writer

Peter James Feature Writer

Annie Lee Feature Writer

Nipawan Chuaysagul (Ning) Sales & Marketing Director ning@siammap.com Tel: 0 898 783 891

Henrik Bjørk Managing Director

Siam Map Company Ltd. 52/6, Samui Ring Road, Moo 3, Bo Phut, Samui, 84320 Thailand Tel: (66) 0 7742 2201 Fax: (66) 0 7741 3523 email: info@siammap.com www.siammap.com All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or pictorial content in any manner is prohibited without written permission from Siam Map Company Ltd. Whilst every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Siam Map Company Ltd. assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. c Siam Map Company Ltd. 2014

Catch C of th Day the Get chewing wing, with some tasty Thai octopus!

Distribution at Bangkok Airport courtesy of Bangkok Airways. Reservation Center: 1771 Samui Chaweng Office: 0 7760 1300 www.bangkokair.com

Please recycle or pass on to a friend.

2 www.siamwininganddining.com


Well, if it’s octo octopus that you’re actually eating, then that’s how you’ll know! It’s even chewier than Thai beef – although both of these can be prepared and cooked in the right very nice if pre way. But it has to be said that, in Thailand, it’s across octopus. Squid, on the quite rare to come co other hand, and cuttlefish, are plentiful here, and you’ll find them in all sorts of environments, from the markets to the street stalls and even in bright little flat plastic packets in 7-11. On an island that sees fresh seafood hard to escape from these little every day, it’s h encephalopods, even if you wanted to! encephalopods difference? Well, all these So what’s the d to the snail family and live creatures are related re between the temperate zones and in salt water be However, octopuses are basically the tropics. Ho like a huge ‘nose’, that sits one great big lump, lu on top of eight legs extended all around. They seabed, favouring holes and crannies live on the seab and coral from which to snare their in the rocks an creatures and can grow to prey. They’re solitary s the largest recorded was a North quite a size – th weighing 71 kilograms and with Pacific giant, w an arm span of over nine metres. Although it has to be said tthat this is actually a different sub-species of the ones that are usually hunted

or fished for the table, which are generally not much bigger than a soup bowl. Squid on the other hand are quite different. They’re jolly little chaps and usually hang about in a crowd, free-swimming and mostly avoiding the seabed. Their essential shape is quite different: the body is long and torpedo-like, with ten stubby tentacles sprouting out all together at the front. Additionally, although both octopus and squid propel themselves by squirting out jets of water, the squid possess one solitary bone, which is missing from the octopus family. It’s a structure known as a ‘pen’ that acts as a flexible backbone and also a jet tube from which it squirts the water to move itself along. Although herds of these nice little squid are common, there also exists the monsters of the deep, and these guys are not quite so pleasant. If you thought the big octopuses were a bit scary then you’d better avoid the ‘mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni’, otherwise known rather unimaginatively as the ‘Colossal Squid’. Imagine a school bus. Then stick some tentacles on it, make it 1,000 kilograms in weight and 60 feet long with eyes the size of footballs. They

became big for quite a different reason to the comparatively mini-sized octopuses. They’re only found in deep water and in ocean trenches, and are caused by a phenomenon called ‘deep-sea gigantism’. The squids’ ancestors were smaller, but as the squid migrated to deeper waters, they had to evolve into bigger creatures to deter larger predators. Plus, at greater depths, less food was available. They had to travel longer distances to find food, so size – and the endurance that came with it – became an evolutionary advantage. Giant squid might make for a lot of calamari – but I wouldn’t like to put money on how tender it would be. If you spend any time at all on Samui then you’ll notice something odd happening at night. Not so far out to sea you might hear a rhythmic slapping sound. If there’s enough light to see, there will also be a small boat and a fisherman who is whacking the water to drive the fish towards his net. Well, he is at the bottom end of the food chain so to speak, and is probably just catching his supper. There are hardly any fish close to the beaches here. For this you need to go out to the deeper waters around and beyond Koh Pha-Ngan.

This is where the big fishing boats go, the ones with three or four people in the crew. If you’ve ever been waiting for the ferry to leave from Nathon, you’ll see dozens of these boats moored up at the pier, usually hosing down and re-supplying for the next trip out. There is a triangle of deep water between the mainland coastal city of Chumpon, Koh Tao and Koh Samui, and this is where most of the fish are to be found. And that includes the shoals of squid. The technique is to mount powerful lights sticking out on booms on one side of the boat, and place a long hammock net on the opposite side, wait for a while, and pull the net up. Squid are attracted to the lights from deeper water but it’s too bright, so they mill about in the shadow of the boat, where the net catches them.

exactitude by the word for octopus which is ‘pla muk yak’, meaning ‘giant ink fish’! There are a dozen ways that you can enjoy squid/cuttlefish while you’re here, but one of the less obvious is a real Thai treat and has to be experienced. Look out at food markets, temple fairs and street stalls for the ‘squid roller’. Flat sides of cuttlefish (sometimes squid) are pushed several times through a steel roller, making them thinner as they go. They’re then toasted over charcoal and seasoned with spices, sugar and salt plus any of the other dips available. And they’re so ‘more-ish’ that I reckon they qualify for ‘Catch of the Day’ all by themselves!

Rob De Wet

Interestingly, in Thailand there is little distinction between squid and cuttlefish. They share similar habitats and look and taste much the same; the only difference being the inner cuttle ‘bone’ that runs the length of the cuttlefish’s body. The Thai word for both squid and cuttlefish is ‘pla muk’ (literally ‘ink fish’) – as genealogically differentiated with scientific

Romantic views, soothing sounds and classic Italian fare with a modern approach combine to please the most discerning diner. Olivio - a must for visitors and locals alike.

Olivio ~ beachfront at Baan Haad Ngam Boutique Resort Chaweng Beach. Free round trip transfer from Chaweng, Bophut and Choeng Mon. For reservation please call 0 7723 1500 www.siamwininganddining.com

3


What Makes it Unique? Discovering the secrets of Korean cuisine.

Korean food? Well it’s really hot’n spicy. And it’s all got funny names. Oh – and it’s full of pickled cabbage. That’s it! Korean food’s all pickled cabbage. It’s a bit like Thai food – but with lots of cabbage. Erm … well … no, actually. But if you’ve never eaten Korean food, then this may well be your vague impression of what it’s all about. Korea summons images that have something to do with the ‘38th parallel’, of a city called Seoul, and memories of the dark and brooding humour of a TV series called M*A*S*H. Oh. And pickled cabbage. But let’s take a closer look … The people of Korea are descendants of the Mongolians. And in 1910, Korea became a Japanese Protectorate. As a result, it would be true to describe the way that Korean food has evolved as a blend of Chinese and Japanese cooking techniques. But where it differs from both, is the fondness of the Koreans for their chillies – hence the spiciness of many of the dishes. It’s also a land surrounded on four sides by water

4 www.siamwininganddining.com

– so it’s hardly surprising that seafood figures prominently in the traditional cuisine. Korean markets overflow with fish, shrimps, crabs, clams, oysters, squid, and octopus. And when it comes to the cooking of these, there’s no shortage of innovation. They’re eaten dried, pickled, crushed into paste or sauces, stewed, steamed, and grilled. The fish is even stirred into a universally-enjoyed breakfast porridge. Like all Asian countries, the Korean staple diet is built around rice. Koreans eat a medium-grain ‘sticky’ rice – as distinguished from the glutinous sort – which is also common to Japan. And you’ll often find that the rice is mixed with barley or soybeans to vary the texture and flavour. Rice is also often made into noodles, which play a central role in Korean cooking. Soups, which come in a wondrous variety, are often noodle-based, in much the same way as you find in Thailand. But it’s not all ‘fish and rice’. The Koreans also love their meat and poultry. And you’ll find an enthusiastic selection of beef, pork and chicken – all cooked with a similar ingenuity and diversity

to the seafood mentioned above. In fact, there’s no real Korean ‘national dish’, as such. Except for the pickled ‘cabbage’, that is! But it’s not just the cabbage – it’s all the vegetables. And this is undoubtedly the most unusual and distinctive element of Korean cuisine. If you’ve never eaten Korean and know nothing about the food, then it’s certain that you’ll at least have heard about their kimchi. This side-dish of fermented vegetables continues to be an essential part of any Korean meal. Once upon a time, kimchi dishes were relatively mild, and spiced with fermented anchovies, ginger, garlic, and green onions. Koreans still use these ingredients today, but the predominant spice used has been upgraded to red chilli powder. And there are more than 200 types of kimchi, each created by the fermentation of cabbage, radishes, bean sprouts, pumpkins – pause for breath – mushrooms, pears, water chestnuts, cucumbers, aubergines, jujubes – you name it, and the Koreans will already have slapped it in a pickle jar before you’ve got your hat and coat off. Actually, kimchi is outstandingly good for you. It

contains garlic and onions, which have powerful anti-oxidant properties. The oil of garlic is 60% allicin. This prevents high cholesterol and triglyceride levels – the major cause of heart attacks and strokes. Experiments have proved that eating kimchi along with a quarter-pound of butter actually reduces cholesterol levels – amazingly the kimchi actually negates the effects of eating the butter. And it’s not just the kimchi that’s good for you – it’s the entire cuisine. It’s very low-calorie. There’s virtually no fat in Korean dishes, and the use of the meat or fish is carefully blended so they don’t dominate the meal, but complement it. At the same time, Korean food is wholesome, and full of protein, minerals and vitamins. A typical Korean meal (pekpan) consists of rice, soup and a great many side dishes (banchan). Banchan dishes are intended to be finished at each meal, so they’ll be small in proportion. The sweet, sticky rice accompanies every meal and you’ll probably find soup on the table also. The prominent feature of a Korean table setting is that all dishes are served at the same time, and table

arrangements can vary depending on the main dish served. The food will be arranged beautifully on the table, and each person will get an individual serving of all of the dishes – and this can be sometimes as many as 15-20. Then you simply help yourself from each dish, using chopsticks or a spoon. However, one of the most popular forms of Korean cuisine that you’ll come across is the Korean barbecue. Here, you’ll find your meat being cooked on the table, in front of you. And the chances are that you’ll have your own personal waiter, who’ll not only look after you, and help you with choices from the menu, but will be your personal table-cook too. So, if the fancy inclines you to something a bit different, go Korean. After all, some might say that it’s the original ‘Seoul food’!

