Samui Wining & Dining
When it comes to the best restaurants, Dr Frogs is still up there with the best!

When it comes to the best restaurants, Dr Frogs is still up there with the best!Some restaurants are little gems – and there are a lot of these on Samui. But there just a few, a small handful, that shine out from the rest. And one which has truly stood the test of time, and is a real diamond, is Dr Frogs.


It’s a memorable name, and an unforgettable restaurant. Firstly, the location is perfect. Whereas Chaweng Beach is flat, just a little away around the corner in the direction of Lamai, Chaweng Noi is not. Here, the cliffside is perched up above the sea, with not only a stunning seascape, but a panoramic overview of Chaweng Bay, too.


And then there’s the ambiance. The elegant cream and olive colour scheme here adds to it, and the subtle colour co-ordination of the staff uniforms with the décor enhances it. There’s a really cosy L-shaped bar and lounge area, edging down onto a terrace which is roofed but open at the sides, and alongside this there’s another, similar deck. There’s lots of warm glowing teak with glorious green and red accents which playoff against this, and discreet mellow lighting everywhere.


The menu is equally as elegant – Italian-Mediterranean with just a hint of innovative fusion, plus Thai cuisine. As is in keeping with a restaurant of this quality, a great many of the prime ingredients are specially imported, the Alaskan lobsters, for example (just try the Lobster Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic Cheese!). And the same goes for the fine cuts of beef from Australia and the New Zealand lamb. But also,When it comes to the best restaurants, Dr Frogs is still up there with the best! a number of the harder-to-find Italian items are also brought-in; the essential herbs and spices, for example and some of the cheeses which lend that side of the menu its authentic flavour.


But one of the most-commendable aspects about Dr Frogs isn’t simply the cuisine, but that there’s a pro-active awareness of ecological factors. All the seafood has been certified by Ocean Wise, an organisation which has created a sustainable seafood program. Indiscriminate fishing in high-commerce areas has been unbalancing the marine equilibrium for decades, together with the interrelated eco-system. And (as with many conscientious restaurants today) this thinking also extends to the meats used, too, as well as supporting the local economy by sourcing locally harvested vegetables and fruit.


Although this direction was already in place, it’s been further enhanced by the presence of Chef John Des Biens, who’s been a dedicated follower of the bio-dynamic movement for quite a while. And Chef John’s approach (not to mention his skill) really brings out the true flavour in all of his dishes.


Dr Frogs opens for breakfast between 7:00 am and 11:00 am (in association with the neighbouring boutique resort of Boujis), and then from midday offers the full menu, plus plenty of lighter meals and snacks for the hotter parts of the day, and this is when the shady garden and cool terraces come into their element. There’s a good selection of chef’s salads and an extensive range of pasta dishes, as you’d expect.
When it comes to the best restaurants, Dr Frogs is still up there with the best! And all the sauces and stocks are homemade. The location is ideal for gettogether lunches, too, being on the road mid-way between Chaweng and Lamai.


If it’s a mellow eatery during the day, then in the evening it’s truly sublime, with the last hints of the setting sun on the skyline and the shimmer of Chaweng’s lights across the water. And also, as if you needed more incentive, several evenings a week there’s some very laid-back music, too. Every Monday and Friday you can relax to the dulcet tones of Nok La Fiesta; the exceptional Oliver Jones, singer and guitarist, will entertain you on each Wednesday, and Saturdays you can take in the venerable sounds of island favourite Mark James.


Dr Frogs has been going strong ever since it opened, back in 2007. And it’s not merely the ambiance or the range and quality of the fare; it’s the total picture. The staff are all excellent – friendly and well-trained. There’s a good range of both Classic and New world Wines, with even 15 house wines listed. There’s an impressive selection of Cuban cigars and an admirable collection of malt whiskies, Cognacs and grappa. And it’s won numerous awards from such venerated sources as Thailand Tatler (Best Restaurants) and TripAdvisor (Certificates of Excellence). Need we say more? Except maybe to stress once again what we said to begin with – in all respects Dr Frogs is a real diamond!


Rob De Wet


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