Right. Are you sitting comfortably? Because I’m now going to tell you about a place that will absolutely blow you away. Restaurants on Samui don’t come much better than Coco Rock, at Coral Bay Resort with its perfect location and excellent food (both Thai and International). Are you ready? OK, here goes…
Let’s start with the location. Well it’s, literally, a 2-minute drive north of Chaweng on the road leading to the airport. Pass Anantara Lawana and it’s the next resort on your right. And as you the enter the driveway, you keep going, and going, and going until you eventually reach the car park next to the reception. Although Coral Bay Resort has just 56 bungalows, they’re set in an incredible 10 acres of tropical landscaped gardens. So, by the time you arrive, you’ll already be totally immersed in absolute tranquility.
“… and you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into a picture postcard.”
The design of the open-air lobby itself with its stonework walls, interesting water features, huge wooden roof and lots and lots of plants will give you a good indication of what the resort’s like as a whole. Pass on down the steps with Coral Bay’s renowned Amata Spa on your right before skirting a lovely swimming pool. And from here you’ll see the magnificent round thatched roof of Coco Rock from above before you descend the final few steps down into the frangipani garden courtyard at the rear of the restaurant.
You’ll soon spot the circular bar in the middle with the tables radiating outwards in concentric rings towards the beach. And with a 270˚ view of the semi-private bay and the beach with its overhanging palm trees, you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into a picture postcard! Places don’t get more special than this.
There’s spacious seating for 100 under cover of the high wooden roof, and a further 4 low tables with accompanying triangular cushions out on the sand itself for those really wanting to chill-out. Plus, there’s an adjacent open-air lounge where you’re welcome to relax before or after your meal.
“…Coco Rock really is a special place. One of those places that you’ll remember when you get home long after the tan has faded.”
Although Coco Rock is already renowned for its Thai cuisine since its opening, the excellent international fare on offer has also proved to be very popular, and I’m not surprised. Recommended starters include: (Thai) Pakarang Seafood Salad – selected seafood, tomatoes, onions, coriander, green onions and cashew nuts in a lime sauce with crispy prawn crackers; and (International) Tuna Tartar – a tower of Maguro tuna tartar with wasabi-olive oil and horseradish sauce.
And as for the main courses, well they’re special, too. You can delve into the pastas, curries, salads, fish & seafood or vegetarian areas of the menu, or stay in the general Thai or International sections, and this is where I chose the recommended dishes. The Thai Lemongrass Seafood with Thai Herbs – stir-fried spicy seafood with mushrooms, lemongrass, galangai, kaffir-lime leaves, chili, holy basil and coconut cream is a joy to eat, and the International Chicken Breast – stuffed chicken breast with cooked spinach, onion, garlic and feta cheese in a red wine shallot butter sauce is, indeed, ‘truly scrumptious’.
Please try either the Chocolate Magic with its assortment of cream gateaux, truffles and mousse, or the Crème Brûlée à L’Orange for dessert. Your stomach will thank me even if your waistline won’t!
To accompany this superb dining experience, every night (except Mondays) there’s a Filipino duo – Rhoda & Remy – providing the live music. And for the oldies amongst you (I’m afraid I’m one of them now!) every Sunday, all day long, the music is from the 60s, with free tapas from 4-6 pm. Coco Rock really is a special place. One of those places that you’ll remember when you get home long after the tan has faded.
The restaurant is open from 11:00 am till late (kitchen closes at 11:00 pm)
For reservations and further information telephone +66 (0) 7723 4555
The Coco Rock restaurant at Coral Bay