Rob De Wet


Raising the Bar Impiana Resort has always been an exceptionally good place to dine, but you can now enjoy their laid-back beach bar, too. Impressions are important. First impressions are vital. And what we are impressed by counts for a lot. We’re impressed by 5-star quality, for example. Because it implies the best of the best. Sadly, it also costs an arm and a leg. It’s the reason why a great many people keep away. They have the impression that dining out at a top restaurant is expensive – it’s reserved for birthdays or special occasions. And that’s why impressions can also be misleading. Because, at Impiana, it’s not expensive at all. Impiana Resort is in Chaweng Noi, just around the corner from the main strip of Chaweng Beach, only a few minutes away by road. It’s a gracious and gentile resort, terraced in layers down the rock cliffside that characterises this part of the coast. The layout here is straightforward, and the first thing that you’ll see after coming up the steps and leaving the se aairy lobby is the restaurant. Well, both restaurants actually, although you won’t realise re this for a moment or two. th Due to the downwards slope there are actually D two restaurants, one on top of the other. The tw first that appears is Tamarind. This is divided fi into two sections: a comfy open-sided lounge in aarea with sofas and loungers, a big TV, and a bar at the far end. At the front of this area, b separated by a couple of steps down, there is a se broad and open-fronted terrace with a b stunning sea view. This is the dining area. st Immediately below this and right alongside the Im pool, overlooking the beach, is Sabai, the p resort’s all-day diner. This is essentially an re open-sided inner area, cool and shady, with a o broad (unroofed) outer terrace. Sabai really is b aabout as close to the beach as you can get and indeed, on beach-buffet evenings, offers an in aalternative to sandy feet – although most folk seem to prefer the beach. (More about those se buffets in a moment.) b And then, with its deep sofas and daybeds, A there’s the squeaky-new Beach Bar – although th to call it a ‘bar’ typifies the modest

understatement you’ll find at Impiana. It’s utterly gorgeous! Here, they definitely have a thing about building on two floors; the lower level is more of less what you’d expect. It’s a roofed-over rectangular space, with a bar in the middle and stools around the edge. But the open-deck upper level is something else! The whole edifice is built around a gigantic fruit tree. The upper deck has been cunningly situated so that half of it is in dappled shade, whereas in the other half you can stretch out on the daybeds and catch the rays. Or, if you’re a shady character, flip up one of the gigantic parasols instead. There are two menus: one is for daytime nibbling, and is generally a broad spectrum of International and Thai dishes. In hot climates, people tend to eat more sparingly during the day, and the available choices reflect this. And then there’s the evening dinner menu, which kicks in at around 6:30 pm. There’s a much wider selection of platters here, ranging from appetisers to a range of salads, meat, poultry and seafood dishes, pastas and pizzas, some super desserts, and a full Thai menu too. And here’s the best bit. As mentioned, some people are put off from venturing out to a quality hotel restaurant due to the cost. At Impiana the service is excellent. The range and quality of the fare is impressive. You can opt to dine upstairs at Tamarind, on the terrace below at Sabai, or even on the laid-back top deck of the Beach Bar if the fancy takes you. All this – and yet the average cost of a main dish is only 270 baht or so. “It’s all about being competitive,” the resort’s General Manager, David Xavier, pointed out. “I think at Impiana we offer a choice of locations, each with a different outlook and ambiance, and that’s something visitors to the island may not find at their own resort. It’s difficult for people to find their way around a strange new place, especially at night. That’s why we run a free shuttle-bus service between here and Chaweng. And then there’s a super range of quality dishes at competitive prices,” he added.

“All-in-all it adds up to a popular and pleasant dining experience, and we all work hard to keep it this way!” And if it’s a great night out with a sit-down à la carte meal you’re after, head directly for the ‘Braised Lamb Shank in Red Wine with Scallion, Mashed Potato and Baby Carrots’. Or, if it’s a taste of Thailand that appeals, there are a couple of intriguing items here: New Zealand mussels in either red or green curry soup. These really are delicious and a credit to Thai Executive Sous Chef, Khun Mas. But if it’s an under the stars and toes-in-the-sand experience that appeals, then bookmark a Monday or a Friday evening, as these are the beach buffet nights. On Monday, it’s the all-you-can-eat Thai Buffet that’s held on the beach – although on both evenings you can lounge about on the upper deck of the Beach Bar if that’s your preference. And Friday evening sees the very popular BBQ Night. The range of meat and fresh seafood is second to none, with live cooking stations to prepare everything just the way you like it. Not to mention that the team here have pegged the price all the way down to just 590 baht for the Thai buffet and 690 for the BBQ. The free shuttle bus leaves from the back of McDonald’s in Chaweng (down the steps at the back and on the lake road outside) at 5.30 pm every day, and will run you back again at 10:00 pm. That’s just in time for sundowners to start with and, what with the 2-for-1 ‘all day happy hour’, a welcome return back again after you have ‘razed the bar’!

Rob De Wet For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 2111. www.impiana.com

www.siamwininganddining.com

5


Vanilla Ice Agatha Christie

Tom Selleck Happy Birthday Rowan Atkinson

January’s culinary head lines.

1

1st – Not food related but today, in 2000, after years of preparation for Y2K, only minor computer-related problems were reported, leaving everyone to recover from their hangovers in peace.

9th - National Apricot Day in America. There’s quite a lot of goodness packed into these little fruits, and just 28 grams of apricots include 20% of your suggested daily intake of beta-carotene (which is good for your eyes and skin).

Dodgson's pen name was Lewis Carroll. He was an English mathematician and creator of ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’ whose main character had a bad habit of eating and drinking unknown substances.

2nd - Feast Day of St. Marcarius, the patron saint of confectioners, cooks and pastry chefs. Before he became a hermit, Marcarius was a sugarplum merchant.

10th - 2014. 26th Niagara Icewine Festival, Ontario, Canada. A show all about local wine, taking you from the vineyards to the harvest to the table and everything in between. Special focus on ice wine, which is made from grapes frozen on the vine.

15th - 1919. The Great Molasses Flood. On January 15th, 1919, a large storage tank in Boston burst and sending a gigantic wave of over 7.5 million litres of molasses, traveling at over 48 kilometres per hour. Houses and buildings were all crushed in its path. Twenty-one people died, and over 150 were injured. It took more than six months to clean up the mess, and the damage amounted to millions of dollars.

3rd - 1871. Oleomargarine was patented by Henry Bradley, Binghamton, NY. Seriously, where would we be nowadays without margarine? 4th - 2001. Rapper Vanilla Ice spends night in jail after allegedly ripping out some of his wife's hair during a row. Temper, temper! 5th - 2014. Last day of the ‘Food Style Expo’ held in Chennai, India. A trade show to display the latest food items and food packaging equipment. 6th - 1919. Former US president Theodore Roosevelt died in Oyster Bay, N.Y. 7th - 1990. The Leaning Tower of Pizza, I mean Pisa is closed to the public for the first time in its history amid safety fears. 8th - National English Toffee Day. Yes, it’s true. This sickly sweet treat has a whole day dedicated to it. So, get your sugar or molasses and butter out and get boiling … and pouring … and tasting … and dieting.

11th – 1874. Gail Borden died. Borden was the inventor of the process for making condensed milk, and founder of New York Condensed Milk Company. Where would Thailand and its iced coffees (and sweets like fudge) be without condensed milk? 12th - 1976. Crime writer, Agatha Christie died at her home in Oxfordshire at the age of 85. She had more than 83 books published including, ‘Black Coffee, ‘A Pocket full of Rye’ and ‘Sparkling Cyanide’. ‘Butter in a Lordly Dish’ and ‘Witchhazel’ are just two of her unpublished works. 13th - 2014. The first day of the ‘Ethnic Foods Europe’ show held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Attended by manufacturers, wholesalers, distributers, traders and basically anyone dealing with the food industry, this is a chance to showcase, sell and buy all kinds of ethnic food products and kitchenware. 14th – 1898. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson died.

6 www.siamwininganddining.com

16th - 2014. 19th Cayman Cookout, Grand Cayman. World famous chefs, wine experts and spirit blenders offer demonstrations, tours, tastings and dinners to celebrate the Cayman Islands. th

17 - 1929. Popeye the spinach loving sailor first appeared in the comic strip 'Thimble Theatre’. 18th - 2014. World Beer Festival, Colombia, South Carolina. Split into an afternoon session and an evening session, this festival is exactly what it says. Organised by the ‘All about Beer’ magazine, it celebrates various types, colours and tastes of beer from around the world. 19th - 2014. 9th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival. If your knowledge of seafood stops at fish and prawns, make sure you visit this show and try grilled lobster, fried fish, stone crab claws, Key West shrimp, smoked fish dip, conch fritters,

2014 January

Sun

Mon

Tue

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

conch chowder and conch nch salad, and change your view of seafood forever. 20th - 1964. The world's largest cheese was made, a 15,500 kilogram cheddar. It was created by the Wisconsin Cheese Foundation for the 1964/65 New York World's Fair. It took 161,000 litres of milk from 16,000 cows. 21st - 2014. Last day of the 39th Winter Fancy Food show held in San Francisco. Here you can discover over 80,000 on-trend products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices in natural or organic form, and a whole lot more. Make sure you visit on an empty stomach! 22nd – 1984. The Apple Macintosh computer was introduced in a TV commercial during Super Bowl XVIII. Two days later they went on sale to the public. rd

23 - National Pie Day, America. Try one of the 231 different varieties of apple pie (it’s true) or learn what the third most popular pie flavour choice is with Americans. (It’s pecan pie, by the way…) 24th - 2014. The start of ‘Chicago Restaurant Week’. A 14-day event!! 25th - 1998. Victoria Adams of Spice Girls fame (She was Posh Spice in case you’ve forgotten) and football star David Beckham got engaged. 26th - 2014. Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. It’s the world’s largest

Wed 1 8 15 22 29

Thu 2 9 16 23 30

Fri 3 10 17 24 31

Sat 4 11 18 25

oyster festival. Check out the ‘Oyster Shucking’ and ‘Oyster Eating’ contests, enjoy some live music and sample a selection of wines and beers. 27th - 1984. Michael Jackson is burned during filming for a Pepsi commercial after a firework showered sparks all over his hair. Too much hair spray perhaps? 28th - Blueberry Pancake Day in America. Any excuse to eat pancakes is fine by me... 29th - 1945. Actor Tom Selleck was born, star of the hit TV series Magnum, P.I. Yes, he is now 69 - how scary is that? I love Higgins, the Ferrari and white-chocolate flavour Magnums. 30th – 1969. The Beatles perform for the last time in public, on the roof of Apple Studios. 31st - The first day of the Wilmington Wine and Chocolate Festival, also known as the ‘Festival to make the lady in your life happy’ (just kidding). Exhibitors include vineyards, bakeries, confectioners, wine producing companies and more. What a way to end the month!

