Thailand Day Six - Dining on the Rocks

This evening I had booked us into one of the best restaurants on Koh Samui. Dining on the Rocks in the Six Senses resort. It takes us about 35 minutes to get there from our villa and it really does feel like it is at the edge of the earth, down tiny tracks and bumpy lanes with nothing else around. We arrive, check in and are driven even further out to the restaurant in a golf buggy. As requested we have the best table waiting for us on the veranda. There are only 4 tables on the veranda with 2 other couples eating and 6 tables on the balcony undercover.

(Photo from the six senses website)

Its rather windy as we take our seats and the staff do inform us we are welcome to have a different table if we would like. No chance, I’m sitting at the best table, what harm can a little wind do other than mess up my hair which even Aussie frizz control shampoo and GHDs can’t manage in this humidity.

So we order a couple of cocktails whilst looking over the menu to decide which of the set options to choose from, they range from a few different 5 course options to 10 courses. I have high expectations with the cocktails too so obviously I choose the mojito.

We decide to choose different menus so we get to taste even more courses, I opt for the 10 course ‘Simplicity’ menu mainly because of the awesome sounding dessert and Al goes for the 5 course signature from chef Simon Volante.

The cocktails arrive as the wind is howling and boom, utter disappointment, made with dark rum I was expecting a slightly different mojito but this is not living up to expectations. I have a decision to make, I think I may move away from the mojitos as I’m yet to have one that tastes as good as the ones I quickly knock together in my kitchen. But ultimately I’m not here for the cocktails so lets hope things improve with the food.

They take our orders and soon our first plate is brought to us, along with something to share. Our individual plates seem to be the same thing and then they tell us this is an appetizer! I wasn’t sure I needed more than 10 courses but go on then. Not quite sure what it is as the server speaks with a very heavily accented voice but I did hear the word chicken and the sharing plate was bread sticks, rolls, a couple of dips and a whole cooked garlic.

Whatever the chicken thing was it was lovely, so succulent and moist. I really didn’t need to fill up on bread either but had to give the dips a taste. Can’t really explain what they were but they were good and dipping the bread sticks into the cooked garlic worked a treat. So far things are improving after the mojito disaster.

Course 1 - A reference to oyster rockefeller: deep fried oyster with rocket, bacon.

Verdict: Awesome, fantasic texture to the oyster and the caviar was extremely flavourful.

Course 2 - seared hamachi - sea vegetable, rice, wasabi and lime air.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture. By this point I was more concerned with the lime air being blown off my plate. It was essentially a very light and fluffy lime foam and I had to aim my head to the same direction as the wind to let the foam 'float' into my mouth. Half of the foam missed and blew into my face. It was at this point I admitted defeat to the weather and we moved to a table on the balcony which offered slightly more protection.

Verdict: I couldn't eat part of the sauce as I forgot to ask if they could make it without wasabi and the lime foam although refreshing seemed to evapourate too quickly, this may not have been helped by trying to eat it facing the wind.

Course 3 - salmon teriyaki, simply

Verdict: Worked beautifully. Just as the menu said, very simple flavours which complemented each other well.

Course 4 - Paella: prawn, squid, clam, chorizo and saffron.

Verdict: Possibly the flavours were a little overpowered by tomato but the seafood was cooked to perfection, not at all chewy.

Time for another cocktail and this time I’m taking no chances, Passionfruit frozen margarita. That’s more like it and it shoots straight in to the top of the holiday cocktail league.

Course 5 - think of a hot dog - onion, ketchup caviar and mustard.

Verdict: Tasty, I can't picture hot dog while I'm eating it and I'm not even sure it contains meat (but then again you could say the same for some hot dogs). What was excellent was the ketchup caviar.

Again I forgot to take a picture but I'm starting to get full and at only half way through this is not a good sign.

Course 6 - duck and coke - root vegetables, polenta and spicy popcorn.

Verdict: Another winner, who would have thought cherries and beetroot would work together but they did and the coke really added a sweetness to the duck. Didn't get a spicy popcorn flavour but the crispy thing if that was supposed to represent popcorn was really crunchy and added a good texture to the dish.

Course 7 - pomelo CO2.

Verdict: Three words sum this up, salty, fizzy, grapefruit.

No picture again but this was the palette cleanser. It certainly did something to my palette that's for sure. I'm not a fan of grapefruit anyway and it was clever the way this dish actually seemed to fizz inside your mouth but it was not for me.

Course 8 - wagyu beef rib eye in adobo garlic and potatoes.

Verdict: Very tasty although I'm not sure what all the fuss is about wagyu beef. I'd always wanted to try it so along with the dessert this was another reason for choosing this menu. Now don't get me wrong the beef was lovely but I'm sure I've had beef just as tender before. Perhaps with all the other flavours going on this is something that is best served au natural? The sauce was fantastic and creamy and the potatoes were just perfect. I don't think it needed to have the spring roll and that was just very normal.

Course 9 - peanut butter and jelly: buttery bread and crispy milk and semi dried grapes.

Verdict: This wasn't for me. Too heavy, a bit like a crumble but don't worry that was just up Al's street so it didn't go to waste, plus I was saving myself for the final course.

Course 10 - making a reference to a campfire - graham wafer and chocolate, charred marshmallow and smoked vanilla contrasted with passion fruit.

Verdict: A perfect ending. Now I’m a big marshmallow fan and this was just the best, cripsy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The ice cream was refreshing and the chocolate ganache was heavenly. The brownie wasn’t too heavy and the meringue, crunchy and chewy, just right. They definitely saved the best for last and I was happy I’d chosen the right menu.

I washed it all down with a South East Asian Martini, Gordons Gin, Lychee Juice, Kaffirlime, Ginger and Sour mix, whilst chilling out on the swing.

I'm exhausted now, 11 courses (many of which I shared with Al just to be clear) is like a work out in itself.

The only downside as we get ready to head back to our villa is they are practically ushering us out of the door. It was only 10.30 and the last people probably left around 30 minutes before us. I can understand the staff wanting to go home but we'd just shelled out almost £200 to be here so I was going to sit and swing for as long as I wanted thank you very much.

They called the golf cart to come and collect us then the heavens opened. We were truly in the eye of the storm now. We'd seen some lightning as we ate our meal but at least the rain had held off.

Final verdict: Great place for a special occasion however you might want to arrive earlier to fully appreciate the view over the rocks. By the time we'd turned up (8pm) it was pitch black. If there is a leaving time they should warn you on booking how long each course is expected to take and therefore what time you should be seated. Staff were lovely though and the presentation amazing. Stay away from the mojitos if you are a fan of the original form (true throughout Thailand to date) and come with an empty stomach.