Samui Wining & Dining
Best of Both

Rocky’s Boutique Resort boasts two very different, but hugely popular, restaurants.

 

Best of BothFor many years now, Rocky’s Boutique Resort near Lamai has been winning awards and receiving accolades right across the board. Its location on three secluded beaches enclosed by large outcrops of granite rocks is perfect. Their bungalows and pool-villas are modern with fabulous views across the Gulf of Thailand. The seawater is crystal clear for swimming and snorkeling. Guests rave about the high levels of personal service. It’s many couples first choice as a wedding venue. And their two restaurants are considered to be amongst the very best on the island.

 

And their continued culinary success is in no so part down to Executive Chef, Aziz Awang. He leads a brigade of 30 in the kitchens assisted by his Thai Executive Sous Chef, Khun Samrit Junput. And Aziz is the first to admit that it takes a great team to consistently produce innovative and outstanding cuisine day after day. “Of course it’s a team effort; no one person can do everything. And that applies to every department in the resort. We all have the same aim of exceeding our guests’ expectations, performing to the very best of our abilities and striving to delight each and every day.”

 

Chef Aziz has had a glittering career and he’s not yet 30 years-old. At 21 he was awarded the Gold Medal for ‘Best Young Chef in Malaysia’. Since then he’s worked in 5 star resorts and restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Samui and was already an executive chef of a fine-dining restaurant by the time he was 26 years-old. And his philosophy on cooking is straightforward, “Use the best ingredients possible, cook them perfectly and let the flavours stand on their own.”

 

In his time at Rocky’s, he’s re-launched their beachside fine-dining restaurant ‘the dining room’ to critical acclaim. And last year oversaw the opening of their new garden-pool casual dining restaurant ‘The Bistro’. It features an outdoor show-kitchen where you can watch the chefs create their magic. And the menu is packed full of Italian, French and Thai dishes as well as a large selection of seafood and steaks from the grill. Both restaurants have the kinds of menus where you think, after a long period of thoughtful contemplation, “I want everything!” It’s one of the reasons that the seating gets booked up so quickly; one or two visits is simply not enough.

 

But when pushed, Chef Aziz has some recommendations of his personal favourites from the ‘The Bistro’. In no particular order; Australian Wagyu beef with garden carrots and peas, spring onion mash and Port wine sauce; sea bass en papillote, anchovy butter, tomato cherry, roquette, asparagus and kalamata olives; slowly braised beef cheek in Phaneng curry, pickled onion and stir fried baby bok choy; Thai style crispy prawn salad with green mango, cashew nuts, basil, lemon and chili dressing; and duck leg cooked in aromatic Thai spices and herbs, black bean sauce and Chinese kale.

 

Down the steps towards the beach, ‘the dining room’ sits on alongside a massive granite boulder. There’re some tables actually set up outside upon the rocks themselves but you do need to make a reservation for them although all the tables indoors overlook the ocean. And they do have a private sala on the beach for romantic dinners for two. In the evenings the restaurant is lit by soft candle-light and is refined, elegant and very comfortable. There’s no hint of stiffness or stuffiness; it’s all about creating the right atmosphere to enjoy the food. Down here, it’s classical French cuisine with a modern twist and the à la carte menu is extensive so ordering a cocktail or glass of wine first is advisable so you can gently soak up the ambiance and take your time perusing the pages.

 

Should you find that there’re too many tempting dishes on offer, then opt for the number one choice for guests, their ‘Seven-Course Chef’s Tasting Menu’. It brings together a whole range of preparation and cooking techniques and incredible textures, tastes and flavours. Following an artful amuse-bouche your senses continue to be tantalized with the following: ffoie gras au torchon, strawberry, micro greens and aged balsamic; lobster consommé, seafood ravioli and garden tarragon; caramelized scallop with pumpkin puree, capers, raisins and kalamata olive salsa; snow fish with lemon roasted garden vegetables and a vanilla pod emulsion; palate cleanser; grain-fed Australian tenderloin cooked sous vide, confit bayaldi and Port wine sauce; and pave of Callebaut dark chocolate cake with white chocolate ice-cream, crème Anglaise and raspberry coulis. And their sommelier will happily recommend wines for each course or for the meal.

 

If that wasn’t enough, they also have special themed menus five nights a week. On Tuesdays, it’s Thai night with traditional Thai dancers. Thursday is lobster night, Friday is steak, Saturday is tapas, and a barbecue and cabaret show is on every Sunday. Plus, once a month, Chef Aziz creates an innovative wine-pairing menu that has between six and eleven courses with wines to match. Each event is very different and you should ask if there’s one happening when you’re here. Tables sell out very quickly once the date is announced but it’s not to be missed and is always a gastronomic delight.

 

Should you feel like getting there early to enjoy the sunset both the beach bar and the bistro bar have happy hours from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. And both restaurants are open for lunch and dinner with ‘The Bistro’ serving food all day. Rocky’s reputation for culinary excellence is well deserved and their restaurants are justifiably thoroughly recommended by all serious gourmets.

 

Johnny Paterson

 


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