Colleen Setchell


Kitchen

We chat to Chef Thammasak Sripaoraya at The Passage in Laem Yai, to find out what’s cooking. Chefs often have a bad reputation as being ‘prima donnas’. They’re attention-seekers and sometimes flighty, job-hopping for the best status job, or where they’ll get recognised for the artists that they are. Sometimes … but it’s not always the case. Other times, you’ll find a chef who quietly gets on with the job, just enjoying working with food, and not after the status attached to being the head chef of a high-end establishment. He doesn’t crave fame and glory; he’s just interested in making good food and keeping guests happy. The latter describes Chef Thammasak Sripaoraya (Chef Moo) of The Terrace Restaurant at The Passage located on Laem Yai beach, on the north coast of the island. He’s a quiet man, with a big smile, who loves being in the kitchen. When we asked him which celebrity he’d like to cook for and why, his answer was, “My mum … because I want her to test my cooking. She cooked for me my whole life, and now I want to do something for her.” This statement reiterates what Chef Moo is all about – a down-to-earth honest man who loves working at The Passage, where he sees the staff as an extension of his family. In his little free time, he enjoys participating in adventure sports and fishing. And ladies, if you’re looking for a man who can cook… he’s single! Chef Moo loves meeting new people, and he’s inspired by those he meets, be they guests, or the Western chefs he’s trained under in the past. He equally enjoys preparing the Thai dishes which he’s grown up with, but also European cuisine. He’s particularly adept at vegetarian food, having worked for a year at Amala restaurant, which was known for its vegetarian dishes. But his career in the kitchen began long before this, in 1993, where he started as a commis chef at Central Plaza Hotel in Bangkok. Here he worked for three years, learning the basics and getting a good grounding for a career in the kitchen. From 1996 until 2003, Chef Moo took on the challenge of senior cook at the Vietnamese section of the Hotel Sofitel, further improving his culinary skills as he went along. A desire to travel and see more than just Thailand led him to Singapore where, from 2003 to 2005, he worked at the Old Saigon Tim Sum & Restaurant. But Thailand called him back again for another stint at the Hotel Sofitel, this time as sous chef of the Vietnamese kitchen.

vegetarian food at Prana Beach Villas in Bangrak, where he worked as sous chef for a year. When he’d learnt all he could here, he moved on to Kandaburi Resort & Spa in Chaweng, where he fine-tuned his skills in Mediterranean cooking. For the past year, Chef Moo has been keeping up the exceptional standard of cooking at The Terrace – the beachfront restaurant of The Passage, a peaceful resort away from Samui’s crowded areas. It’s here that Chef Moo puts his 20 years of kitchen skills into practice by creating delicious Thai and Western dishes, happily working with his ‘extended family’. The Terrace is reasonably priced as far as hotel restaurants go, and the view is fantastic, overlooking a quiet section of beach. There’s a simple lunch menu, and a more adventurous dinner menu. The house specialty is Gang Hin Samun Prai, which to those of us who don’t speak Thai, is otherwise known as grilled rock lobster with Thai herbs. Now while one usually expects to pay an arm and a leg for rock lobster, at The Terrace, it will only set you back 590 baht, inclusive of tax and service charge. And if you can’t decide on meat or seafood, it’s wise to take advantage of Chef Moo’s ‘Surf & Turf Eclipse Plate’, which is more than enough for two to share. You’ll get a hearty 500g grilled rib-eye steak with French fries and a red wine-pepper sauce, as well as two whole grilled rock lobsters (600g) served with baked potato, vegetables and a garlic lemon-butter sauce. Again this comes at a very reasonable 1,900 baht, inclusive. Signature dishes, as well as vegetarian and spicy options are clearly marked on the menu, helping to make the vast choice a little easier to narrow down. So if you’re interested in good food at a reasonable price, well prepared from fresh ingredients, and a perfect beachfront setting, it’s worth popping down to The Passage and trying Chef Moo’s hearty cooking at The Terrace.

Rosanne Turner For reservations or further information, telephone 07742 1721. www.thepassagesamui.com

Needing a break from city life, Chef Moo decided to give Samui a try, and learnt the art of tasty

Located in the beautiful Fisherman’s Village on Bophut Beach, our experienced chefs proudly present authentic Thai cuisine and Southern Thai dishes. Fresh seafood is a must with great quality at reasonable prices. Enjoy the tranquility of the beach, the twinkling stars and the whispering waves along with the beautiful music.A superb dining experience and great memories.

(Fisherman’s Village) 16/16 Moo 1, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320 Tel: 077 430 030, 077 245 035 Free Parking!! Opposite the restaurant

www.siamwininganddining.com

7


Lunch with a View A fantastic menu to match the fantastic view at Santiburi Country Club Club. b. Samui has more to offer than just stunning beaches and white sand. While it isn’t known for its mountains, it is quite easy to get up high and enjoy some breath-taking views of sweeping hills covered in swaying palm trees, which roll all the way down to the azure waters that you’ve left behind. Sometimes getting high enough to appreciate these views needs a little help, such as a large off-road motorbike, coupled with a powerful engine and expert driving. But, as you will discover, it can be easier than that. Santiburi Country Club and Golf Course in Maenam, is perched up on the side of a hill, and has a wonderfully smooth concrete road that leads you directly to the clubhouse. It’s an 18-hole championship golf course and is known as one of the most beautiful courses in Asia, and if you’ve been there, you’ll be inclined to agree. On a clear day, from their clubhouse you can see not only sprawling acres of palm trees and manicured greens, but you can also see Koh Tao, Koh Pha-Ngan, Bophut Bay and even Bangrak (and considering they’re located in western Maenam, that’s really quite something). The Country Club is easy to find. Just take a left sign-posted turn off the ring-road just before the market in Maenam. Follow the signs (they are clear and plentiful) and soon you’ll be snaking your way uphill realising you’re going to be in for a treat once you reach the top. Be warned, the first time you see this view, you might stop breathing momentarily. It’s what a tropical island view should be. Take your time and take it all in, breathe in the fresh air, count the palm trees if you can, marvel at the lushness of the green, and far in the distance, admire the turquoise blue of the sea. The clubhouse’s restaurant is square-shaped with two sides completely open to allow a fantastic 270 degree view of the surrounding hillsides. With free Wi-Fi for patrons, you might choose to do a few hours of work before lunch, although your eyes will keep being drawn back to the view. Even though it’s so mesmerising, you’ll

find you’re more productive because somehow it has a magical way of clearing your head. Before you know it, lunchtime has arrived and because you’ve got so much work done and are enjoying the view; you decide you’re ready to order some food. You’ll have a hard time deciding what to eat. Along with a few International dishes and some hearty sandwiches and burgers, they have a great selection of Thai dishes with prices that are a pleasant surprise. The dishes themselves might all sound like standards, but the presentation is first class.

As you order your cocktail and watch the sky changing colour preparing for sunset, you learn that they serve breakfast here too, from as early at 6:00 am. You have a choice of breakfasts, two hot ‘standard’ breakfasts, a continental breakfast and even a traditional Thai breakfast. Omelettes, eggs (cooked to your liking), sausages, bacon, fried bread, beans, mushrooms, croissants, fruit salad, rice porridge, fruit juices - it’s all here. So you sit back, sip your cocktail and watch the slowly fading light across Samui and decide that tomorrow you’ll come for breakfast too. And to think, you only popped in for lunch!

You might choose to have the ‘Recommendation of the Week’ from the note on the table. This week it was pad Thai and before you go turning your nose up at this perhaps ‘too common’ dish, picture this. Rather than just delivering a dish of fried noodles, they’ve gone to the trouble of making this dish look beautiful. A fine mesh of fried scrambled egg is draped over the top of the noodles, and the crushed peanuts and bean sprouts are places in neat little piles on the side. Two huge prawns have been skewered by a spring onion which has been placed in the middle of the noodles. It is so intricate, it’s hard to know where to start. You might find it easier to tackle your fresh lemon soda or your cantaloupe fruit shake.

Colleen Setchell For reservations or further information, telephone 07 7421 7008 www.santiburi.com

An hour or so passes as you enjoy your lunch, you really should get going but once again your eyes are drawn back to the view. It’s so calming, so relaxing, maybe just a few more hours work! The next thing you know, your stomach is rumbling. It can’t be but yes, it’s already gone 6:00 pm and you’ve done more work in the last eight hours than you’ve managed in the past two days. Well that calls for celebration and conveniently there’s a cocktail menu, and because it’s after 5:00 pm you can make the most of the ‘buy one and get one free’ special. Very reasonably priced considering the accompanying views, you can easily sit back and relax without worrying about busting your budget.

Sea Wrap ...living by the sea...

Le Jaroen “A Secret World”

Ease yourself to the sound of gently lapping waves and enjoy the breath-taking sea views. Savor Mediterranean bistro culinary delights & modern Thai specialties, for a unique beachfront dining experience.

Peace Resort 178, Moo 1, Bophut Beach, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320 Thailand Tel: +66 77 425357 | Fax: +66 77 425343 www.peaceresort.com seawrap@peaceresort.com

Probably the most enchanting restaurant on the island for an unforgettable romantic evening. Induldge your senses with an exquisite 5 course Chef’s Signature Menu or 4 course Thai Degustation Menu.

