It’s all about having confidence in your product. Some restaurants enter the dining scene almost apologetically – low-key, tucked away in a back-water location and offering the same old dishes in a safe but boring way. Then you’ve got the places which come along that are bold and beautiful, and proud – grand in both structure and concepts, offering innovative cuisine in stylish environment. And Top Ten Restaurant & Bar is the epitome of this second category.
“Add an eclectic wine list (which offers 60 varieties) to these gastronomic wonders and you can see that all the ingredients are here for a night of culinary indulgence, and pleasure.”
It’s situated on the northern section of Chaweng Beach Road, just a hundred metres south of Blue Lagoon Hotel on the opposite side of the road, and you really can’t miss it. Two free-standing 16-foot-high wooden doors flanked by raised ponds with flaming jets miraculously emerging from within span the entire 30-metre frontage. And when you take the few steps up into the restaurant you’ll see that this grand design flows throughout.But don’t think that the large scale of everything makes Top Ten impersonal and unfriendly. Far from it; you couldn’t find a more intimate or exciting place to enjoy an evening’s gastronomic adventure.
It’s split level, with a lounge area to your left as you enter and an open bar with barstools to your right. The 110-seat dining area is in two sections; one is fully-air-conditioned (and seats 40) and is up a few more steps to your left, and the other is straight ahead and to the right. Attractively lit mini-alcoves and discreet spotlights throughout form the illumination, creating an elegant yet informal atmosphere. And the neutral pastel coloured walls and grey stone-tiled flooring are contrasted by both large and small figurines depicting mythical Thai deities placed here and there alongside other colourful Oriental objets d’art.
“…and with someone of Chef Thomas’s pedigree running the show at Top Ten, you would be right to expect all the bread, pasta and ice-creams in this restaurant to be homemade
– which they are!”
Right, that’s the guided tour over. Let’s get on to the exciting stuff, starting off with the food. And that’s both International and Thai Cuisine with the kitchen presided over by leading Austrian executive chef, Thomas Polt. His illustrious background includes being the head chef for the major Austrian food manufacturer, WIBERG, and also for several 5-star hotels in Austria and Germany – and in one of them (The Hotel Altstadt Radisson SAS) he catered exclusively for the Formula One team, Red Bull.
And with someone of Chef Thomas’s pedigree running the show at Top Ten, you would be right to expect all the bread, pasta and ice-creams in this restaurant to be homemade – which they are!
But where to start on the recommendations? Well, let’s begin with the International dishes, and for starters, the Beef Tartar with its hand-chopped beef tenderloin à la Chef Thomas and an incredibly creamy 65˚C sous-vide egg yolk is simply amazing. And although it’s tempting to choose one of the great range of pasta dishes as the main course tip (they are ALL so delicious!) the chef’s personal recommendation is his Roasted Fillet of Sea Bass in a spring-onion and olive infusion with homemade tomato/cream and cheese ravioli – and he should know!
The Thai cuisine at Top Ten is renowned for its outrageously tasty curries but it would be a mistake to miss out on the other dishes, and the starter, Gai Ta Krai – deep-fried chicken with lemongrass and chili sauce, is an excellent way to begin a Thai meal here. The main course dish, Chu Chee Goong – spicy king prawns with vegetables in coconut milk, is a perfect example of how delicious the local cuisine can be and also comes highly recommended.
But whatever you do – DON’T leave without trying one of Thomas’s fabulous desserts. That would be a BIG mistake! And if you eat the highly-popular Dark Chocolate Mousse with cherry ragout, or the special-recipe Italian Tira Mi Su, in particular, you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Add an eclectic wine list (which offers 60 varieties) to these gastronomic wonders and you can see that all the ingredients are here for a night of culinary indulgence, and pleasure.
But Top Ten isn’t just an evening affair; it also offers an amazing Sunday Brunch from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. And with a huge range of both International and Thai cuisine items (ordered à la carte) available plus free-flow of free soft drinks, Thai beer and house wine for just 1,111 baht inclusive for all-you-can-eat and drink, it’s incredibly good value-for-money – and great fun!
Chaweng Beach Road (North)
Top Ten is open from 12:00 noon until late (kitchen closes at 10:30 pm)
For reservations and further information telephone +66 (0) 7730 0223-6