A generous sea breeze greet us. The sun had set and the early evening light cast the ocean in a soft hue of blue. Tables and chairs are set out between the palm trees, directly on the sand. Glasses and cutlery sparkle in the subdued light. A multitude of lanterns hang from the palm trees adding to the romantic, or even idyllic, atmosphere. What a fantastic first impressions we have arriving at the absolutely waterfront Sai Thong restaurant at the Anantara Hua Hin Resort.

Our goal for the evening is simple. Experience the new Surf “N” Turf BBQ – an initiative created by Executive Chef Rainer Mueller for hotel guests, local residents and visitors to Hua Hin visitors. And this writer can never say no to the opportunity of the freshest of seafood and great quality meats, perfectly prepared and cooked for my dining pleasure – and that’s exactly what Chef Rainer presented us with.

With the large traditional coal fired barbecue as the centre piece, the Executive Chef and his team have also set out a row of shiny silver chaffing dishes filled with a collection of different rice options, along with baked potatoes, sweet potatoes fries, a vegetarian pasta, and a choice of other vegetable dishes. The adjoining salad bar offered Thai pomelo or papaya salads, a grilled asparagus salad, and a variety of individual ingredients to make your own – with the hotel’s grown onsite hydroponic lettuce in pride of place. There’s even a bread station to slice your own from a selection of fresh crusty breads or grab some just baked Naan bread.
For the “Surf” side of the BBQ, sitting atop an iced display were long handled skewers, threaded full with generous pieces of either barracuda, grouper, mackerel, squid, or fat prawns. The seafood on these skewers was interspersed with sliced vegetables like red, green or yellow peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, and sweet banana chillies. Just decide what seafood to start with and chefs barbecue your choice on the spot.

We started with a selection of barbecued barracuda and prawns in the shell which were delivered to our table on warmed platters to keep the food at optimum temperature. Attentive staff also supplied a Nam Jim seafood sauce to accompany the perfectly grilled fish and prawns. A mixed plate of the fresh salads and the oven hot Naan bread went perfectly with our seafood.

The “Turf” side of the BBQ offers more of those generously filled skewers. A selection of three marinated meats – either pork neck, chicken thighs, or lamb cubes. There is also slow roasted beef short ribs.
The pièce de résistance though is, the Australian wagyu tomahawk steaks. Each averaging around 3kg. Already par-cooked, the chefs slice off succulent slivers which they then quickly barbecue and deliver to your table. We certainly tasted and enjoyed the lamb but the slices of tomahawk steak were delectable. Fit for a king even, and totally moreish!

To accompany the Surf “N” Turf BBQ there is a very attractive selection of quality wines – white and red – by the bottle and priced around 600 THB. We tried an Australian Wolf Blass which worked well with our barbecue selections.

Throughout the evening, a three piece band add to the atmosphere covering popular tunes suitable for a dinner setting. Also, twice during the evening a troupe of four Thai female dancers performed. For their first routine they were accompanied by Thai traditional drummers and the second performance more modern and up tempo in nature. All adding an extra level of ambience to the evening.

Dinner is never complete without desserts and Chef Rainer and his team created two display tables stacked full of temptation. In such a tropical and waterfront setting, there had to be a broad selection of exotic fruits that Thailand is famous for. Or help yourself to a choice of two ice-creams – coconut or peach on the night we visited. And then there were the cakes – large platters with your choice of chocolate, cheesecake, carrot cake, and a brownie style – all cut into delicate portions so you don’t feel greedy trying more than one, two, or even three!

The Surf “N” Turf BBQ happens every Tuesday evening staring from November 6th 2018 and can be found at the Sai Thong restaurant, ocean front within the Anantara Hua Hin resort. Reservations for, or further enquiries about, the Surf “N” Turf BBQ can be made on +66 (0) 32 520 250 or emailing fb.ahh@anantara.com
This Surf “N” Turf feast (Tuesday evenings only) is priced at 1200 THB net per person. Yes, that price includes tax and service charges which to this writes mind, is excellent value for money. As are the wines on offer as part of the overall evening.

If the atmosphere of the evening has you wanting to linger longer, then I suggest the Sala Siam lounge bar adjacent to the Resort’s foyer – a contemporary Thai space with live music and innovative cocktails.
Michael Cullen


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