Tel +66 (0)77 962 198 info@thescenthotel.com www.thescenthotel.com The Scent Hotel 58/1 Moo 4 Bangrak Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

8 www.siamwininganddining.com


www.siamwininganddining.com 9


Italian Delights Enjoying authentic Italian cuisine in the heart of Chaweng at Spago.

Iconic Beachfront Restaurant Daily Modern European Asian Cuisine. Oyster Sunday Brunch from noon - 4 pm. With breathtaking views and an unrivalled ambiance, RockPool is an unmissable Samui dining attraction. Resting on the rocks just a few metres above the ocean, the RockPool terrace offers an exquisite beach-side dining experience. Chef Christopher's menu is an a la carte journey embracing an exotic tapestry of the freshest ingredients, delicately prepared to enhance each individual flavour. RockPool is the perfect location for all celebrations, and is equally delightful for a casual, gourmet lunch or a romantic dinner. Sunday Brunch is a long, lazy affair. RockPool is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

RESERVATIONS: 077 234 500 Email: info@kandaresidences.com www.kandaresidences.com Located Between Chaweng And Choeng Mon. Location In Thai: 10 www.siamwininganddining.com

ÌҹÍÒËÒÃÍͤ¾ÙÅ μѧé ÍÂÙË ÐËÇ‹Ò§ËÒ´à©Ç§áÅÐËÒ´àªÔ§Á¹

Complimentary one way transfer to or from your resort .


Italian Delights Enjoying authentic Italian cuisine in the heart of Chaweng at Spago.

Iconic Beachfront Restaurant Daily Modern European Asian Cuisine. Oyster Sunday Brunch from noon - 4 pm. With breathtaking views and an unrivalled ambiance, RockPool is an unmissable Samui dining attraction. Resting on the rocks just a few metres above the ocean, the RockPool terrace offers an exquisite beach-side dining experience. Chef Christopher's menu is an a la carte journey embracing an exotic tapestry of the freshest ingredients, delicately prepared to enhance each individual flavour. RockPool is the perfect location for all celebrations, and is equally delightful for a casual, gourmet lunch or a romantic dinner. Sunday Brunch is a long, lazy affair. RockPool is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

RESERVATIONS: 077 234 500 Email: info@kandaresidences.com www.kandaresidences.com Located Between Chaweng And Choeng Mon. Location In Thai: 10 www.siamwininganddining.com

ÌҹÍÒËÒÃÍͤ¾ÙÅ μѧé ÍÂÙË ÐËÇ‹Ò§ËÒ´à©Ç§áÅÐËÒ´àªÔ§Á¹

Complimentary one way transfer to or from your resort .


Whatʼs that Bu The restaurant trade can be a fickle business. Loyal customers are few and far between, and most foodies are quick to move on to the next ‘big thing’ to hit town. Sometimes, a restaurant is flavour of the month, and then silently closes as quickly as it appears. But other times, they really do impress beyond just being the latest place to be seen. They need to show consistently great food, friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere. Nadimos, located at the western end of Bangrak in Prana Beach Villas, does just that. So what’s all the fuss about? Well, Nadimos serves up great Lebanese cuisine. And on an island with so many expat restaurateurs producing a literal smorgasbord of International cuisine, Lebanese food, with its exotic spices and rich flavours has been sorely lacking in availability. If you’ve never tried it before, do yourself a favour and do so. In Lebanon, very rarely are drinks served without being accompanied by food. Similar to the tapas of Spain, mezeluri of Romania, and antipasto of Italy, mezze is an array of small dishes placed on the table and shared between the guests, creating an array of colours, flavours, textures and aromas. Mezze may be as simple as pickled or raw vegetables served with hummus, baba ghanoush and pita bread, or it may become an entire

meal consisting of grilled marinated seafood, skewered meats, a variety of cooked and raw salads and a tempting assortment of desserts to finish off with. But owner, Richard Al Ghoul, is by no means testing the waters with Nadimos on Samui. The recipes are tried and tested at his two branches of Nadimos in Bangkok, both extremely popular with locals, expats and tourists alike. Being Lebanese, he’s obviously passionate about the authenticity of the food served, so most of the ingredients are imported from Lebanon and then prepared by his Lebanese chefs, Executive Chef, Noor Safwan and Chef Bassam Abamorra. Lebanese food has similarities with other Middle Eastern cuisine, and flatbread is a staple with every meal, often used like a fork to scoop up the juices of delicious stews, dips and salads. The Nadimos menu is a selection of the most famous Lebanese dishes, such as tabbouleh (chopped parsley and tomatoes with fresh, zesty citrus overtones), baba ghanoush (a smoky grilled eggplant dip), hummus (silky mashed chickpeas with sesame paste), kebabs (tender skewers of charcoal grilled lamb with chopped parsley and onions), riz bil hallib (a desert made of rice and milk pudding with a rose syrup), and last but not least, Lebanese coffee, a hot beverage that is a must try at the end of the meal,

BAR & RESTAURANT

Open from 10:00 am - 01:00 am (main kitchen), with pizzas being served until 1:00 am. For reservations and further information, telephone 077 961 648 www.spagosamui.com

Grill & BBQ Fish and Seafood Open from 12:00 am - 01:00 am For reservations and further information, telephone 077 963 213

www.galangasamui.com 12 www.siamwininganddining.com


uzz? or simply any time of the day for a pick-me-up. It’s thick and strong, similar to Turkish coffee. Now while Thailand is known for its pork dishes, the Middle East’s meat of choice is lamb. Expats who crave lamb with be spoilt for choice when it comes to the Nadimos menu. Choose from lamb ras asfour (sliced sautéed lamb with cream and pine nuts); one of the nine different varieties of kebab, like the kebab ezmelli (tender, juicy minced lamb with dots of white cheese); grilled lamb chops; and maanik (homemade mini sausages), to mention but a few. To ease the kick of the strong coffee, be sure to try a dessert. Lebanese sweets typically use dried fruit such as dates and apricots, as well as nuts such as pistachio, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts, as well as honey and rose syrup to sweeten. There’s a similarity to Greek or Moroccan desserts, with baklava being the most famous. End the meal by smoking a shisha – a traditional water pipe, with flavours including melon, strawberry, mint and apple. As the smoke is filtered through water, it’s not nearly as offensive to non-smokers as regular cigarettes or cigars, so you’ll feel slightly less guilty in doing so.

Na Nadimos Lebanese restaurant is creating res quite a stir. qu

Nadimos’ location on the seafront makes it an ideal lunch time or sunset venue. Dine during the day, and it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a dip in the beachfront infinity pool, or laze about on a sun-lounger with a cocktail or two after your meal. Should you be coming for dinner, arrive in time for sundowners, as Bangrak beach offers some of the best sunsets on the island, a perfect way to start the evening. So if you fancy something other than Thai food, but still crave exotic flavours, try Nadimos. The restaurant is open from 7:00 am until 11:30 pm, and it’s a perfect venue for intimate private functions too.

Rosanne Turner For reservations and further information, telephone 0 7724 6362. www.pranaresorts.com

Delicious food tastes even better in a beautiful setting.

All You Need Is Love… At Bandara Resort and Spa, Samui, brides and grooms need to bring only their love. All else is here – inspiring seaside setting on a peaceful stretch of idyllic island coastline, dedicated team of wedding professionals giving meticulous attention to every detail, and the genuine warmth of Thai hospitality to ensure one of life’s most important occasions is truly memorable.

Pure Asian Experience

Where love grows - all newlyweds plant a ‘Love Tree’ in the resort’s garden and are invited to return on their honeymoon to relive fond memories and see how their own unfolding love has graced where the bond began.

178/2 Moo 1, Tambol Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani Thailand 84320 Tel: +66 (0) 7724 5795 Fax: +66 (0) 7742 7340 stay@bandarasamui.com www.bandarasamui.com www.siamwininganddining.com 13


A Feast of Crab It can get messy, but it’s well worth it!

“Why don’t we do this more often?” mumbles my companion breathlessly as he licks and sucks on the sweet juices running down his fingers. It’s a hands-on all-sensory experience and you can’t stop till you’ve had enough. You get sweaty and sticky. You are absorbed and focused, and don’t always notice you are making happy little grunting noises. And no, it’s not Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s eating fresh crab on Samui. There are probably 50 ways to serve it, but without any effort I can rattle off a dozen: crab in a hot and spicy soup (tom yam pu) , stir fried with garlic and black pepper, stir fried in curry powder, steamed and served with a piquant seafood sauce, green papaya som tam with crab pieces, crab in coconut curry, stir fried with glass noodles, steamed in coconut cream, soft shell crabs stir fried in garlic and pepper or in a ‘yam’ (Thai style salad), crab cakes, and the most ubiquitous and always satisfying, fried rice with crab meat.

don’t want to look foolish. Eating with Thai friends I notice that even the children are able to extract much more of the juicy meat than I do. But it’s a life skill that’s well worth the payoff, so here’s a quick crab tutorial. Crabs are decapods which means they have ten feet but only a single pair of claws. The other pointy bits are really feelers. It’s easy to twist them off the carapace, and if the crab is perfectly cooked it takes only a small bite to crunch off the end of the feelers and suck out all the sweet meat. Persevere until you get your money’s worth. If it’s tough to suck it out, the crab may be overcooked. Never mind, there’s plenty more in the claws. Usually the cook has kindly given these a hard whack before adding them to the pot, so you’ll find that the divine flavours have permeated into the flesh, and it’s easy to pry or bite the claws to release the most satisfying chunks of white and light crabmeat.

So why don’t we do it more often? Well, it is messy. While you can always opt for the easy solution and order crab meat only, there’s a whole range of flavours missing when you cook it without the shell. And with the shell on, there’s no way to eat it without using your hands.

The carapace itself is easy to pull apart, and you can find more meat inside. Sometimes near the tail there will be deliciously rich yellow egglike chunks as well. That’s because it’s a female, and this is actually the roe.

