Samui Wining & Dining
The Cliff continues to draw crowds with its exciting cuisine.


The Portuguese do amazing things with a wonderful spice called ‘piri-piri’ and combined with prawns, it’s heaven on a plate. But The Cliff offers so much more than that, so grab a seat and read on.

        They first opened back in April 2004, and have in fact just celebrated their ten year anniversary. That’s quite something to be able to boast about on Samui, with restaurants coming and going faster than the tides. But obviously, the team here got it right and have continued to do so.

        Owners Bradley Munns and Lionel Helena (who oversees Bondi Aussie Bar & Grill in Chaweng, which they also own), and Restaurant Manager, Nash Ludlow, head up the team here at The Cliff. They have obviously come up with a magic formula, because the restaurant has two sittings every night. Bookings are absolutely essential and if you want to eat outside, they need at least three days’ notice!

         So who is responsible for the crowd-drawing food? The Cliff has two chefs, Executive Chef Sergio Martelli and Chef Adrian Torres Palomino. Chef Sergio has been here since the restaurant opened, in 2004. He’s originally

from Italy, and after visiting Samui 14 years ago never left! He has worked in some wellknown restaurants in Thailand so is able to use this experience to run a tight kitchen and keeps patrons returning time and time again. His specialty is Mediterranean cuisine and of course, being Italian, creates wonderfully authentic dishes.

          Chef Adrian began his career in Lima, Peru, and has also worked in Spain, Cuba and New Zealand. From his experience in Navarra, Spain, he has produced the increasingly popular tapas menu that The Cliff now offers.

          Their selection of appetisers is pure deliciousness with a heavy seafood influence. Calamari fried in garlic butter; New Zealand mussels in a creamy white wine sauce; Portuguese piri-piri prawns; lemon and herb prawns; curried prawns; and a seafood platter for; and then there’s the Carpaccio, or the mouthwatering Parma ham with mixed salami, salad, marinated vegetables, olives and French bread. And we haven’t even started on the main courses yet...

          The seafood section in the mains menu includes most of the same dishes from the appetisers but in larger portions. So if you want to totally overdose on delicious seafood, you can have the starter and main course. Fresh line fish is also available, caught locally and served with a choice of sides.

          There is also a rather amazing seafood platter for two which includes imported Atlantic lobster, king scallops, New Zealand mussels, calamari, prawns and fresh fish, served with Spanish rice or fries and salad. There’s something special about sitting just above the sea and eating fresh seafood.

          The items on the grill menu are just as tempting. The house specialty is Portuguese piri-piri chicken, which has been marinated in their special sauce and cooked on a charcoal grill. Lemon and herb chicken is an Italian favourite, honey mustard chicken is a favourite the world over, and the Thai salsa chicken is subtitled ‘Delicious but not for the faint hearted.’

          Their steaks are all Australian and never frozen, so you can be assured they haven’t lost any taste during their journey. All beef is aged further in-house, and by the time it arrives on your plate your knife won’t need to work hard at all - this is how steaks should be. Choose between a plain 200g fillet, a steak fried ‘the Portuguese way’ with a fried egg, a 250g rib-eye, a 250g fillet, a 500g T-bone, or three juicy lamb chops grilled to perfection. You can cover them in mushroom, garlic, blue cheese, pepper, BBQ or mint sauce. All steak dishes are served with button mushrooms and fondant potatoes.

          And of course with an Italian chef, there’s got to be pasta on the menu. Again, there are some common favourites, but there are some rather interesting sounding dishes too. The ‘Penne all’Gorgonzola’ is with blue cheese and sage, the ‘Fettuccine All’Gambetti all’Cognac’ is with prawns in a creamy, cognac sauce; and the ‘Spaghetti Frutti Di Mare’ again makes the most of seafood in a creamy herb sauce.

          The tapas menu is available from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm every day and has two distinct sections. Nine different tapas dishes can be selected and combined and include tiger prawns (available in a double portion), scallops, mussels, tuna, anchovies, and calamari all cooked with Mediterranean flair, and with olive oil, peppers, tomatoes and parmesan. But if you have a hard time deciding, there are three set menus that you can choose.

          And if you have space after all that, there’s the dessert menu. The tiramisu is heavenly!


 Colleen Setchell


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