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The Cliff first opened its doors on April the 15th 2004, over a decade ago, and in doing so set the bench mark for restaurants in Koh Samui. Perhaps the success of The Cliff is down to the fact that Spain and Italy were scoured prior to its opening to ensure the right combination of herbs, spices, olive oils and herbs were discovered, perhaps it’s the organically grown handpicked herbs and vegetables along with fresh catch seafood here in Samui that is used, perhaps it’s down to the use of some of the best meats the world has to offer, flown in chilled on a weekly basis from Australia, it could be the exceptionally high level of preparation, daily attention to detail, dishes being prepared b y some of the best chefs the world has to offer or the view that would knock the socks of even the most seasoned traveler, it’s success is likely down to all of these components and you have to admit, it’s a winning combination.
Perched on the edge of a cliff, as the name suggests, the view from the restaurant is spectacular as you look out over huge natural boulders to where land and ocean meet as the waves crash onto the rugged shoreline and in contrast to the right, a picture postcard bay. The restaurant itself offers an attractive appeal with its roadside terrace, sixty seat interior complete with Mediterranean style terrazzo flooring and colourful Portuguese prints on the walls. There is a stunning outdoor terrace with more of those incredible, uninterrupted views and a fabulous air-conditioned lounge with colour changing lighting that really comes into its own after dark.
The quality of the cuisine at The Cliff is no secret to anybody on our shores, one of the reasons for its popularity is the all day eatery and fabulous tapas menu that offers culinary treasures from our and others shores. Heading the team is Italian Chef Sergio Martelli, who has worked at some of the best restaurants the world has to offer, and it is his input that brings the hint of sophistication you will find in many of the pasta dishes on the menu.
Of course there is a downside to even the most incredible experience the world and the island have to offer, the down side here is agonizing over a menu that is bursting with tantalizing and tempting dishes to the point where moving in for a few weeks and sampling everything on the menu seems to be the only option.
The journey through the agony of choice starts with the tapas menu that includes vegetarian dishes such as Aceitunas Marinadas A La Espanola – delicious homemade Spanish Marinated Black Olives, the irresistible Salada Mediterranea Con Queso Espanol De Oveja Manchego – Mediterranean salad with Spanish sheep Manchego cheese. Meat lovers will go wild over the multi award winning Iberian Ham and Imported Spanish dry cured Jamon Serrano not to mention the Spanish Pamplona Chorizo! Those with a taste for some seriously flavorsome lamb would be well advised to try the Australian Lamb skewers served with yoghurt mint sauce and if the fruits of the sea get your juices flowing then tiger prawns, Galican octopus, calamari, and US king scallops, marinated Basque anchovies, imported NZ mussels all wait your indulgence combined with the freshest of ingredients and the tastiest of sauces.
If you think the dilemma stops there you are in serious trouble, the A La Carte Menu is equally temping with mixed, Caesar, Greek, Mediterranean, Warm Chicken, Caprese and Tuna salads to choose from, breads, bread sticks, brushcetta, imported olives, soups, gambas, curried prawns from Goa, imported Australian Carpaccio, Imported Parma ham and live imported Oysters shucked and served fresh all shouting temptingly at you.
The catch of the day is always grilled to perfection and served with The Cliff Italian lemon and herb sauce and served with Spanish rice or French fries and salad. The NZ mussels are served in a creamy white wine sauce and cooked to a traditional Portuguese recipe. The Lemon and herb prawns are a house favorite and the Grilled imported (live) Canadian Lobster is rather beyond description in terms of visual appeal and flavor. Choosing from such a vast array of such fresh seafood can be rather daunting at this hill top tale of culinary magic, however there is a solution, the Zarzuela De Marisco for two seafood platter that arrive with Imported live Atlantic Lobster that have been picked fresh from the tank and grilled to perfection with mixture of secret herbs and spices, US King Scallops that have been pan fried and then topped with Parmesan cheese,, NZ Mussels served with The Cliff’s famous creamy white wine sauce, pan fried Calamari with The Cliff’s signature garlic and herb sauce, perfectly cooked prawns with an Italian lemon and herb sauce and fresh lime fish grilled in lemon and herb sauce as well as Spanish rice, salad and French fries, it goes without saying that each element in this platter to end all platter has been cooked to perfection, perfectly seasoned, perfectly balanced and is complimented beautifully with the accompanying Piri Piri, Garlic and Tartar sauces. For those with a smaller appetite the exciting range of seafood combos are sure to equally delight.
As well as incredible seafood the Cliff offer Portuguese Piri Piri, Italian lemon and herb, honey mustard and Thai Salsa chicken, a superb range of imported Australian steaks and imported NZ lamb chops, a gastronomic range of pasta dishes created with finesse and flair and some rather impressively decadent, but rather fattening desserts, as well as a cheese platter.
The drinks menu is just as you would expect it to be in a restaurant of this quality and offers a refreshing range of both local and imported beers, an impressively chosen range of wines and champagnes, fruit juices and shakes, lassies, spirits, a superb selection of shots, a vast range of temping cocktails and liquors, teas and coffees.
If you fancy something a little more upbeat than the normal, well chosen, background music then head up to The Cliff on a Friday or Saturday nights when you an impress your ears as much as your taste buds with the talents of some of the best musicians, DJ’s and artist the island has to offer entertain you.
The team at The Cliff have really got perfection down to a fine art, with this in mind it is really unsurprising they won the 2014 Wine Spectator award of excellence or Thailand’s best restaurants awards in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014, among others.
If you enjoy fine cuisine cooked with flair and passion, enjoy spectacular views, staff that treat you like royalty while at the same time not being the least bit invasive, daily specials, creative dishes cooked with hand selected ingredients, beautiful surroundings and a top of the range dining experience then it really is time you visited The Cliff, the restaurant with a well deserved reputation for excellence.
For more information visit The Cliff website by clicking here