There’s perhaps another reason we don’t bother learning something new is always tough and we

If you are having trouble at any point, don’t hesitate to call your wait staff who will no doubt

14 www.siamwininganddining.com

be helpful and non-judgmental. Mine was. I couldn’t work out where the meat had disappeared to in a serving of steamed ‘pu dam’ (black crab served with a piquant seafood sauce), and the waiter showed me how the abdomen meat had been separated out for me in the kitchen and was attached to the claw to make for easier munching. Another reason we may hesitate is concern for our health - we all know that shellfish should be really fresh. ‘Pu ma’ are ocean crabs, and if you are ever in Nathon in the morning, you can see tables of them, fresh off the boat, along the pier for sale to local housewives planning a family treat. But you probably weren’t planning to take one home to your hotel. Fortunately, on Samui there are a number of restaurants with live crab tanks. Here you will most commonly see blue ‘pu ma’ crabs dancing sideways and raising a claw in greeting. ‘Pu dam’, the bigger black crabs are tidal water creatures that live in mangroves and creeks. They are also kept alive for the restaurant trade and so always fresh. Another reason not to fear is that there’s no way to disguise a bad crab by cooking it, so that it’s highly unlikely you will get any tummy trouble. You may think that crabs are an elite food, or sound expensive. In fact they make up 20% of all marine crustaceans caught, farmed, and

consumed worldwide - that’s almost 1.5 million tonnes annually. Thailand has a dynamic and indigenous aquaculture industry and while crab is definitely a treat, it’s not uncommon, and not that pricey. One of my personal favourites is soft-shell crab. These have moulted and are cooked before their exoskeleton forms again. This means the entire crab can be eaten without wrestling with the shell, and typically it’s served deep fried. My favourite is with som tam, where the spicy salad’s tart bite cuts through the crispy-fried crab. But are they fresh or frozen, I wonder? No big deal - I reckon it’s worth taking a chance, and when the soft shell crabs I order for this review turn out to have been frozen, and the taste and texture have suffered as a result, I can let it go. That’s because I’ve ordered loads more crab dishes, and I’m enjoying the sharp peppery taste of ‘pu phad prik Thai dam’ - crab stir fried in black pepper. It’s amazing how the right combination of just a few ingredients - crab, garlic, chili, onion, black pepper and a little soya sauce can go such long way to make me very, very happy. We’ve also got ‘pu phad pong karee, another stir fried dish with curry powder. This is the only Thai dish I know where curry powder is used in place of fresh curry paste, and I’m

assuming it’s because the milder powder doesn’t overwhelm the delicate crab. The southern Thai coconut crab curry is also fairly mild. This has quite a lot more ingredients, including coconut milk and cream, palm sugar, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime, fish sauce, lime juice, turmeric, grachai and kapi (fermented shrimp paste). It’s a warm, comforting, rich and creamy dish, and we finish the whole bowl. We also demolished the crab fried rice. It’s wonderfully more-ish for such an apparently ordinary dish, and while we were concerned that we’d overreached by ordering only crab dishes, it was an unexpected highlight. Staggering crab wise out of the restaurant, I think I had a vague sense of why we don’t do this more often: while crab meat is very light and tasty, it’s hard not to overindulge!

Annie Lee


Pavilion presents the best in Samui Boutique Resort dining. The Patio Restaurant serves authentic Italian and Thai delicacies. Experience a romantic meal with outstanding sea views. The Look-Out Bar is the ideal place to unwind with a drink by our beach side pool.

Romantic Dinner on the Beach

Enjoy an elegant and romantic meal at sunset on the soft sandy beach. (Includes a bottle of our best Prosecco) Please make a reservation one day in advance.

Wednesday Night Pasta Night Dinner Buffet

Sunday Night Steak Night

From 07.00 PM - 10.30 PM

From 07.00 PM - 10.30 PM

Huge variety of homemade pasta and a selection of pasta sauces.

N.Z. Sirloin 700++ N.Z. Tenderloin 770++ N.Z. T-Bone 800++ Choice of pepper sauce, mushroom sauce, béarnaise sauce, red wine sauce, herb sauce. Served with - baked potato, mash potato, French fries, sautéed potato, creamy spinach. Includes one glass of house wine.

Cold cuts, cold appetisers, meat, seafood, vegetable, fresh fruits and desserts. Only 699++ Baht (A la carte menu also available)

Monday Night Thai Night

Saturday Night Seafood & Barbecue Night

From 7.30PM - 10.30 PM

Try our seafood & barbecue with a selection of lobster, rock lobster, jumbo prawn, squid, blue crab and sea bass as well as chicken, pork, beef or mixed kebabs. Be amazed by our salad bar for vegetarians.

An outstanding Thai buffet dinner plus classical Thai dancing performance. Only 699++

(A la carte menu also available) (A la carte menu also available)

Wedding on The Beach Experience the most special day of your life in romantic tropical surroundings at Pavillon Samui Boutique Resort. Select from our Western, Thai and Chinese wedding options. Let us tailor make a celebration for you or choose one of our wedding packages.

Lamai Beach, Koh Samui Tel: 0 7742 4420, 0 7742 4030 Fax: 0 7742 4029 info@pavilionsamui.com www.pavilionsamui.com www.siamwininganddining.com 15


Rude? Nude? No – Food! When it comes to the art of photography, there’s some knowledge and skill involved to capture that amazing holiday meal.

How many times have you done it? Go on, be honest. All of us do it. And some with more passion than others. Some do it with scientific skill and objectivity. Some, with more enthusiasm than subtlety. There are a few who actually make a good living at doing it, although most of us are cheerful amateurs, happy enough to give it a go and see what happens. Yes, we all take photos. But when it comes to taking photos of food, most of the time it’s anybody’s guess as to the end result. How many times, for another instance, has that gloriously luminous sunset failed to look the same in your viewing-screen? You’ll move a bit and take another one but it’s still the same. And it’s exactly the same thing with food. (I recall from years ago, a friend who was a wedding photographer. He told me that the perpetual question asked afterwards by the married couple was “. . . did they come out?” He always used to grin at that. He knew about film speed and ISO, contrast ratios and exposure. He knew how to synchronise his flash to match the background lighting and ‘bracketed’ his shots. He always carried three cameras, one with a long lens, one with a short one and another one in his bag for a spare, plus several flash guns. His photos always ‘came out’ because he understood the processes of photography.) Today we don’t need to understand photography. We just have to

push the button. Therefore, it’s vastly more annoying and confusing, when our foolproof cameras don’t produce results! One unfortunate aspect in the middle of all this is that today, at a guess, about 80% of holiday photos are taken with a telephone and not a camera. And that’s much the same principle as carrying a 50-inch flat screen ‘smart’ internet TV around with you just so you can plug it in and check your e-mail – it’s really not the right thing for the job. The results from today’s super smartphones are simply spectacular – mostly. Likewise, the ‘point and shoot’ pocket cameras. And if my old (and now deceased) wedding photographer friend could see these, he’d twitch about with professional envy in his grave. But don’t be fooled by those multi-mega pixels. It takes more than merely a high resolution to catch those tricky shots. And you, behind the camera, need to understand one or two very basic ideas for it all to work. The first idea is how not to use flash. If you have an option to turn off the auto-flash, then use it. Even if you don’t know how – read the handbook and find out. Try one shot with flash and a shot without, and then compare them. In daylight, this isn’t so important. (And don’t be shy about taking your plate outside, where the light is better: the chef will adore you for being

so appreciative!) But avoid direct sunlight; try it in the shade instead. As a general rule, actually look carefully at the shot you’ve just taken – the vast majority of people don’t bother to do this and then groan with annoyance when they later notice the lamp post growing out of someone’s head. Look carefully, and then try another one or two, changing the angle and background. ‘Snaps’ are for kiddies. ‘Photographs’ are what intelligent people make. So don’t just push the button and forget it. Probably 98% of your daylight photos will be just great. It’s that 2% that are the problem. And these are usually the ones you want the most – those awkward sunsets . . . the gorgeous evening dinners and plates of fabulous food! Here’s a tip straight away. Your flash throws out a strong bright light. This causes heavy dark shadows. Your food will look odd like this – un-natural. So grab the nearest tissue or white napkin or two, and prop it/them up on the table, just out of the picture, so that they reflect some of your flash into the deep shadow areas. Experiment with a couple of shots, until you get a good one. Even a cheap phone camera will give good results like this, given a few moments of awareness and patience. One person on Samui who makes his living by

‘doing it’ (of course not with a camera phone but with an amount of equipment which fills a truck) is Claudio Cerquetti. He’s a seriously long-term photographer, journalist, teacher, international award-winner and exhibitor, and author of several books on the subject. In fact, it’s a 50-50 chance that the pictures in any hotel or resort advertising brochures, adverts in magazines, or websites you see here, originate from Claudio. He really knows his stuff. And he’ll be the first person to tell you that commercial photography, even of a humble plate of food, is a whole world away from just taking photos with your pocket camera. (In fact, I know that hotel owners have called upon him in the past because they just couldn’t use their own little cameras to do the same job, hard as they tried.) “It’s a skill that takes years to master,” he told me. “While it may seem like it’s easy just to arrange some food on a plate, what actually goes into a professional food shoot is quite the opposite. To learn how to take high-end pictures of food, photographers must acquire a knowledge of light, camera angles, and the nature of the food being photographed. If lighting or other photographic elements are off, pictures of meals can look unappetising, ruining the purpose of the photos and thus failing to sell the product.”

“By mastering the light sources we can make the food look like a masterpiece of culinary art,” he continued. “But if you feel that something is wrong in the composition, then you place the lights and rearrange all the little details until you feel relaxed. This instinct develops over years of experience, and the ability to learn from your own mistakes – this is part of the human experience at all levels.” Thus spake Claudio, pro-photoman extraordinaire. But we other mortals, who just want to go home with memories, take note. Somewhere between the photo guru and the novice lies the middle ground of everyday photography, but with a difference. Hopefully, now, the differences explained here will mean better personal photos for you, whether they be rude, nude, or even – food!

Rob De Wet To see more of what serious photography is all about, visit Claudio’s website at www.fantasyatwork.com.

Noodle Specialties from all over ASIA The restaurant where every evening becomes a memorable occasion.

at Akyra Chura Resort open noon - 22.00h reservation 077 915 100 www.theakyra.com www.facebook.com/Theakra

16 www.siamwininganddining.com

For reservations please contact: Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa, Koh Samui Tel: +66 (0) 77 428 300 Email: bophutsamui@anantara.com Skype: bophutsamui


Mediterranean Magic Dining in enigmatic ambiance at Le Jaroen.

