Seeking to get away from it all? Venture off the ring-road in the south of the island and then keep on heading south and you’ll come to Shasa, a resort that many residents, even ones who’ve been here for years have never seen. That’s because it’s tucked away down a tiny lane in a very private spot. It’s a remarkably green and verdant here; gentle breezes keep everything cool, and gardens step away down towards a resplendent sea. Shasa is a resort that’s held in high esteem, especially by visitors seeking respite from busy Chaweng and its environs. But that’s not all. There’s also the food, which attracts not only in-house guests here but many diners from outside.
It’s easy enough to find the resort and its restaurant, Beyond The Sea, but you may wish to avail yourself of the free transport that will take you there. Just call Shasa, and no matter where you are on Samui, they’ll send a comfy courtesy van to collect you. There’s no minimum spend, and no minimum number of guests – you could even just come by yourself, in other words. You’ll naturally be brought back home afterwards. What could be better? No need to stress out with maps and directions, and no need to have to think about how much/little alcohol you can drink. It’s something that many diners opt for.
Once you’ve arrived, you’ll be escorted down to Beyond The Sea, which is housed in a building all of its own. The restaurant brings you the very best in fine dining but everything’s kept very casual; there’s no need to dress up to come here. Opt for a table in the simple but luxurious main air-con dining room, or just outside on the terrace, with its laid-back seating and fan-cooled atmosphere.
Take your time browsing the menu, which is a very full one. The cuisine at Beyond The Sea features authentic Thai fare, but there are quite a number of Mediterranean and international dishes, too. Fresh local seafood abounds, as does Australian-sourced beef and lamb. Inordinate care has gone to ensure that everything is as fresh as possible. For example, locally caught seafood comes daily from one of the island’s best markets at Ban Hua Thanon, just a few kilometres away.
As the restaurant is part of the resort, it’s open all day long, from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm. If you’re an outside guest, you probably won’t be turning up for the breakfast, and it’s more likely you’ll be here for either lunch or dinner. Both offer spectacular choices. You’ll find in addition children’s and vegetarian menus.
There’s so much on the menu that it’s hard to recommend any few dishes. For a wonderful selection of Thai food, you could simply opt for any or all of the three signature dishes offered by Beyond The Sea. You’ll need to share with a partner though, as each dish is generously large. The deep-fried sea bass with herbs is definitely a favourite across the country. It’s extremely refreshing on a hot day, and comes with plenty of shallots, shredded ginger, cashew nuts and lemon grass along with a tempting sauce.
The signature panang beef is equally good. It’s served in a shallow dish along with plenty of creamy orangey-red sauce, along with gorgeous spheres of fresh mango, which make a great addition. The dish is beautifully nuanced, so much so that it can be eaten with just plain rice. If you like spicier tastes, then the signature gaeng som sea bass is definitely for you. A large portion of perfectly-prepared fish is accompanied by the famed sauce – if you love Thai food, you’ll recognize just why the nation adores this dish so much.
However, if you’re in the mood for something international, you’ll find it a-plenty in the pages of the menu. There’s literally everything: pasta, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and more fish and meat, all prepared western-style.
If you’re looking for something and it’s not on the menu, you can request it from the chef. The team can make anything – so long as they have the ingredients to hand – and will be happy to prepare it for you. Similarly, if you’d like to have a fish or meat dish that’s on the menu but would prefer it to be vegetarian, your chef can arrange this too. It also goes without saying that if you prefer the amount of spice in dishes to be either increased or decreased, then all you have to do is ask. The staff here go to great lengths to make sure their diners are satisfied.
You can complement any lunch or dinner with Beyond The Sea’s creatively-made cocktails, and there’s also a sophisticated wine list that covers a spectrum of old and new world wines.
For something truly special, ring in advance and you can arrange a romantic private dinner or a special barbecue dinner. The staff can also cater for events such as birthdays, celebrations and of course weddings.
You’ll also find a cooking class in operation here, run by an English-speaking chef. It’s a great way to learn how to make dishes that will make you popular back at home. In each class you’ll learn how to make a starter, two main courses and a Thai dessert – there’s a special cooking class menu for the dishes. And once you’ve finished, you’ll be able to eat what you’ve made; you’ll be surprised at just how tasty it all is. Simply ring a day in advance to reserve your place at the class, which is run whenever there’s demand. Numbers are however kept small and the class still runs if it’s just one person who’s
booked. Each class starts at midday and lasts at least two hours.
With great chefs at the helm and a wonderful ambience, this south coast restaurant is definitely worth a visit. And thanks to the free round-trip service, there’s no reason not to go. You’ll be pleased that you did.
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7791 3888.