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Opened just over two years ago this wonderfully appointed Australian steak house has become a well established favourite among both tourists and ex-pat diners alike. The Squires Loft franchise began operations in 1995 in Melbourne, and have since grown into a hugely popular chain consisting of seventeen restaurants in their country of origin. The brave decision to branch out here on Samui has resulted in great success as patrons embrace this tried and trusted formula, where diners are offered consistently top quality products and delightful surroundings, certain in the knowledge that the creators of this franchise had only their clients best interests at heart.
The Samui Squires Loft is located in the picturesque and well frequented Fishermans Village in a quite stupendous location just across the road from the shimmering azure waters of Bophut bay. The large open indoor dining area has been thoughtfully and well decorated offering an almost colonial feel with warm dark wood panelling, bespoke tiling and luxuriously verdent tropical plants tastefully placed throughout. With such a generous space to work with even when the restaurant is busy clients are not crammed together as the tables have been arranged to allow more than adequate room to feel relaxed and comfortable. A spaciously paved outdoor terrace flows off the main dining room where larger gatherings of clients can enjoy the views across to the ocean and kick back with a pre dinner cocktail from the extensive bar menu whilst appreciating the music of live bands who perform here on a regular basis.
We were greeted by the affable and smiling Chit, one of the extremely well trained and guest conscious Thai waiters and waitresses who are all well versed in hospitality and knowledge of the choice products available on the menu. Choosing a very palatable dry Martini and a properly sour and zingy Margharita we were introduced to the three owners who run this restaurant with professionalism and expertise. George Piloglou is the executive chef bringing his extensive knowledge and experience from steakhouses across Australia and the two restaurant managers Michael and George who run the front of house operation with skill and dexterity and for whom nothing is too much trouble when it comes to guest satisfaction.
With this restaurant being part of a well respected franchise, all the items on the menu have been carefully standardized, from the twenty eight day grain fed beef from the lush grasslands around the state of Victoria to the well conceived choice of bastes and sauces for which Squires Loft are renowned. This business method avoids the often frustrating hit and miss perils of unknown suppliers or lack of product availabilty allowing the Squires Loft team to consistently provide the very freshest and tastiest food possible.
To start our culinary adventure Chef George recommended the mixed dip platter, unctuous concotions comprising; homemade Tzatsiki, smooth Eggplant and a creamy Hummus served with piping hot, crisp, yet yielding slices of Pitta bread. A wonderful trio to awaken the palate for what is to come. The other recommendation for a starter was the Mixed Entree Platter which included two generous racks of slow simmered, seven day basted pork ribs that literally fell off the bone, two Wagyu beef sausages with a firm, moist consistency that had been delicately flavoured with a mix of herbs and spices to magnificently enhance the inherent flavour of this king of meats. The succulently fresh skewer of barbecued prawns and the Fetta cheese stuffed mushroom bake made up the remainder of this sumptuous platter that proved more than adequate for two people as a starter.
For the main event we chose the Porterhouse (sirloin) steak and the duo of grilled Lamb chops. It is evident that one of the keys to the success of Squires Loft is the unique baste that not only flavours but additionally tenderizes the meat on which it is used. The three hundred gramme Porterhouse, one of several choice cuts avilable; Rump, Fillet, T-Bone, Black Angus rib eye and Scotch was an extraordinarily tender steak that barely needed a knife to cut it and the full beef flavour was only intensified by the subtle baste that works so well.
The Australian raised Lamb chops, equally having been basted before being flame grilled to perfection, were juicy and mouthwateringly flavoursome served with a piquante mint sauce. Both dishes were complemented with a choice of the ubiquitous Squires Loft sauces from which we chose the Black pepper, Blue cheese and Garlic varieties. These sauces are so good that had I not been shown that, like the steaks themselves, they come pre packaged and vacuum sealed , I would have believed them to have been freshly made by the Chef on the premises that very day, honestly, that good.
In summing up our experience at Squires Loft the overiding running theme here is generosity. The generosity of the warm friendly welcome, generosity of space in the fabulously appointed dining areas and the generosity of three owners who, it is quite evident, are clearly committed to excellence across the board. There is just one more to add to this list, the generosity of the servings, I would highly recommend a light lunch before embarking on an evening’s gastronomic tour of the wonderfully and uniquely Australian menu available at Squires Loft.
Throughout the months of October and November on Tuesday evenings, along with the usual 15% discount for residents, Squires Loft will offer guests a free glass of wine from their well stocked and varied wine cellar, or a beer to accompany their meal. Need any more incentive?