It’s something of a well-kept secret. It’s right on the beach at the edge of Bangrak. And it goes by the name of ‘The Scent’. Whatever the opposite of ‘blatant’ is, this is it – even the entrance is just an antique wooden doorway in a short, but high, grey wall. But push that door open and you’re into the time-warp – a French courtyard, complete with an ancient delivery bicycle, pot plants everywhere and shelves and sconces on the walls revealing all sorts of nostalgic period bric-á-brac. It’s as if you’ve wandered into somebody’s home.

Scallops from Japan, prime Australian beef and lamb, Canadian lobster, turbot brought in from France - Aziz is serious about his cuisine. The menus have been thoughtfully compiled. There’s a lighter and more accessible daytime lunch menu, many vegetarian items, and then a showpiece dinner offering. Even the ‘Thai’ section of the lunch menu includes such gems as ‘Yam Pla Salmon – Atlantic salmon with cashew nuts, watermelon and green mango salad, and tamarind dressing’, which makes my mouth water just writing about it!

But a couple of steps more will dispel that feeling as you spot the big pool that fills the middle of the plot. The layout is compact and with the accommodation on two floors, forming a U-shape with the open end facing the sea. The Mediterranean feel is further enhanced by the balconies that run the length of the upper floors, with the paintwork carefully ‘antiqued’ to be bleached and faded. The rooms are similarly unique and manage to combine the old and the lushly-luxurious with style and flair. Art deco mirrors sit next to flat screen TVs, and you might be surprised to find that an antique sideboard houses the fridge and stereo.

Aziz is both confident and experienced. This shows through in the options he presents in his menu. One of the mistakes that amateurs make is to load the menu with items (I remember a Thai eatery in Bangkok that had over 200 dishes – nobody could ever decide what to eat). And so he’s designed a simple menu layout that makes it all straightforward, but leaves you longing for another visit! You can opt for one of a dozen or so mains on the à la carte menu, or go for the set 5-course tasting option. A similar thing happens on the Thai side of things, which features a superb 4-course Thai lunch (although Aziz shuns the credit for this – that belongs to the very capable Thai Sous Chef, Khun Ying.)

All of which is to set the unusual and atmospheric scene for the resorts excellent restaurant, Le Jaroen. Seen in the bright light of day, this is a pleasant enough spot - airy and shady, with an open-sided inner area and an outer wooden deck that perches above the edge of the sand. But it’s not until night falls that the magic here beams out. The low, warm lighting and the candles everywhere, the glimmering lights on the coast of Koh Pha-Ngan, the swish of the waves – the utterly romantic French provincial ambiance – this has to be one of the most intimate and relaxed places to eat anywhere on the island. It’s unique. But man cannot live by love alone, as the bard once observed. And you’ll be delighted to know that, along with the idyllic surroundings, the quality of the fare here is equally superb. The prime reason for this is the presence of award-winning Azizskandar Awang, the resort’s Group Executive Chef. This man is not only modest and unassuming, but he’s also something of a Samui legend. Right back at the start of his career he won the coveted Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award, before eventually going on to work at such 5-star icons as the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel and the Singapore Marriott Hotel, amongst several other pinnacles of 5-star culinary excellence. “I suppose you could describe my approach as ‘contemporary French with a Mediterranean bias’,” Aziz told me. “It’s a much lighter, cleaner-tasting approach compared with the heavy sauces and creams of classical French dishes. And, of course, I use up-to-date techniques – most of the meat dishes are cooked sous vide. Something like the signature dish of ‘Beef Rossini’ is already tender; it’s prime imported Australian beef that been grain-fed for 150 days. But I’ll vacuum-cook it for 15 minutes at just 45 degrees before it’s flash-seared to seal in the juices. I import a lot of the prime ingredients for my dishes – it’s important that diners here experience this level of quality.”

There’s also a separate section for the vegetarians amongst us – and some of these offerings are just so yummy that I’d even go so far as to say that they really don’t need meat at all! And then there’s the ‘gold standard’ hallmark of a superb chef - desserts to kill for. All too often an otherwise promising menu ends up with ice-cream or fresh fruit. This is, of course, available. But few people take it up after they’ve seen the other options, beginning with the Truffle Cream Brûlée . . . But life’s not just all about love or cake. This is a sunshine island and basking in the fading rays reveals the ‘High Tea’ option – très gentile in every respect. If you stop-in to soak up the vibes around sunset, maybe to check your email or wet your whistle awhile, you’ll find several temptations. These come in the form of 2-for-1 cocktails, or perhaps the connoisseur range of TWG teas (such as Royal Darjeeling or Morocco Mint). Or you can really hit the caffeine jag via Cafés Richard’s Bolivian, Colombian or Ethiopian coffees. It’s a little slice of somewhere else on Samui; another time and place, far removed from the mainstream of the usual sun-oil and sand. It has a magic all of its own; a scent of forgotten France, one might even say. Certainly there’s nothing else like it!

Rob De Wet For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7796 2198. www.thescenthotel.com

Enjoy your lunch or spectacular sunset dinner at the open air Pavilion restaurant overlooking the sea and the intimate atmosphere of a small luxury villa resort. Authentic Thai and international cuisine and wines. Join us for a relaxed and unforgetable dining experience!

Open daily from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. (ask for free pick-up service) Santi Beach – Lipanoi Tel: 077-420008 – Fax: 077-420009 e-mail: samui@siamresidence.com www.siamresidence.com

www.siamwininganddining.com 17


Is the mojito Samui’s most popular cocktail?

There’s something about the taste of a mojito that conjures up images of sun, sand, sea and holidays. It seems that wherever you go on Samui, a bar, restaurant, hotel or resort will offer some form of this wonderful cocktail. But what is the mojito’s story? Let’s see what we can dig out… Firstly, it is spelled ‘mojito’ but pronounced ‘mo-hee-toe’ although many places have started spelling it with an ‘h’ as in ‘mohito’. It is one of the most famous rum-based highballs and is traditionally made with white rum, sugar (or sugar cane juice), lime juice, sparkling water and mint. First the sugar, the lime juice and the mint leaves are gently mashed to release the essential oils of the mint leaves. Next the rum is added and the whole mixture is stirred to combine the ingredients. Then the ice cubes are added and the glass is topped up with sparkling soda water. It is usually decorated with mint leaves and lime wedges. Simple and tasty, the combination of sweetness, citrus from the lime and freshness from the mint are all intended to complement the rum, and together they made a very popular summer drink all over the world. The mojito was born in Cuba, although where exactly is a bit hazy. There is one story that traces it back to a similar 19th century drink named after Sir Francis Drake. Apparently after a successful raid, his ships sailed towards Havana with an epidemic of dysentery and scurvy on board. After hearing that a local South American Indian tribe had remedies for various illnesses, a small party went ashore searching for a cure for those on-board. What they came back with, was a medicine made from some sort of crude form of rum made from sugar cane with lime, sugarcane syrup and mint added (which all happened to be growing locally). Little did they realise the lime alone would have cured the scurvy, but nonetheless, the drink became popular, and ‘El Draque’ was born. Was this the very first mojito? There are many theories behind the origin of the name mojito. Mojadito is Spanish for ‘a little wet’, mojado is Spanish for ‘wet’, mojo was the name of a Cuban seasoning made from lime, and the African word mojo, means ‘to place a little spell’. If you’ve ever drunk more than three mojitos, you might believe this last version! The mojito was apparently one of author Ernest Hemingway’s favourite drinks. He made Havana bar ‘La Bodeguita del Medio’ famous, as he regularly drank his mojitos there. The phrase “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita,” can still be read today on the wall in his handwriting. So if this drink has influenced people such as Ernest Hemingway, how has it influenced people on Samui? You can get mojitos almost anywhere on the island but we sampled a few rather interesting versions.

many as you want for just 999 baht. They have a whole array of flavours such as passion fruit; coconut and ginger, even a delicious lychee flavour. I bet you never thought you could work towards your daily fruit intake with a mojito? If you’re feeling really adventurous, they make one with golden rum, honey and Tabasco. These mojitos are best enjoyed sitting in the W’s unique lotus-shaped sunken seats while appreciating the gorgeous views across the bay to Koh Pha-Ngan. If you prefer to sit on the beach on a beanbag with your mojito, then head to La Cabanon in Fisherman’s Village. Listening to live music, you can enjoy your mojito served in a tall glass complete with orchid decoration, and relax into your beanbag and listen to the waves quietly lapping the shore. Of course, there are other ways to enjoy your mojitos and the Walking Street markets are another option. Cheap and quick, your mojito will be served in a plastic cup by a smiling, enthusiastic cocktail maker/shaker. You can continue to browse the stands and, if you have a good sense of balance, you can even enjoy some of the food on offer while walking around. There are many different versions of the mojito. A Mexican mojito uses tequila instead of rum and a dirty mojito uses spiced rum and brown sugar instead of white rum and white sugar. If you’re a fan of gin and tonic, enjoy an English mojito made with gin instead of rum, and if you’ve recently come into some money, choose a mojito royal made with champagne instead of soda water. A morelli mojito is made with Red Bull instead of soda water - drink with caution. A mojitaly uses fernet branca instead of rum, and mapo (a hybrid citrus fruit that was made by crossing a grapefruit with a mandarin) instead of lime. A Greek mojito uses Metaxa, a Greek spirit, instead of rum, and a sojito uses Korean soju (similar to vodka) instead of white rum. But we’ve left one very important version out. Just because you don’t drink alcohol or are under the legal drinking age doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a mojito. A mojito without alcohol is called a virgin mojito or a nojito. You can use ginger ale instead of soda to make up for the sugar lost by not using alcohol, or you can use half lemonade, half fruit juice instead of alcohol and top up with soda water. Still a very refreshing drink, but with no regrets the next morning.

