Samui Wining & Dining
TOP MEDITERRANEAN
 Not just picturesque, The Cliff Bar & Grill beckons with its award-winning food and drink.

Not just picturesque, The Cliff Bar & Grill beckons with its award-winning food and drink.

          

Head in through the main doors and you’ll be in for a surprise. The extraordinarily beautiful view is showcased by the open-air dining room. Sit outside on the terrace – you may need to book in advance – or inside and you’ll be able to enjoy the scenery. Ao Thong Takian, a favourite spot for many Samui residents is just down below, and adds to the charm of The Cliff. Views don’t come much better than this.

          

Staff add to the experience; they aren’t just welcoming they’re highly attentive, and also think of the little things that can make a difference. They’ll bring you the password for the Wi-Fi as soon as you’re seated – maybe they shouldn’t; this is one place where you don’t want to be distracted. With views like this and the superb food, it’s best to forget the world beyond.

          

Expect stand-out food every time. This is what has made The Cliff so high up on residents’ lists of places to eat and drink. Serving top-notch delights from around the Mediterranean since 2004, The Cliff was one of the very first places on Samui to bring authentic Mediterranean food to its delighted guests. It’s still a feat for restaurants to do this, but back when it opened, restaurateurs had to go to inordinate efforts just to bring ingredients to the island. Owner Bradley Munns, along with general manager Lionel Helena, scoured the region for just the right ingredients; olive oils, cured meats, herbs and spices and so on. A lot of people would have chosen easier options. They didn’t. And in the hands of Chef Sergio Martelli – he’s been with The Cliff since its earliest days – the food here is inspired and just like back in his native Italy. If you’re not mesmerized by the views as you walk in, then check out the food awards that grace the walls by the main doors of the restaurant.

          

The menu, which is also on The Cliff’s website, kicks off with a medley of excellent salads and starters. Choose between appetizers such as mussels in a creamy white wine sauce or the gratifyinglyNot just picturesque, The Cliff Bar & Grill beckons with its award-winning food and drink. good Calamari Stile Mediterranio.
 And then there are a variety of salads which have been raised far beyond the staples to become delights in themselves. Mains are mind-blowingly good at The Cliff, and you’ll be hard-pressed to decide what to order. Many guests opt for seafood platters, as they’re ideal if you’re sharing. Savour the Jumbo Seafood Platter with an entire spectrum of seafood such as king scallops, New Zealand mussels, calamari and prawns with oyster Rockefeller. Enjoy with Spanish rice, salad, and French fries. 

          

The catch of the day comes, of course, from Samui’s own waters, and you can enjoy dishes such as red snapper, sea bass and calamari, all grilled to perfection and served with Spanish rice or French fries with salad. Other popular dishes include the Portuguese-inspired Gamberoni al Limone e Aglio, herbed lemon prawns, or the curried Gambas Com Caril, a Goanese speciality.

          

Meats are equally delicious. Come hungry and relish the 500g Australian T-Bone. If that’s too ambitious, try a 330g rib eye steak or the trio of New Zealand lamb chops. Accompaniments include button mushrooms and fondant potatoes,Not just picturesque, The Cliff Bar & Grill beckons with its award-winning food and drink. along with plenty of sauces. Don’t forget the highly recommended piri piri chicken, marinated in a special sauce then cooked on a charcoal grill. You’ll also find a goodly range of pastas, all authentically prepared, as in Italy.

          

Room should definitely be left for some of the island’s most decadent desserts. The names are familiar; there’s home-made Tiramisu and Chocolate Fondant or Chocolate Brownie Cake, both accompanied by delicious vanilla ice cream. But hese are not culinary afterthoughts; here they’re turned into sumptuous affairs. If you’d like something that’s quite rare on Samui, you can round off your meal with The Cliff’s excellent cheese platter.

          

The restaurant is also home to some of the best wines around. Prices suit every budget and the selection is so good that Wine Spectator magazine has for years given The Cliff its award of excellence ‘for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world’. That’s not exactly faint praise, so if you’re a wine lover, you can delight in choosing from the 140 different wines in stock. Don’t worry if you know little about wines and what goes with what, as staff are happy to advise.

          

Let the dedicated team at The Cliff wow you with a lunch or dinner while you sit back and relax in one of the best locations that the island has to offer. With its Mediterranean feel and superb food and drink, this is one venue that will keep you coming back for more.

          

Dimitri Waring


 


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