Samui Wining & Dining
THAI SURPRISE
Something quite exceptional is happening at Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort!

Something quite exceptional is happening at Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort!You’ll possibly be familiar with the name ‘Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort’. And it’s one of the most exclusive fine 5-star resorts on the island. It’s elegant, refined, luxurious, yet laid-back with it. The quality of service is second to none, and it has all the refinements and facilities you could wish, including two exceptional restaurants. One of these is called simply ‘Eclipse’. And it’s something really rather special.

          

Everything here is solid, substantial, understated, and simply whispers quality. And, as you pass through the reception area, stepping downwards towards a long and regally-iconic lily pond, you’ll see the warmly-welcoming light of Eclipse directly on your left.

          

There must be a thousand Thai restaurants on Samui, of all sorts and shapes and sizes. But there are very few that are good, and only a handful that are outstanding. And out of this handful, Eclipse rates as superb. It’s not simply the fact that the meat, fish and seafood is fresher-than-fresh and top-of-the-tree prime. Or that the recipes include regional fare that is sublimely different. And it’s not even the delightful ambiance there. But it’s certainly got a lot to do with the chef-in-charge, Khun Natruthai Petsuwan (betterknown by her nickname of Khun Sai), having an international pedigree! Chef Sai’s experience includes having worked at prestigious venues in the USA, United Arab Emirates and China – an expertise of both breadth and depth which she now brings to Anantara Bophut.

          

No, the unique fare at Eclipse is partly the excellent variety of dishes on the menu . . . but it’s more to do with the surprising and almost visionary inclusion of traditional elements and their presentation. More than this; some items are rustic and rare, other are majestic and have their roots in the royal palaces of long ago.Something quite exceptional is happening at Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort! And it’s this wonderfully-seamless blend of familiar food in and amongst the royal and the rustic – all of it brought together with a fresh and sensitive presentation, courtesy of Chef Sai – that makes Eclipse exceptional.

          

For example, those of us accustomed to fine-dining will be familiar with the idea of an ‘amuse bouche’. And at Eclipse, this is what you’ll be presented with before your order arrives. But it will be nothing like you’ve ever seen before! On a rattan tray, which contains an antique wooden box with a lid, you’ll be presented with seven small bowls with tiny matching coconut-wood spoons, plus an assortment of freshly picked betel leaves.

          

This is a ‘dish’ from the Royal Court of King Rama V that was introduced to him around 100 years ago by Princess Dara Rasmi. The name comes from ‘miang’ (food wrapped in leaves) and ‘kham’ (a bite). And once you’ve made a little packet by shaping a leaf, you’ll fill it with mild chillies, dried shrimps, ginger, onion, lime, roasted coconut, tamarind pickle and peanuts, in any blend that you prefer. It’s superb – refreshing and piquant and with a variety of interplaying textures that dance in your mouth.

          

Yes, naturally you’ll also see the usual curries and stir-fries and noodle dishes; all of them presented with a similar flair – including a substantial vegetarian selection, by the way. But it has to be the charminglyconvened ‘combination’ options that steal the show at Eclipse, such as the ‘Curry Degustation’ choices – a teak slab on which sits bowls of four different curries accompanied by small dishes of different mixed condiments (green chicken curry, roast duck curry, pork neck Something quite exceptional is happening at Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort!curry and massaman beef curry).

          

Or the exquisite ‘Kantok Sets’, based on seven different specialities from all regions of the kingdom, again beautifully arrayed in small ceramic bowls on a rattan tray. There are three of these to choose from, each set having a different combination of seven mini-dishes, making them an ideal centrepiece for a small group of diners – on their own or in combination with the Curry Degustation!

          

Not only is this Thai fine-dining at its best but, in addition to the gourmet experience, the Anantara Group is firmly committed to a responsible approach to the environment. All the products for Eclipse are 100% sourced in Thailand. And Anantara as a brand has dropped all imported products in their Thai restaurants nationwide, as a further commitment towards sustainability and supporting local producers.

          

Not only have they stopped using plastic straws, but are now also sourcing new and exciting Thai meats, such as the organic grainfed ‘Ku Beef’ from the north of Thailand, as well as another local 50-day dry-aged sirloin (the dry-aging process results in cuts of exceptional moisture, flavour and texture).

          

Anantara. It’s a name to remember, along with Anantara Bophut’s Thai restaurant, Eclipse. It’s a Thai dining experience which will pleasantly take you by surprise!

          

Rob De Wet


 


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