Undercover, alfresco and overlooking Hua Hin’s beach, COAST Beach Club & Bistro is always worth a visit. A leisurely stroll through the grand marble-floored hotel foyer onto the manicured lawns, past the topiary gardens heading with anticipation towards the oceanfront.

Positioned between two of the resort’s magnificent pools in prime beachfront location, COAST Beach Club & Bistro is an ideal spot for a relaxing beverage or lingering over lunch or dinner as Hua Hin’s famous beach life happens in front of you.

Our visit is for the launch of COAST Bistro new menu. An annual activity, with Chef de Cuisine ‘Phu’ ensuring this year’s menu particularly heroes the fresh seafood our Royal Coast is famous for. There are also strong Mediterranean influences, known the world over for their distinct health benefits. Thai food, a universal favourite, has its own page ‘Siam at COAST’ with a selection to satisfy all Thai cuisine lovers.

Chef Phu eases us into the food journey with a selection of starters.  A ceviche of Akami tuna served on thin crisp tortilla rounds (tostadas). Quality tuna typically found atop rice in sashimi or within sushi rolls, diced and mixed with avocado, lime, Thai chillies, iceberg, sea grapes and chefs’ special sauce. Delicate tuna morsels of deliciousness. Duck breast rubbed with middle eastern spices, cooked and sliced on a salad of mixed lettuce, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red radish, crispy pita chips, with garlic mayo on the side.

Heirloom cherry tomato tossed and flavoured with aged balsamic and basil oil as the perfect accompaniment for fresh local burrata – a glistening white pillow of fresh mozzarella cheese that’s formed into a pouch and filled with soft, stringy curd and cream. This is Italian food at its most simple yet most glorious.

Our final starters are ginger, and maple flavoured salmon in a light salad of avocado, mixed lettuce, radish and soft-boiled eggs; and an Italian-American fish soup – Cioppino. This tomato-based seafood soup (or stew) traditionally uses the daily catch. It’s said to have its origins with the fisherman from Genoa who immigrated to the US in the 1930s and settled in the Bay area of California.

Chef Phu’s Cioppino features mussels, clams, prawns, scallops, squid, and seabass. The serving size is sufficient to savour the garlic, oregano, thyme, and basil flavours of the tomato soup base and perfectly cooked seafood without being filling and spoiling you for further investigation of the menu.

And so, our introduction to the new menu continues. Having shared the starters, our group each choose their own main course dish from the ‘Coastal Seafood’ and ‘Prime Meats & Grills’ section of the menu.
Lamb rack with baby carrots, sugar snaps, chat potatoes, and rosemary gravy. Free-range duck breast with sweet potato mash, French bean, and mulberry gravy. Pan-seared fillet of baby seabass with Thai spiced cherry tomato salad, local clams, shallots, and coriander. Two Australian Angus, grass-fed beef steaks. One a tenderloin with mushrooms, baby tomato, shallot jam, wolfberries jus, and truffle crushed potato. The other a sirloin with hand-cut fries, butternut squash, and peppercorn sauce. And given the lack of chatter at the table and positive murmurings as people devoured their plates of food, it was clearly evident that all were delicious and worthy of COAST Bistros new menu.

Feeling like something lighter? No problems, as you check out the Artisan bread sandwiches and ‘burgers and more’ sections of the menu. Or a selection of eleven Pizzas from Italian classics to vegetarian as well a few more exotic options. All the Pizzas are cooked in the restaurant’s traditional wood-fired oven, and you can choose from a Napolitana style thin-crust or, according to the menu, the thick Roman crust.
To bring our food journey and study of this new menu to a fitting finale, Chef Phu offers a selection of desserts. A Panna Cotta served in a coconut shell topped with mango and caramel shards. A Crème brûlée flavoured with longan pieces and topped with the delicate crunchy, caramelised, sugary crust and more fresh longans.

Tiramisu, elegant and luxurious layers of delicate cookies, coffee, mascarpone cheese, Marsala and cocoa powder which Chef Phu has elevated further by serving in its own chocolate cup. Decadence. And finally, Mille-feuille which in French means “a thousand layers or leaves”. Layers of puff pastry filled with airy pastry cream, and in this version, topped with slices of fresh strawberries sitting on a plate decorated with a strawberry sauce and a delicate crumble.

COAST Beach Club & Bistro’s new menu offers something for every diner or appetite, and does that in a sophisticated yet relaxed way, just like the setting of the restaurant itself. The fresh flavours, the Mediterranean influences, fresh local seafood, and quality ingredients are at its core.

Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, or drop in for a refreshing drink and snack in-between times with friends or family. For more information or reservations, visit http://www.coast-beach-club.com/huahin/ While on the website, also check out their weekly promotions.

By Michael Cullen

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