The approach could hardly be any better. Follow the winding, scenic stretch of ring-road as it heads through the hills between Lamai and Chaweng, and you’ll come to The Cliff Bar & Grill. It’s perched over a beautiful bay and fringed with beautiful tropical vegetation – an ideal setting in other words. But that’s not the only draw here. This is a restaurant that really stands out when it comes to what’s on the menu: a Mediterranean-based trove of fine dishes, all of which are beautifully presented and make for superb lunches and dinners.
The Clif has been going strong for 14 years now. In fact, it was one of the original international restaurants on Samui. It helped pioneer the supply of hard-to-get ingredients to the island; back then it was a daunting task. Owner and master chef, Bradley Munns, travelled to Portugal, Spain and Italy to find the right mix of herbs, spices, ingredients and recipes to please his guests. It was then up to restaurant manager Lionel Helena to keep the supply going. Despite the difficulties, both were determined to satisfy their guests. And they still are. Proof of that is to be found on the wall of the restaurant when you walk in. It’s covered with accolades and awards for food and wines. None of this is Mickey-Mouse certification but comes from august bodies such as Thai Tatler and Wine Spectator – competition for these kinds of awards is fierce, and just to register restaurants have to be able to offer top-notch quality, and show proof of it. For a restaurant to actually go on to win an award is definitely prestigious: Wine Spectator, for example, gave The Cliff its award of excellence ‘for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world’.
A great part of winning any kind of award like this is the culinary team; soon after Bradley and Lionel opened The Cliff, they found the ideal chef to help them. Sergio Martelli has worked at some of the world’s top restaurants, and brings enormous flair and creativity to the menu here. He also caters for parties, and this Valentine’s Day he’ll be preparing some wonderful dishes for couples to enjoy.
Sergio likes to ensure that all guests leave feeling satisfied, so he goes to great lengths to ensure that everything here is superior in quality. The best meats feature at The Cliff, with prime beef coming direct from Australia; it’s first aged three weeks and then is chilled, not frozen, before it’s flown out. Vegetables are bursting with freshness; they come from either the restaurant’s own garden or from local markets. Seafood comes from nearby waters, and is equally fresh.
Check out The Cliff’s menu on their website, and you’ll see that there’s immense variety in the dishes. All reflect a dedication to freshness, whether they’re appetizers, such as salads, piri-piri or curried Goan prawns or mains, such as fresh-caught line fish or seafood platters. Equally recommended are the meats. Try the Australian rib eye steak (330 g), or the highly delicious lamb chops from New Zealand – you get three of them, each weighing 100 grams. In addition there’s also a variety of pastas and other dishes, as well as desserts such as tiramisu, chocolate brownie cake and ice cream. There’s even a cheeseboard. Perhaps best of all, there are some 140 different wines to choose from – check out the large, cooled display when you walk into the restaurant. You’ll also find a brand new cocktail menu that’s been put together so that guests can enjoy a select number of traditional and more contemporary tipples.
The team here are especially welcoming and friendly, ensuring that you and your guests have the best time possible. A hostess is usually on hand to help with any queries, help with enquiries for special occasions and generally to ensure that everything runs seamlessly.
The Cliff is open daily from midday until last food orders at 9:45 pm, though drinks continue till a lot later. A range of cocktails await you in The Cliff’s own very popular cocktail bar.
Tried and trusted, The Cliff is a wonderful place to go for eating and drinking. With its friendly atmosphere, talented staff, the icing on the proverbial cake here is definitely the amazing view from The Cliff’s outdoor deck. Languid afternoons and evenings feel all the more relaxed whilst soaking up the vibe here.
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7744 8508.