Colleen Setchell

The W Hotel’s Woobar has a whole evening dedicated to mojitos. Thursday nights are called ‘Mo-Hee-Toe Madness’ and you can drink as

Weddings, Celebrations, Parties & Honeymoons River Prawn Tom Yum

Rock Lobster

Sunset Dining in Spectacular Surrounds Enjoy breathtaking sunsets while discovering our culinary delights at The Terrace, one of Koh Samui’s best beachfront dining destinations. A holiday or a visit to The Passage would not be complete without sampling the food at The Terrace. Nestled on the beach, this majestic open-air restaurant affords diners a perfect view of the spectacular sunset over Laem Yai Bay and the distant islands. 18 www.siamwininganddining.com

Sea Food Taco

Lamb Chop

Beef Lasagna

Phuket Lobster Thermidor

Carbonara Pizza

This epicurean dining nirvana serves up the finest catches from the sea so our guests can feast like kings. Pay homage to our specialty – the royal triumvirate of lobster, tiger prawn and oysters. Engage your senses as Executive Chef Moo takes you on a culinary journey, and discover the flavours that resonate in Thai-European fusion cuisine.

The Passage is not just a resort. It’s also a great location for weddings and honeymoons. The resort offers specially designed packages to suit your personal style and budget. So come and experience the wedding of a lifetime at The Passage Koh Samui.

The Passage Samui Villas & Resort Laem Yai Beach Reservations 077 421 721 www.thepassagesamui.com


A Hidden Delight

Discovering a secret dish at The Patio Restaurant in Lamai. It’s not ot often that you visit a restaurant and discover over that you can order a dish that’s not on the menu. But at the Patio Restaurant in the Pavilion ion Samui Boutique Resort in Lamai, there is a hidden dden delight and we’re going to convince you all to o get down there and try it, so that it can earn a permanent rmanent place on the menu. But first a little background because this is no ordinary dish and its origins include tales of a Chinese island, a First Lady and foreign diplomats. So first… the Chinese island. Off the south coast of China is an island called Hainan, the smallest and southernmost province of the People’s Republic of China. The majority of Samui’s Chinese population have ancestral roots in Hainan. Its claim to fame is a very special chicken dish called Wenchang chicken. It is made from small, free-range chickens from Wenchang, on the east coast of this island. Visiting Hainan without eating Wenchang chicken would be like visiting Thailand without eating pad Thai. Now, let’s go back to 1917, and meet a young Chinese lady called Soong May-ling who has just graduated from Wellesley in the USA. In 1920, she met a handsome young man called Chiang Kai-shek, 11 years her senior and a prominent politician. Even though their marriage was initially shunned by many (he was married when they started dating), they went on to have a partnership lasting 48 years. He later went on to become the president of the Republic of China, hence giving her the title First Lady. She became a key player in Chinese politics, and she and her husband were a formidable team. In 1937, they both made the cover of Time magazine as ‘Man and Wife of the Year’. Now, foreign diplomats. Well, it is rumoured that when Madam Soong May-ling was First Lady, she would make sure the traditional dish of Wenchang chicken was served whenever she

hosted international guests. It is a nice simple dish with easily identifiable ingredients (but full of flavour), and since then, it’s become not only the most popular dish in Hainan, but also an important dish in Hong Kong and other parts of Southeast Asia. So now you know how important this dish’s history is, you’ll understand why The Patio are now keen for it to get the recognition it so rightly deserves. So let’s tell you a little bit more about it. The chickens are free-range and fed coconut meat and peanut bran which gives the meat its unique texture and taste. The meat is boiled in a concentrated chicken and pork stock and is therefore incredibly tender and moist. It has a fatty but grease-free texture, the skin is typically yellow and the taste is simply delicious. To serve, the meat is sliced and then eaten with a sauce containing ginger, garlic, salt, soy sauce and freshly squeezed citrus. It is often served with rice which has also been cooked in a special stock to give it more flavour, and some cooks even add coconut milk. Please don’t be fooled. It all sounds incredibly simple and in a way, it is. But you really have to taste it to believe it. The Patio serves this dish even though it doesn’t appear on the menu, so you have to ask for it. When you order it, you will get one plate with the sliced chicken meat (with the skin still on); a dish of rice; a dish of a very special sauce and another small dish with chillies, garlic and ginger which means you can make the dipping sauce as spicy as you like. Simply take some chicken, then some rice, splash some sauce over the top and enjoy.

Together, they marry and their tastes complement each other perfectly. And he’s right, the t taste of the chicken and the spicy dipping sauce saauce taste almost sweet alongside the seeminglyy sour taste of the tom yam. But, together, they make m a great combination. I would highly recomm recommend mend you try it. It really deserves to be advertised as their signature dish, especially with its fascinating fasccinating history. There’s a saying on Hainan Island that “If you don’t have Wenchang chicken, a feast is impossible,” and after tasting it, I can understand why. Speaking of signature dishes, The Patio Restaurant has a very nice signature dessert. Now even though I know you would have already eaten the delicious Wenchang chicken and rice, you absolutely have to leave just a little bit of room for the ‘Hot Chocolate Soufflé’. I’ve never been so happy to break open a dessert and have it ooze hot, squidgy chocolate sauce all over my plate and then have to scoop it all up with ice cream and cream. Heaven on a plate, a true holiday treat. So two special dishes to be found here. One hidden and one not, but both utterly delicious. Remember if you don’t have Wenchang chicken, a feast is impossible!

Colleen Setchell For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 4030. www.pavilionsamui.com

Then something extra - the chicken is best eaten alongside a Thai tom yam soup. The owner of the Pavilion, Khun Virach, describes it beautifully saying that the chicken is Chinese and is the man, while the soup is Thai and is the woman.

www.siamwininganddining.com

19


Tropical Pick

Little known in the West, the Sapodilla is a popular fruit in the tropics. You may never have heard of a sapodilla, or perhaps you know this delicious tropical fruit by one of its other names – zopato, chikoo, sawo or sofeda and here in Thailand, la-mut. Don’t be put off by the rather nondescript outer shell of this fruit – as inside lies a treat. A combination of peach, pear, cinnamon, honey and perhaps just a hint of brandy best describes the glorious flavour of the sapodilla. Inside their boring brown exterior, the fruit is soft and sweet, with a delicate aroma, hinting of the reward to come. Sapodillas can be eaten peeled and sliced – cut through the meridian to reveal a beautiful star pattern. They’re normally eaten fresh, by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the flesh, like little spoonful’s of caramel, but take care not to eat the tiny black pips inside. But in saying that, it’s not easy to tell when they’re ripe.

To tell if a sapodilla is ready to eat, gently scratch off a little of its brown fuzz (it’s a little like a kiwi), if the skin beneath is green, the fruit isn’t ready; if it’s brown and slightly soft to the touch, it’s ripe – a similar texture to that of a ripe pear. The best way to ripen sapodillas is to keep them at room temperature for five to ten days. The fruit should be eaten when still slightly firm, not mushy. Firm-ripe sapodillas may be kept for a week in good condition in the fridge, and they’re best served fresh and chilled, and they can be halved or cut into wedges. A few of the choice variants from Asia and South America can be eaten skin and all. As with all fruit, the sapodilla has many nutrients and health benefits. Its calorie-rich soft, easily digestible pulp contains simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that replenish energy and

revitalize the body instantly. Indeed, it’s a vital source of vitamins, particularly A and C, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium. It’s also a great source of dietary fibre, as well as health benefiting anti-oxidants. The fruit originated in the Central American rain forests, probably in Mexico and Belize, but today it can be found all over the tropical belt, and is being grown as a major commercial crop in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as in Thailand. The tree grows very fast and is wind and drought resistant, and even suitable for dry, arid regions with little rain. However, irrigation during summer season results in good fruit yield – so with the naturally high rains in Southeast Asia, the trees thrive and produce well. Each round or oval fruit measures about 10cm in diameter, and weighs about 150g, and a

tree bears as many as 2,000 fruit per year. Several types of sapodilla are grown worldwide, but two are native to Thailand. ‘Makok’ is long, pointed, and one of the best tasting of the sapodillas. The pulp is smooth and brown with a sweet aroma and each fruit has a single, small seed. ‘Alano’ is an oval-shaped fruit, and it is arguably the finest sapodilla in the world. The fruit is sweet and the texture is that of an ultra-fine pear. Sapodillas are available during their main season in the markets, from August to December – look for fruit with smooth intact skin and without cuts, bruises or wrinkles.

in ice-creams, cakes and pies. It’s possible to freeze the flesh, but the consistency will change a little, making it then only suitable for ice-cream, puddings and syrups. Overall it’s a great way to get your daily fruit intake. So if you’ve not yet tasted this delicious fruit, always walking past the boring-looking little brown balls at the market, do yourself a favour and give them a try, either fresh from the shell, or if you’re feeling a little creative, by experimenting in the kitchen.

Rosanne Turner

Other than enjoying the sweet fresh scooped straight from the shell, Sapodilla also makes a great addition to fruit salad as well, and is a favourite smoothie flavour in Asia. It’s also used

Authentic Thai Cuisine California Cuisine Succulent BBQ Seafood 20 www.siamwininganddining.com


Grill Thrill

Lovers of authentic Thai food may already be familiar with Krua Bophut, positioned on the seafront in Fisherman’s Village. This popular establishment now has a sister restaurant across the road, known as Grill Bophut – or Krua Yang (kitchen grill). You’re probably wondering why they would open another restaurant so close, so we posed the question to F&B Manager, Khun Jirawan Hiranrueng.

Well first of all, as she explained, Krua Bophut is frequently full. And as great as the venue is when the weather is good, it was decided that an alternative was needed that was a little less reliant on the weather. Enter Grill Bophut. The new and attractive restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining. The main structure is designed with modern Thai architecture and décor – teak slatted walls, brass ceiling fans, stained glass windows, potted palms and an eye-catching ornate tiled floor. With doors open on two sides and slatted windows on the other, the breeze comes through beautifully, avoiding the need to glass in the room, and rather allows guests to appreciate the indoor-outdoor feel of the tropics – while in the event of a little rain, the deep overhang prevents diners getting wet. A library occupies one corner of the restaurant, and in another is a glassed-in temperature-controlled wine cellar. This houses an impressive selection of wines for guests to enjoy with their meal, at the bar counter, or even while browsing the interesting coffee table books in the library. A show kitchen opens up to both the inside and the outside dining areas, so guests can be entertained by the chefs at work. Another reason for opening Grill Bophut was as a venue to cater for functions. So aside from the covered dining room, there’s also an expansive patio section that can easily be closed off in the

event of a private affair. With stack-away doors, the stylish interior opens up easily to the patio, allowing party guests to mingle, and enough seating for up to 100 guests.

