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As the paradise island of Koh Samui has grown and developed it has won its rightful place in the hearts of visitors from around the globe. Attracted by its laid back ambiance, friendly faces, beaches, wide variety of accommodation and more recently for its solid stamp on the culinary map many return to the island year after year.
One of the most popular spots among residents and visitors alike is The Shack – a long and well established steak house that proved to be a big hit from the second its doors opened many moons ago in the romantic Fishermans village of Bophut.
The Shack is often referred to by locals and returning residents as ‘Larry’s’ in honor of the New Yorker who created it. When the Shack first appeared it very quickly became one of the most memorable dining experiences on the island back in the day where the now plentiful high end dining experiences were rather thin on the ground. Larry’s combination of high end dining in laid back surroundings with the sounds of Jazz and the aromas of top quality steaks on the grill was an instant hit, and his recipe for success has kept the tables full to this day.
Sadly the island lost Larry in August last year, but thanks to John and Johan his legend lives on.
Little has changed since Larry’s passing at the now world famous Shack, the enticing smell of the grill still fills the air as do the familiar Jazz tunes everybody associates with this unique dining experience. Pleasingly many of the original staff still work their magic and seem to effortlessly attend to your every need, often anticipating exactly what you require before you became aware you needed anything.
The saying ‘do not fix what is not broken’ certainly applies here, however, while John and Johan are pretty much sticking to the blueprint of success that Larry created a few tweaks have been made to simply fine tune the fabulous Shack dining experience. The portions are now a little larger, especially the lamb chops that are now somewhat plumper and rather more indulgent and what will be music to the ear of wine lovers is that the price of the vino has dropped quite considerably. The will chosen wine list represents every new world wine region as well as the more traditional regions. A splash of paint has brightened the place up and for those who knew Larry and can’t quite imagine the place without him a warming reminder has been created called Larry’s corner that honors the colorful character who is so sadly missed.
A great way to start the evening at the Shack is at the spacious bar, here you can enjoy ice cold beer, a glass of wine or some spectacular cocktails created with the sort of generous pour you will not find in other establishments. Sex on the Beach, Sex with the Bar Tender and the Mohito’s are extremely popular choices. The Shack has is becoming increasing popular as a watering hole these days for those who don’t feel like dining and it is really not hard to figure out why. The management and the staff offer a superbly warm welcome and those who have already discovered the bar certainly know how to make residents and visitors feel right at home and instantly part of the family.
When it comes to dining there is plenty to choose from. The starter menu offers a myriad of delights from around the globe starting of course kicking off with the unforgettable Shack Ribs. When it comes to prawns The Shack has hit the jackpot with these fresh gems from the sea, delight is guaranteed whether you choose to enjoy your prawns as a cocktail, with garlic butter or wrapped in bacon with delectable Pernod sauce that also perfectly complements the Shack Mussels. Lovers of le fruit de mare will no doubt find further delight in the Seared Alaskan sea scallops with butter garlic sauce, Smoked salmon, Tempura prawns or squid and the fabulous Shack style crab cakes. For those whose tastes lean more towards the indulgent the Oysters Rockefeller or Oysters Kilpatrick will not fail to impress, along with the Tequila laced seafood ceviche with pawns, scallops and fish. Diners who enjoy something rather more carnivorous can choose from a delicious Steak tartare created with prime tenderloin, Larry’s homemade Chilli Con Carne served in a cup and Grilled chicken wings. The vegetarians among us can choose from Humus and eggplant dip with pita bread or the delightful Grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon. Salads of course are plentiful at The Shack – Mixed house, Greek, Classic Caesar, Thai Seafood, Shack Beef, Nigel’s Mediterranean, Greek topped with scallops and prawns and Chilled sliced rib eye, regular or Thai style are all lovingly created with only the finest and freshest of ingredients. If you enjoy a truly shared dining experience then the Mexican Tapas, Meat and Cheese platters make an excellent choice.
The main course dishes at The Shack are all served with your choice of Shack garlic mash, baked potato or fries, coleslaw and a choice of red wine, peppercorn, mushroom, butter and garlic or blue cheese sauce. Additional sides include sauté potatoes with bacon, grilled asparagus, sauté mushrooms and onions, sauté spinach with garlic, sauté broccoli and cauliflower, sauté buttered carrots, veg medley, Homemade Shack coleslaw and Corn on the Cob as well as garlic and Shack special brochette with mozzarella cheese.
So what is cooking on the grill? Well Australian prime rib eye and tenderloin fillets are flown in chilled not frozen for your pleasure along with a monster 500 grams T-bone steak and US certified Black Anugs and Wagyu tenderloin fillet. The lamb and pork chops are of course grilled to perfection as are the chicken breasts. The Alaskan King Crab legs will appeal to those who enjoy the deadliest catch, the Alaskan sea scallops steamed with ginger and spring onion make another excellent choice. Other seafood options include Fresh snapper fillet steamed or Thai style, seared Saku tuna, Seared Norwegian Salmon fillet with mango salsa and BBQ king prawns, mixed seafood grill and from the cold deep waters of Japan Hokkaido Sweet Sea Scallops.
If the agonizing choice between land and sea is too much then the Surf and Turf dishes are a good compromise with an appetizing Australian striploin and King prawns or the up market version that comes with healthy portions of Wagyu beef, with whole Maine lobster, Tiger prawns and scallop.
Assuming you have cleverly left room for some tempting desserts the agonizing choice is between Mom’s Apple pie with ice cream, a devilishly decadent Hot brownie with cream, a rich and creamy Blueberry cheesecake, a sexy and indulgent Deep chocolate cake with ice cream and cream, a rich Nutellotto cake or a lively ice cream sundae. Of course if you are counting the calories you may wish to finish off with a fresh and juicy tropical fruit platter or perhaps the Shack Cheese Platter if you are not watching your waistline.
And what better way to finish off your lavish dining experience than over a specialty coffee or glass of port or a desert wine.
It has to be said that The Shack remains one of the most popular dining experiences on the island with a well deserved reputation for excellence and while so much on the island has changed it is good to know that the familiar surroundings of this unique and delectable restaurant remains to transport you back to the moments you have most cherished on Samui’s sunny shores.
Feel free to visit their website to learn more about The Shack and how best to contact them for reservations by clicking here.
The Shack is open from 5-30pm until 10-30, booking is highly recommended.