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Island Paradise

  • Posted On: 11th June 2013
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Sila Evason Hideaway & Spa at Samui is a bamboo-centric, peace-out recoiling haven for those, like myself, who love to indulge themselves, on a secluded headland in the northeast of the island. Big-budget honeymooners, Evason Hideaway’s fans and devotees of serious holistic indulgence have been, for the past five years, giving this property a big thumbs-up. Bamboo, lots and lots of bamboo. I love bamboo. Bamboo-anything always makes me feel like I’m off with the coconut fairies sipping glittery beverages, turning into a tinkerbell merman and heading for the Neptune party at the bottom of the sea; a place where all scuba equipment becomes redundant and settles the achy, yearning soul as I rock the night away with the fish!

 This all-villa complex from the amazing Six Senses; the company that has branded the concept of innovative style; comprises of 66 villas, 10 spa treatment villas and several dining salas – all enhanced with various different-sized lengths of bamboo. Perched precariously (once inside a villa, it doesn’t feel precarious at all) over a secluded headland in Samui’s northwest, this property is a true hideaway and it would be the exceptional guest who could summon the desire to actually leave the resort at any time during their stay (I did manage to go AWOL for a while on a kayak, do some jet skiing and yes, satiate the soul with some more scuba diving). Wooden steps (made from old railway sleepers) lead down a cliff to Evason’s claimed section of a gorgeous little beach, shared with one other hotel; the Bayview; and a private villa development. From this beach, take out a kayak at no charge and a high-exertion-30-minutes later, a fit individual will make it to the nearest isle, Koh Som (Orange Island). Uninhabited, this tiny, heart-shaped rocky paradise will be yours for as long as you choose to stay. On the way back, I was circled by flying fish; flashing silver in the periphery of my vision, which disappeared each time I stopped rowing.
From the vantage point of the kayak, one can properly appreciate Evason Hideaway’s architectural achievement. The inspiration was clearly a fisherman’s village, albeit infinitely more luxurious than any village that I’ve ever visited. So, lovers of luxury, get your passports together and head on down to Samui for the time of your life. Just make sure it’s around full moon time so you can venture to Koh Pha Ngan’s famous Full Moon Party – 20 clubs with 20,000 clubbers on the beach synchronised in an extravaganza of ballistic entertainment and dance.
Dining on the Rocks (Koh Samui) — an experience not to be missed
How many restaurants have you seen advertised offering the best ambience, the finest cuisine, award-winning service, a total experience suitable, of course, for only the most discerning clientele? There are too many such restaurants – most claim to be the best, many probably have won awards of one kind or another, but how many surprise you, the diner, with their ingenuity, quality of food, presentation and service? How many times do you visit a restaurant that lives up to its claims and leaves you fulfilled and possibly amazed?
One restaurant which will leave you with such an impression is Dining on the Rocks, which can be found on the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Southern Thailand. The restaurant does, of course, make its own claims, but these claims you will find are not only delivered but will be surpassed and leave you wanting to return many times over.
Attributed to the resort, Dining on the Rock’s largest and most common claim to fame seems to be the 270 degree views of the surrounding sea and outlying islands. These views are magnificent and will definitely add to the pleasure you will receive from dining here, but what makes Dining on the Rocks truly unique is the quality of the food and the ingenious way it is created and combined.
Most restaurants will limit your selection of appetizers and main courses, leaving you to make a choice from a few dishes that sound tempting. Dining on the Rocks will not ease your confusion of choice but, in a way, adds to it by making almost every single dish available as an appetizer or as a main course. At most restaurants, this would not be a problem, but at Dining on the Rocks, it is extremely hard to find a dish that does not sound more than tempting, leaving you with some very hard decisions to make.
Thankfully, the restaurant soon realised the rather unusual predicament it was causing guests, and created the ‘Experiences’ set dinner. This provides guests with 10 mini-courses, giving you a chance to experience a variety of dishes in one sitting. An example of such an ‘Experience’ would be: Tartar Dégustation; Reduction of Coconut and Truffle with rosemary roasted chicken; Tian of Seared Tuna with spiced lentils and balsamic; Roasted Duck with citrus and an orange-lavender granite; Iced Tom-yam Gazpacho with oysters; Steamed Hor-mok Soufflé; Iced Coconut and Blue Curacao; Lamb Cutlet filled with spiced potatoes served with raita and mint; Jasmine Tea-flavoured Chocolate Pots with spiced pineapple; and Organic Lemongrass Tea.

Dining on the Rocks is not just about choices, good service, or the highest quality of foods, it is about an all-out assault on your taste buds and senses. From the moment you start reading the menu, your imagination flares into life and once the food arrives and you actually taste the culinary wonders before you, you then understand the sheer ingenuity of the diverse tastes which mingle together and at times quite literally make you smile with joy.

To accompany the meal, the restaurant has a wine cellar with over 1,000 bottles from around the world. The menu even lists some wines and dishes which complement each other, allowing guests to experience the sumptuous experiences offered exactly as the chef had intended.

We highly recommend reserving a seat at this restaurant well in advance, and if you are traveling at peak season such as Christmas, New Year etc. I do mean well in advance. You will be able to choose between spacious seating on different decks, all offering stunning views accompanied with the music of the waves crashing into the rocks below. There are also a few lounge-style sofa seats with enormous cushions available (my personal favourites being 54 and 55).

Wherever you sit, Dining on the Rocks is an experience not to be missed. And if after reading the above you are worried a dinner might break the bank, and it probably would if located anywhere else in the world, then do not fret, Dining on the Rocks is extremely well priced. In fact, I doubt you would be able to experience the same combination of quality food, service, ambience and culinary ingenuity anywhere else in Thailand, even Asia, for the same affordable prices, and that is not the restaurant’s claim, it is all mine.

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