We’re all the same really. Every one of us loves the idea of finding hidden treasure. And sometimes it does take the form of gold in a buried casket on a tropical island. But in this case, although it is on a tropical island, the treasure that I’m talking about that’s well worth discovering is the extra-ordinary cuisine produced at a beautiful brand-new restaurant that opened in August 2016 – MP.
“…The stylishly decorated restaurant with its open kitchen and discreet lighting is romantic in itself, but if you want to go the whole way, a special private set-up for two on the beach can be arranged”
It’s in Maenam, and if you go down the lane (opposite Soi 3) that’s half-way between the police station and the PTT gasoline station on the main ring-road and head towards the sea, you’ll soon arrive at the lovely Kwan Beach Resort that’s tucked away on the left.
And MP is right there, next to the reception so you won’t have to go wandering throughout the resort to find it. The treasure chest has been found, all you have to do now is to choose a table (there’s seating for 36) and open the box – or in this case, order your dishes from the tempting and creative menu!
But before I talk about the cuisine and the menu, I’d better introduce the executive chef and managing partner of MP, and that’s Chef Mattias Pawlik whose initials give the restaurant its name. Chef Mattias is a charming man with a most interesting background – both personally and professionally.
He’s Thai by birth but was raised in Switzerland by his adoptive parents – his mother being Dutch and his father being English. That’s quite a combination – and one that’s obviously helped give him his multi-national outlook on life. Chef Mattias did his initial training in the Swiss College of Hospitality Management in Bern. He then spent several years working his way up the kitchen ladder (as it were) in top restaurants in Switzerland and then doing the same in various other cities around the world, including Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong. By 2013, he’d attained the position of executive chef with Katathani in Phuket, and went on to be the same at Ramada Resorts in Khao Lak before arriving on Samui last year, when he was the executive chef at the renowned Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa.
And with this wealth of knowledge about a multitude of European and Asian food, it seemed to make sense for him to combine them in MP’s novel menu which offers ‘French Nouvelle & Thai/Asian Gastronomic Kitchen’ cuisine. And the result? Simply irresistible!
Recommended starter dishes include both the Foie Gras with flambé apple, vanilla brioche, capers confit and quail egg, and the Lobster with mint cous-cous, wasabi yoghurt, lime butter and coriander espuma. And the word ‘delicious’ doesn’t do them justice.
Next we have the mains and although they are all outrageously tasty, I’ll recommend just three. First we have the (New Zealand) Lamb Rack with mousseline of peanut, ratatouille, pistachio crust and champagner risotto. Then there’s the Australian grass-fed Beef Tenderloin with white truffle mashed potato, lavender and garden carrots. And finally, we have the White Snapper with Imperial caviar, prik nam pla, tuna salad and a tamarind and coriander jus.
When it comes to dessert, forget any diet you may be on and just go for it! And with dishes such as the Crème Brûlée with croquant, coriander and sage infusion, and the Tarte Tatin with cinnamon praline, icing sugar, blackberry and calvados, you’ll be glad you did.
“… and MP’s novel menu offers ‘French Nouvelle & Thai/Asian Gastronomic Kitchen’ cuisine.”
The stylishly decorated restaurant with its open kitchen and discreet lighting is romantic in itself, but if you want to go the whole way, a special private set-up for two on the beach can be arranged (if you book it at least one day in advance) that also offers a romance-inducing setmeal – particularly great for honeymooners and those celebrating wedding anniversaries.
If you like dinner entertainment, then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s Thai dancing every Saturday from 8:00 pm and once a week (telephone for dates) there’s a talented Russian singer who helps your meal go down with extra-style.
And there’s one last nugget of gold in the treasure chest! Chef Mattias also hosts cooking classes in the daytime when you can learn how to cook the dishes you’ve had the night before – and then be able to present them as your own creations at your dinner party when you get home!
MP is open all day from 7:00 am with the kitchen closing at 11:00 pm. For reservations and further information, telephone 0 625 650 796 or 0 825 348 357.