Samui Wining & Dining
LOWDOWN AT THE TOP
Perched above the sea, romantic Dr Frogs Bar & Grill brings tastes to new heights.

98-1If you’ve never heard of it before, Dr Frogs Bar & Grill might sound like some outlandish theme restaurant. It’s actually quite the opposite – it’s a totally professional Italian restaurant, exactly the kind you might find in Italy itself, all elegance and homely charm, along with great food and drink. The fact that it’s dramatically overlooks the entire bay of Chaweng only adds to its appeal. Look out over the amazing views and you can’t help but think that this is what holidays are all about.

          

All this is immediately visible as soon as you’ve parked up and stepped inside Dr Frogs. The great food comes once you’ve browsed the menu (but note that Dr Frogs is equally good when it comes to Thai food, too, and carries a full selection). What you don’t see is the sheer dedication and expertise that underpin the restaurant.

          

Wherever possible, fresh, top-quality local ingredients are used, along with fish from local waters. The management is determined to leave as little impact on the environment as possible. Even the most basic procedures are carefully thought out. For example, everything’s cut and cleaned in the restaurant; there’s as little wastage as possible.

          

Last year, its owners brought on board Executive Chef, John Des Biens. Having a career spanning over three decades, he honed his skills in Canada, where he ran and owned various restaurants. He believes wholeheartedly in both the bio-dynamic and organic movements. Perched above the sea, romantic Dr Frogs Bar & Grill  brings tastes to new heights.He pays firm attention to how ingredients are grown and harvested, and whether this is done in a sustainable way. Dr Frogs cooks from the heart, and sources beef and lamb that are free from steroids, antibiotics and GMOs. For fish, they’re certified by Ocean Wise, a group committed to maritime sustainability. John offers guests both traditional and contemporary Mediterranean and Asian dishes, along with some fusion fare. Naturally there are vegan and vegetarian dishes too.

          

John has knowledge, like any good chef, of perhaps hundreds of recipes, and Dr Frogs prides itself on traditional fare. Try Ribollita, for example. It’s a rustic stew which comes from Tuscany, and features baby aubergine, courgettes, kale, carrots, onions, tomatoes, Italian parsley with chilli flakes and cannellini beans. It comes served with focaccia bread allowing you to eat this dish in the traditional, time-honoured way. Great flavours abound with his style of cooking, so be prepared to be utterly seduced by mains such as a seafood platter with mussels, clams, giant Silva tiger prawns and poached white snapper. Even something as simple as a pizza is served with equal care and attention at Dr Frogs. The Pizza Salsiccia, for example, comes with a recipe for spiced sausage that’s been handed down for generations in John’s family. He’s now re-created the same delectable sausage meat that he grew up with – and he’s pretty sure you’ll like it, too!

          

Have you ever tried asking a chef for a recipe? Something that you’ve enjoyed at his or her restaurant? If so, you know they might look at you for an unnerving second before answering, if they do at all. Or you might end up with a half list, with all the secrets left out. John’s not like that. Perched above the sea, romantic Dr Frogs Bar & Grill brings tastes to new heights.He’s entirely approachable and very open about what he’s making, so you know it’s safe to ask. He’s imparted quite a few recipes to diners who’ve asked him.

          

Meanwhile, each season brings new changes to the menu, not everything, but focussing on the fruit, vegetables and fish that are on the upswing. Fish such as fresh local white snapper are now centre stage at Dr Frogs, with the team using them in a variety of dishes, some western and some pure Thai. In addition, come and enjoy delights such as grain-fed trio de carni and fresh live lobster imported from Nova Scotia, Canada. You’ll be pleased that you did.

          

For something really special, you can even hold social events here, such as a wedding and reception, birthday party or corporate gathering.

          

Dr Frogs isn’t just a pretty place; it’s one of the island’s most popular restaurants, with attention to taste, freshness and all round delectability. A top spot in so many different ways.

          

Dimitri Waring


 


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