Samui Wining & Dining
FROGGING DOWN THE HILL
One of Samui’s finest restaurants has very accommodatingly branched out – Dr Frogs!

One of Samui’s finest restaurants has very accommodatingly branched out – Dr Frogs!What more can you do? Let’s start with an award-winning restaurant with superlative cuisine. It’s got one of the most stunning views around. The décor is easy, the ambiance, super. It’s comfy and relaxed. It’s already about as good as you can get. So how can you improve it? What can you do to make it even better still? Well, yes, you can put up some fab weekly specials on the chalkboard. You can even add the silky vibes of a top guitarist three times a week. And then . . . and then you can build 16 utterly gorgeous one-and two-bedroom luxury villas, and discretely pepper them on the hillside right next to you. But more of this in just a moment!

          

The enigmatically named Dr Frogs made its debut back in 2007. And it immediately achieved something elusive, much to the envy of all and the annoyance of many – success. As so many aspiring hopefuls have already learned, there’s simply no formula for this. And so when the emerging Dr Frogs was perching itself on top of a prime view, people nodded and shrugged. And when they sneaked a peep at the layout of the mellow inner room, and the adjoining outer terrace, they smirked cynically. And when all the glowing teak was fitted, when the olive and cream décor appeared and the plethora of discreet and mellow lighting was installed, they remained non-plussed. Even when the maestro, Chef Massimo, began orchestrating the kitchen, they were unmoved. It had all been done before. And then, one by one, they all fell silent. Because it all worked. Dr Frogs was not only successful, it won awards – several Thailand Tatler ‘Best Restaurant’ accolades; even the hard-to-liveup- to TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.One of Samui’s finest restaurants has very accommodatingly branched out – Dr Frogs! And, even more than this, it continued to succeed, year after year, until it eventually became one of the island’s institutions. This restaurant had conjured up something that there’s just no formula for – the ‘feel-good factor’. That plus, of course, some truly marvellous food.

Chef Massimo has perfected his Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. He has no pretensions; he’s easy, outgoing and friendly, and as much to be seen talking to the guests as he is in the kitchen. And this is reflected in his menu. It’s traditional ‘home-cooked-style’ Italian cuisine, and it’s all made with prime imported ingredients. This is a truly all-day affair, starting with breakfast at 7:00 am – and there’s few places better for the sunrise than here. His range of chef’s salads is exceptional. He makes his own pasta and sauces fresh each day. Likewise his pizza bases – and these are the real thing, thin and crispy, real Italian-style. (And, if you call in between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, you’ll get two pizzas for the price of one!) Plus, of course, there’s also a full menu of Thai favourites, too.

          

The pricing tends to reflect the quality of both the fare and the service. But every week Massimo seems to have a culinary fit, and lets rip with a series of Chef’s Specials, which are not on the menu and are enticingly reasonably priced. Such as the ‘Live Canadian Lobster for Two, with Linguine and Creamy Tomato Sauce’ at just 875 baht. Or the ‘Pork Scaloppini with White Wine and Basil Sauce and Tasmanian Asparagus’ that’ll set you back only 525 baht. Or the connoisseur’s delight: imported fresh French Fine de Claire oysters – 12 for 1,100 baht. Indeed, those who frequent Dr Frogs (and know the menu) usually pop in once a week anyway just to see what’s happening on the chalkboard! And along with all this, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,One of Samui’s finest restaurants has very accommodatingly branched out – Dr Frogs! there’s Oliver Jones. He’s a gifted and laid-back acoustic guitarist, songwriter and musician.

          

And all of this, or as little or as much as you want, is readily on hand if you elect to stay in one of the adjoining villas. The title of the collection is ‘Boujis’. And they are simply superb. They’re realistically priced at around 2,500 baht per night, although this will vary according to seasonal peaks. They’re distinctly Mediterranean in feel, enhanced by artwork and sculptures, and perched in two tiers, with the same dramatic seascape as the restaurant. The coastline here is rocky, and the same gigantic rocks have been architected into the layout to dramatic effect.

          

A great deal of thought and money has gone into the décor, furnishings and fittings. Each is equipped with a huge sun balcony, and inside there’s a kitchenette with gas hob and microwave, plus a fridge that’s stocked with wine, tea, coffee and water. The living area includes a flat screen TV (with USB and HDMI connections) plus Apple TV so you can access new movies, old classics, sitcoms or documentaries, or even plug in your own laptop. If you’re at a loose-end, there’s also a huge library of DVD movies available free of charge. And there’s high-speed broadband internet throughout.

          

A picture is worth a lot of words, and it’d be much more effective if you explored your way through the links below. Better still, seeing that you’re reading this now, pop along to Dr Frogs one day. It’s easy to find – heading up the hill and away from Chaweng into Chaweng Noi (in the direction of Lamai), just look out for the frontage of Sheraton Samui. Dr Frogs is just about the next thing on the left after this. Sit, relax, and avail yourself of some of their super eats – and then ask to take a peek at the villas that are frogging down the hill while you’re there!

          

 Rob De Wet


 


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