Samui Wining & Dining
SOMETHING ‘NEO’ IS HAPPENING IN CHAWENG
Experience some unique creations at KC Beach Club


Page-44

Back in March this year, something special happened at KC Beach Club and Pool Villas, located on Chaweng Beach Road near the end of the one way system. A brand new restaurant opened offering unique new world tapas and grilled food. After the sun has set, the area above the daytime restaurant transforms into a stylish, modern yet intimate dining area called Neo.

        Neo is headed up by David Lloyd, whose name is already associated with fine dining on the island. He has consulted in the opening of new restaurants in the past so clearly he’s an expert in his field, and was definitely the right man for this job.

        KC’s beachside restaurant has a large flat roof and is an ideal place to dine in the evenings. Make your way up the stairs and you’ll find crisp white, comfortable rattan sofas and tables or, if you prefer, tables and chairs. The colour scheme is that of the resort itself - white, blue and gold. The long bar with its tall chairs and softly lit background is a perfect spot to enjoy that pre-dinner cocktail while taking in the beautiful sea views. This really has a unique appeal as does the food offered, which takes the beach barbecue to a whole new level.

         The secret to this barbecue is the Josper Grill. Never heard of it? It is a unique closed barbecue with different levels of grilling, and a front opening door. It is 35% faster than an open grill and has a dual function being both an oven and a grill. It reduces flames which prevents food from drying out or burning, so you end up with the taste of barbecued food that still retains all its moisture and tenderness. So you can imagine just how succulent a Grade 6 wagyu ribeye is going to taste. Or the duck breast, pork rack or lamb cutlets. Oh yes, you can have all this and more.

          Neo’s menu is interesting and just that little bit different. Predominantly a tapas menu, it offers an extensive selection of 23 different tapas dishes grouped into price categories ranging from 100 - 400 baht. You can go for the simple choices such as marinated Tuscan olives or rosemary focaccia bread and oil, or try the Japanese eggplant with sesame and miso. How about the chicken wings in home-made XO sauce or the chorizo, manchago cheese, dates and crispy bacon? Piri piri lamb cutlets, baby chicken, or perhaps sea bass in a miso glaze with pickled apple. Or does the pork rack with beer pickled onion, apple and ginger grab you? And if not, the wagyu beef gyoza with white onion puree and beef jus surely will.

          If you can’t decide, they offer something called a ‘plank’ which is a beautifully crafted long, wooden platter with a selection of dishes from the tapas menus. You can have the Josper Grill Tapas, the Salsa Plank for Two, Cheese and Cold Cuts, Mediterranean Plank or the Japanese Plank. You can even have a dozen oysters, any style, chosen from the oyster menu. This might be fine dining but it certainly isn’t difficult dining.

          As mentioned, oysters are also available, from the raw bar to the cooked versions with spicy tomato and bacon, parsley cream and cheese or the deliciously different cucumber shiso salsa or tempura apricot puree. Or just ask your host for the weekly specials.

          They have salads, soups and sandwiches available all day. Home-made baguettes with rock lobster, chicken schnitzel or BBQ pork. Certainly enough to keep you going through the day.

          The tapas and sharing planks are available all day, so don’t worry, you won’t miss out on these if you arrive hungry in the evenings. And you might be rather partial to some fresh fish eaten raw or cured and this is available all day too. Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy that consists of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces. This is available alongside ceviche which is raw fish cured in citrus juices and spices, and served with various sides. And sushi, well you know what sushi is, right? There is a choice between salmon, scallops, wagyu beef, fish, crab and tuna. And don’t for one second think this sounds boring because you’ll more often than not, be blown away by David’s presentation. For instance the salmon ceviche is served under a glass dome filled with hickory smoke.

          But let’s take a peek at the part of the menu that is only available at dinner time. The mains and the hot stone grill items.

          The mains show off three seafood dishes with whole steamed snapper, whole Canadian lobster or the NEO Josper Seafood Feast. There is a duck dish with foie gras, and three styles of super-tender, juicy Grade 6 wagyu ribeye steaks, cleverly named London, Tokyo and Bangkok, with cooking styles to match. If you’ve eaten enough seafood on the island and are hankering after some meat, perhaps the NEO Josper Meat Grill is a better option for you. Ribeye, pork rack, lamb cutlets and chorizo - all cooked in the special Josper grill of course.

          The hot stone grill items (a hot stone delivered to your table for you to cook your own meat) use a very special wagyu fillet - a grade 9. This is one of the highest marbling grades of wagyu beef which means this will ‘melt in your mouth’. Also available for cooking on hot stone are AAA grade ahi tuna and Salt Bush lamb fillet. Sides and desserts are also available.

          So this is really something special. A touch of fine-dining in a beautiful location, elevated above a beautiful pool area, looking out to the sea enjoying the view and eating some first class food. This is what island dining is all about.

          

 Colleen Setchell


 


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