Aug 21 2013

Review: The Cliff, Lamai, Ko Samui

Published by at 12:45 pm under Food


As it suggests, The Cliff Bar & Grill is perched atop a cliff overlooking the small coves before Lamai when travelling from Chaweng. And if it’s a classic island view for lunch you’re after, you couldn’t pick a better spot.

View from the office lunch.

View from the office lunch.

On a cloudless day, the water is an intense turquoise, dotted with bright kayaks paddling in the calm waters and local fishing boats in blue, red and orange. Visit during the evening when the moon is full, and you’re rewarded with an equally inspiring view as the moon is reflected in the ocean, adding a halo to the palm trees and fishing boats.

Luckily, this spot isn’t just about the view, and you get efficient service and fantastic food to match. If it’s Thai food you’re after – go elsewhere (read up on where here). The Cliff is an old Samui favourite for Western food, specifically with a Mediterranean twist, and our firm favourite is the lunchtime tapas menu.

The Spanish know how to do lunch.

The Spanish know how to do lunch.

The look of the restaurant is elegant yet relaxed. Dress code is casual – we’re on an island after all. Guests can make use of the 28-seater deck overlooking the bay (book in advance, as tables fill up quickly) or the air-conditioned dining room with expansive windows that make the most of the view. Inside, the dining lounge is light and airy, with dark-wood tables, terrazzo floors, bamboo ceilings with slowly whirling fans, quirky artwork and oversized tropical flower arrangements. The cigar bar and lounge is a great place to while-away the time over a cocktail or good glass of wine. Friday and Saturday nights have live music from 20:00.

Tender calamari with tangy tartar sauce. Yum.

Tender calamari with tangy tartar sauce. Yum.

The lighter tapas menu is ideal for lunch or early evenings, with dishes priced around 180 to 300 baht on average. The Mediterranean salad with manchego cheese and sun-dried tomatoes is delicious, as is the Spanish tortilla with aioli sauce. There’s a selection of imported Spanish hams and chorizo, as well as house-marinated Spanish black olives. Seafood plays a big part in any tapas menu, and here, the deep-fried calamari is a winner.

Who said a salad can't be a meal on it's own?

Who said a salad can’t be a meal on its own?

The main menu has a distinct Italian flavour, including a great selection of breads made on site. The menu has a good selection of appetisers and salads (260 to 450 baht), including Portuguese piri piri prawns – not for the faint-hearted. Main courses offer a selection for all tastes, from fresh seafood to chicken as well as Australian beef and New Zealand lamb, plus pastas. Although prices are not cheap compared to Thai eateries on the island, they compare favourably to what you’d find in a good restaurant in the West. Main courses average 600 to 700 baht, excluding steaks and the fancier seafood options. Price aside, if you’re looking for a good venue to impress, and need a break from Thai food, you can’t go wrong with The Cliff.

The Cliff, Lamai
Ring Road (between Chaweng Noi and Coral Cove, well signposted)
T: (077) 448 508
www.cliffsamui.com

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