On entering this tropical hideaway, I am immediately struck by the vibrant flowering orchids, brilliant yellows, purples, reds and pinks pop from both sides of the path and make a dramatic entrance. Glimpses of the beach and calm ocean appear between palm trees as we wander further in. The resort’s pool is so inviting in the softening light of this balmy early evening. And even though I’ve visited Anantasila Resort many times, this entrance way is always a delight.

For this writer, Anantasila invokes memories of good times, beachside afternoon cocktails, dinner on the terrace, or lunch with friends fanned by cooling sea breeze.

The Beach (restaurant) at Anantasila serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and our group has come for dinner. The two-tiered terrace fronting the beach is inviting. Generously sized tables with comfortable seating, crisp table linen, candles flickering, and wine glasses gleaming in the subdued light. Add to that, welcoming attentive staff, Khao Takiab beach and the ocean to gaze out on – and it’s an irresistible setting!

The Beach restaurants very comprehensive dinner menu offers a full range of Thai dishes from starters to noodles, curries, seafood, mains and vegetables. A real tour of Thailand. The western menu extends the choice even further – soups and starters, salads and sandwiches, pasta, from the grill, plus seafood and other mains. And if any of that does not catch your fancy then check out the Pizzas.

Our evening starts with a Thai Sharing Platter – chicken satays, spring rolls, crispy pork wontons and suitable dipping sauces; a Prawn Cocktail atop iceberg lettuce and accompanied by two cocktail sauces; and my personal favourite, a fresh Yellowfin Tuna Tartare flavoured with Citrus & Ginger sitting on a bed of diced avocado and cucumber. A great start to the meal.

For mains, our groups chose two dishes from the Western and one from the Thai menu.
First off, Executive Chef Pong’s take on the classic northern Thai dish, Khao Soi. Egg noodles and chicken pieces sitting in a curry flavoured coconut soup and topped with crispy fried noodles. Served with the traditional condiments of pickled cabbage, coriander and shallots, and a delicious chilli jam.

The Mediterranean Grilled Salmon – pan cooked to order and served with blanched asparagus spears, basil flavoured potato mash and sundried tomato aioli. A fish lover’s delight. And to round out the mains, the Texas BBQ Pork Spare Ribs accompanied by a cream cheese topped baked potato and a serve of coleslaw. The ribs glistening with the sticky BBQ sauce and a bowl of that sweet and tangy sauce is on the side for further indulgence. That sorted the meat lover on our table.

The restaurant’s musical duo kept the atmosphere humming with an appealing array of tunes that had our table delving into our memory banks (and Google) to name the original artist or band. Great entertainment for the evening!

To finish the meal, Chef Pong served us three desserts starting with Dark Chocolate & Chili Fondant. The small chocolate cake with a crisp outer shell and warm chocolate filling oozed forth as the spoon cut through the petite confection. The plate decorated artistically with a delicate chocolate lattice twirl and an almond tuile (biscuit) in the shape of a butterfly, and white chocolate ice-cream.

The other desserts were a classic Baked New York cheesecake accompanied by a scoop of chocolate ice-cream, and an individual Tiramisu made even more luxurious with the addition of a small Amaretto truffle and coffee ice-cream. Deserts designed to please!

If not in the mood for decision making, The Beach at Anantasila has a four-course Thai set menu available each day – lunch and dinner. These set menus change depending on the day of the week. For our visit on Monday, the four courses were Corn Fritters to start, Prawn Tom Kha (soup) to follow, Ginger Chicken with Jasmine Rice for main, and Seasonal Fruits as the standard finish to the menu. At 390++ THB per person, it’s an easy alternative to the extensive choices the main menus present.

On the beverage front, there is a happy hour between 16:00 and 18:00 which is simply 20% off all drinks. In the restaurant on Monday & Tuesday, corkage is free, if you have that special bottle of wine that you know will go perfectly with Anantasila’s dining options.

If you prefer Khao Takiab beach to Hua Hin’s main Beach when looking for a day chilling beachside, then how about his option from Anantasila. Rent one of their sunbeds on the beach under the palm trees (subject to availability), and it will cost you 500 THB. This offer includes access to the resort pool and beach towels and is available from May to October. You can then use that 500 THB as credit towards food and beverage. An alternative is to come for their excellent buffet breakfast at 495 THB net per person, and for another 5 THB you have your Anantasila sunbed for the day!

For more information on The Beach at Anantasila’s dining options or reservations visit www.anantasila.com/dining/ phone +66 32 527 620 or email: fb@anantasila.com
By Michael Cullen

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