With a tried-and-tested Thai menu at Krua Bophut, the most popular of these dishes have been replicated across the road at Grill Bophut. But for those wanting a different dining experience, it’s the ‘lava stone cooking’ that’s the draw card. Never tried it before? Here’s the lowdown: A lava stone grill is a system that allows guests to take control of their own meal by cooking it themselves at the table. The meat is cooked at high temperature on a volcanic rock, which itself has been heated to over 400°C in a specially designed and purpose-built oven. In fact, it’s nothing new, and this method of cooking food on hot rocks can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Vikings. Now while you may wonder what the hype is about and why you’d want to cook your own food in a restaurant, it does offer a unique interactive dining experience. The high temperature obtained with the hot rock cooking method sears the meat faster and locks in the natural juices and nutrients, enhancing the full flavour and tenderness. It’s also a lot healthier, as the unique dry cooking method, uses no added fats or oils and sears the food without burning. The result is a healthy and nutritious meal with a sensational taste, freshly grilled to personal taste, whether it is rare, medium or well done. The ‘grill’ arrives at the table, with your meat of choice sizzling on the hot stone, and delicious sauces and veggies on the side. From here, you should cut and side-lay a portion or two, allowing these to sear and cook to your liking. Your meal remains hot and enjoyable, as the natural volcanic stone retains a

The recently opened, Grill Bophut, is offering something different to meat and seafood lovers in Fisherman’s Village.

prime cooking temperature for 30 minutes, allowing diners to eat at leisure, with every bite as hot and delicious as the first. Of course, quality ingredients are essential when producing good food, and at Grill Bophut, it’s a top priority. All lamb is imported from New Zealand and the beef from Australia, and seafood fresh from the bay is displayed on ice – all ready to be grilled to perfection. There’s a great selection of potato side dishes too, from sautéed potatoes with bacon, to mashed and even potato gratin – and seasonal vegetables and sauces come with all barbecue dishes, be they the hot stone grills, or dishes prepared in the show kitchen. If you prefer to have your dinner prepared by the chef, the mixed seafood platter is beautifully presented and includes a selection of calamari, prawns, scallops, mussels and sea bass. On the meat side, there’s rack of lamb, T-bone steak, pork shank and roast duck, to mention just a few. A dessert menu offers tempting after dinner treats, such as crème brûlée, a decadent chocolate volcano cake and a red-berry compote. So if you’re keen to ‘play chef’ for a day, and want to try your hand at grilling your own meal, without the hassle of firing up the barbecue and preparing side dishes – or cleaning up afterwards, give Grill Bophut a try.

Rosanne Turner For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 5599, 0 7724 5091. www.kruabophut.com

www.siamwininganddining.com

21


Burgundy Wine

You know the name, but what’s so special about the wines from this region? “The first duty of a wine is to be red, the second is to be a Burgundy.” That’s a quote from the late, great Harry Waugh, cousin of Auberon and grand old man of wine. An author of several wine books, and well respected for his directorship at wine merchants Harvey’s of Bristol. Similar to Bordeaux, the very name Burgundy has a resonance in the wine world. Burgundy is the land of long meals, served with fine wines, and well supplied with the best food ingredients (Charolias beef to the west, Bresse chickens to the east, fish in the rivers and snails on the vines). It was the richest of the ancient duchies of France. And even before France became Christian, the Burgundy area was famous for its wines. The fine wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux could not be further apart in terms of what ‘makes them tick’. Whilst Bordeaux is dominated by large estates, each producing a classic red wine, Burgundy is composed of thousands of small-scale growers, often with only tiny parcels of land, who may make a range of a dozen or more different wines, both red and white. In Bordeaux, almost all wine is labelled ‘Mis en Bouteille au Château’, which means the whole process, from growing the grapes to bottling the wine, is carried out by the Château. Whilst in

22 www.siamwininganddining.com

Burgundy, a very significant part of the production comes from négociants, merchants who may own no vineyards, but who buy grapes and finished wines for blending and bottling under their own label. Burgundy is a province that’s blessed with an abundance of fine wine, and contains at least three of France’s best wine regions. Arguably the most important, and richest, is the central Cote d’Or, composed of the Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits. But Chablis and Beaujolais also have old trusty reputations, which owe nothing to their illustrious brother’s. The great Burgundies, both red and white, are un-blended wines made from a single grape variety. This again is a major difference from Bordeaux. The varieties used are Pinot Noir for red wines and Chardonnay for whites. Various others are permitted within Burgundy, though these are never used in the great wines. They will appear in mid-level bottles, and are increasingly common the further south you travel into the Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and Beaujolais. Grapes include Gamay in red wines and Pinot Blanc in whites. Being French, the Burgundians are, needless to say, great believers in terroir. Terroir is a French

word, applied to specific vineyard sites, without a direct English translation. But roughly translated, it means the combination of soil, climate, aspect to the sun and geography, which believers maintain is a fundamental, defining influence on a finished wine. It would be easy to dismiss the adherence to terroir as little more than self-interest, but there are growing numbers of believers amongst New World wine-makers too. It’s certainly the case that there can be marked differences between two wines made from grapes grown in adjoining fields. And it’s also true that the Pinot Noir grape seems happiest on the cool limestone slopes of Burgundy (it has had only limited success when planted elsewhere in the world). Many wine lovers consider the highly esteemed Côte de Nuits as the home of the great red Burgundies. Here you’ll find some of Burgundy's most famous villages, such as Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée. Any wine from this region will be expensive, but all should be of excellent quality. The wines from each village area have their own character: sturdy, tannic and long-lived from around Nuits-St-Georges, and aristocratic, rich and complex from Vosne-Romanée. Further south, the Côte de Beaune is most famous for its

white wines, but there are very good, reliable and fruity Pinot Noirs. They might lack the finesse of the best Côte de Nuits, but they are also a little cheaper. Corton is the only red Grand Cru of the Côte de Beaune, whilst Pommard is probably the most widely known red wine of the region. Burgundy is also home to one of the world's best-known Chardonnay wines, Chablis. This gorgeously golden wine is steely and dry, with subtle flavours of lemon and minerals. Chardonnay has of course been grown very successfully all over the world. As a variety, it’s relatively easy to grow and tolerant of a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. And Chablis, grown in the most northerly area of Burgundy, is traditionally un-oaked, setting it apart from most other top Chardonnays from Burgundy and elsewhere. Interestingly, the Cote de Beaune Chardonnay is quite different from Chablis. It is generally aged in oak barrels, and the fruit is usually riper, giving much fuller rounder wines. The best-known villages of the area include Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. The Côte Chalonnaise has many fine mid-range red wines, which will cellar well. Top villages

include Mercurey, Givry and Rully. And the Mâconnais is best known for its Chardonnays, which are fresh and sappy with honeysuckle aromas. The top wines come from Pouilly-Fuissé and St-Véran. Wines labelled Mâcon-Villages or Mâcon-Lugny, are reliable and relatively cheaper. Beaujolais can range from the light, hopefully fresh and fruity wines of Beaujolais Nouveau (although in reality, they often disappoint), to the more serious wines of the Beaujolais-Villages. The best 10 Villages have their own Appellation Controlee, and often the name ‘Beaujolais’ doesn't appear on the label. These wines are known as the ‘Crus’, and are old-school classics. Although not exactly cheap, any of these beautifully food-friendly, complex Burgundy red wine gems have the pedigree to grace any dinner table: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, St-Amour, Côte de Brouilly, Moulin-à-Vent, Réginié and Juliénas.

Peter James


Serving an exciting variety of Thai, Italian and seafood from our open, show kitchen with genuine pizza oven. Choose from open air seating on the first floor with ocean view or air-conditioned seating on the ground floor. Live music every night.

Open daily from 5 pm till 11 pm Located on Lamai Beach Road opposite Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort Reservation: 077 424 420 www.siamwininganddining.com 23


Fine Beach & Hillside Dining at Samui's Newest Venue Quality Thai, Seafood & International Dishes The Ultimate Samui Dining Experience! Monday - Cowboy Steak Night Assorted BBQ Meat Buffet Entertainment: Cabaret Show and The Barge Band Tuesday, Friday and Saturday Lobster Basket Set: 3,300 for 2 persons Seafood Basket Set: 2,300 for 2 persons Inclusive of Salad, Soup and Side dishes Entertainment: Duo Band Wednesday - Hawaiian Seafood Night Variety of Fresh Seafood & BBQ Meat Buffet Entertainment: Polynesian Dance and The Barge Band

No visit to Samui is complete until you have dined at The Barge

Thursday - Local Thai Night Variety Thai Food Buffet, Demonstration & Barbecue Complimentary Management Cocktail Party 6-7pm Entertainment: Thai Classical Dance or Pong-lang Dance Sunday Chef Creation Set Dinner and A La Carte Menu

Rice Barge Authentic Thai Cuisine The Barge Nora Buri's Signature Restaurant Chaweng North For Reservation Tel: 0 7791 3555 E-mail: thebarge@noraburiresort.com www.noraburiresort.com

Chaweng Beach Road Chaweng North

It’s all happening at Nora Beach Resort & Spa Tuesday Night - Local Samui buffet with complimentary management cocktails and snacks from 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm. Tuesd m. Enjoy fresh barbecued seafood plus a variety of special dishes created by our culinary team. Price THB 990 net per person. Saturday Night - East meets West with cabaret show. Enjoy the finest East meets West buffet. Price THB 1,200 net per person. Or THB 1,550 net per person including half bottle of wine. Daily Cooking Class & Fruit Carving Class Learn to cook 3 Thai dishes Fruit Carving Course Inclusive of chef hat, apron and certificate Advance reservation required Daily Happy Hour Beverage Special Offer 50% off (Except wine & liquor by the bottle) At Pool Bar 1-2 pm., Lobby Lounge 6-7 pm. & 9-11 pm. Private Romantic Dinner Only you and your loved one dining on the beach with private chef and waiter/waitress Available daily. Advance reservation required

For further information please telephone 0 7742 9400 E-mail: reservation@norabeachresort.com www.norabeachresort.com

24 www.siamwininganddining.com


January 2014