Fine dining comes in many shapes and forms. But what they all have in common is that the cuisine is creative and perfectly prepared using the freshest and the best ingredients, the service is exemplary and the environment is outstanding. And this particular restaurant offers its version of fine dining that ticks all of the above boxes – and then some! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Dining Room.
“…With the fine dining experience at The Dining Room as good as it is, it’s not surprising that’s the restaurant has built up such a highly enviable reputation for excellence over the years.”
Just five minutes south of Lamai (20 minutes from Chaweng) and a few hundred metres beyond the turning for Hin-Ta Hin-Yai (the grandfather and grandmother rocks), you’ll see the entrance to Rocky’s Resort on your left. The driveway slopes quite steeply on its way to The Dining Room and as you take the short stroll down, you’ll pass the small car park on your left which is next to Rocky’s Resort’s other fabulous eatery – The Bistro. And that’s where they cater Royal Thai Cuisine and ‘casual’ Western fare, but that’s another story…
If you’re arriving at night, by now you’ll already have been enchanted by the magical lighting on the pathway down. So much so that you won’t be surprised when you reach The Dining Room at the water’s edge and see the marvelous way that the whole place is subtly illuminated (it doesn’t get more romantic than here!). Large red lanterns hanging down from the high ceiling, diffuse spotlights in the surrounding foliage and candle-lamps on the tables combine to provide even-lighting without being bright and glary or gloomy – just perfect, in fact!
This ornate Thai-style open-sided wooden building with its lovely tiled flooring and beautiful old Thai artifacts can comfortably seat 50 diners and is one of the finest restaurant interiors you’ll come across anywhere in the world. Which makes it somewhat of a shame that many diners choose to sit outside (weather permitting) at the tables for twenty more (bookings essential) that have been set up on the rocks overlooking the gently lapping waves – but who could blame them!
And now we come to the food aspect of the fine dining experience here. The cuisine is ‘French Mediterranean’ and really is as good as it gets (especially when paired with the right wines from The Dining Room’s carefully constructed collection!). But before I move on to give you some recommendations from the main à la carte menu, I must mention two important factors that might make all the difference to your general restaurant selection. The first is that at The Dining Room, absolutely any dietary request can be taken care of: glutenfree, vegan, vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, etc. Just let the restaurant know beforehand and everything will be prepared exactly to your individual requirements. And secondly, there are two of the finest degustation set-meals (5-course and 7-course) available this side of heaven, just call for details.
Right, now we have the recommended starters (or should we say les entrées?), and they have got to be the amazing Foie Gras au Torchon – caramelized peaches, toasted walnuts, truffle balsamic, buttered brioche and arugula leaf, and the very special Scallops Ceviche – marinated à la minute in citrus, red onion, Maldon sea salt, cilantro, chili and cherry tomatoes.
“… and absolutely any dietary request can be taken care of, including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and lactose-intolerant.”
For mains, firstly it has to be The Dining Room’s remarkable signature dish, the Beef Rossini which comprises a seared Alan Francois foie gras and fillet mignon with wilted baby spinach, tarragon glazed carrots and Madeira sauce. Secondly, the delicious Snow Fish Cuit en ‘Sous Vide’ – saffron and basil infused tomato nage, green asparagus drizzled with crustacean oil and le ratte potato puree. And it’s worth noting that each dish and every single sauce at The Dining Room is prepared and cooked from fresh – which becomes highly evident with every bite.
The desserts are equally dazzling and every one of them would be worth skipping your diet for. Especially the unashamedly decadent Chocolate Landscape – Belgian dark and white chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate cakes, raspberry and strawberry ice-cream, chocolate soil and berry coulis, and also the tongue-tingling Summer Berries – flash frozen summer berries, hot white chocolate sauce, vanilla-bourbon ice-cream and dark chocolate shavings. Either one of them could easily win a cooking competition – they are that good!
With the fine dining experience at The Dining Room as good as it is, it’s not surprising that’s the restaurant has built up such a highly enviable reputation for excellence over the years. And there’s only one way of finding out what all the fuss is about!
The Dining Room
The Dining Room is open for lunch from 12:00 noon and is open for dinner from 5:00 pm. For reservations and further information, telephone 0 7741 8367.