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Stacked is a contemporary diner at OZO in Chaweng. This fabulous venue has been brought to life with unique creative touches you won’t find anywhere else on the island.
The restaurant is not officially open yet, however the Samui Times managed to explore the Stacked dining experience at their trial run dinner on Tuesday 27th of May.
We arrived at the restaurant to a very warm greeting from a delightful hostess who very efficiently checked our booking and led us to our outdoor table. We were immediately impressed by the atmosphere, the raised elevation of the restaurant gave us a bird’s eye view of Chaweng high street, so we could indulge in a spot of people watching without feeling we were in the middle of it. The table lights give enough light to see the menu while still maintaining an intimate and rather funky atmosphere, the well placed fans are out of sight but effectively cool you down without blowing you away and the enjoyable music plays at a volume that is enjoyable without interrupting your conversation. The stylish décor and chic environment is very enjoyable and I was particularly impressed with how comfortable the chairs are.
Our waiter and his assistant introduced themselves gave us the menus and provided us with ice cold glasses of water and a refreshing towel.
I was glad we had the water, it gave us something to sip on while we endlessly deliberated over the drinks menu. There is so much to choose from and some fabulous cocktails I have never seen before.
To start off with, as a wine lover, I was very happy to see the house wine was at an affordable price, the local beers also come in at a price you would not expect to find in the centre of Chaweng in a plush dining establishment that is part of an up-market resort. Being a lover of beer as well as wine I was tempted by a bottle of Old Crafty Hen as well as the Pure Blonde Low Carb, Hoegaarden, Hofbrau Weiss, Dunkel and Stella Artois which in this case was really not “reassuringly expensive” as their old advert used to boast. I scanned over the bitters, sherry, porto, spirits and liqueurs, my eyes were then drawn to the superb selection of single malt scotches, another favorite tipple of mine, I was then drawn to the cocktail menu that had some serious temptations going on. The Stacked cocktails focus on high quality fresh ingredients, and as well as the classics there is a great choice of strong and aromatic combinations. The Island Fashioned is an incredible combination of bourbon, angostura bitters, lemongrass syrup, galangal, finger root, chili, hairy basil and a sugar cube. We simply had to try that one. I have to give away a secret of mine here, I have always had a bit of a thing about olive brine and have often suck a few teaspoons out of the olive jar, but I didn’t realize that it was used in cocktails until I saw Sand – simply gin and olive brine that is, well, divine. I was also wholly tempted by the Bacon Stacked Bloody Mary – Sweet pepper vodka, angostura bitters, Cambell’s tomato juice, lemon juice, horseradish and salt flakes! However in the end I decided to test out the Margartia that comes with Himalayan Pink Rock Salt, it was mind blowing
If Strong and Aromatic is not really your thing then I recommend the fresh and full cocktails such as the Stacked and Stacked – Pandan rum, lime juice, pineapple juice and palm syrup and the Smooth Sailing – vodka, fresh sweet green mango juice pineapple juice, lime juice and grenadine. And if you don’t do alcohol then the Baby Stacked – fresh green mango juice, orange juice, lime juice and grenadine or One Watermelon – fresh watermelon cubes, lime juice and thinned honey.
After long deliberation we ordered our drinks, marveled at the funky ashtrays that keep the ash from blowing around, tucked into the huge pile of popcorn and nibbled on the big jar of pickles that very quickly arrived at our table along with our drinks and a delicious array of fresh breads and herb butter.
If we thought ordering drinks was hard work with such a superb choice we were in serious trouble as our attentions turned to the food menu. After being given some recommendations by our very attentive waiter we started out on the gastronomic journey of choice.
The first dish on the menu grabbed my attention, Laab Tod, I am a huge fan of a Laab but the Greek Tower of baby lettuce, flat bread, olives, feta, pickles, spiced pine nuts and preserved lemon vinaigrette soon took my attention elsewhere, as did the Steak Tartare, Prawns on the Green – tempura jumbo prawns, apple, celery, toasted cashews, butter, lettuce and wasabi lime aioli, but in the end I could not resist the Chicken Wings with Traditional Spicy Buffalo Sauce with Blue Cheese, although the Boubon BBQ with Buttermilk Ranch was also very temping. My partner ordered the Chili Cheese despite being known for his small appetite and the fact the dish is designed for two! When it arrived it may as well have been designed for four, the portion was huge and contained a heady combination of straight cut, shoestring and curly fries with chili con carne, jalapenos, salsa verde and tons of melted cheddar, every mouthful offered a different flavor combination and a plethora of superb tastes, this is the ultimate comfort food and it comes in at less than three hundred baht. The chicken wings were plump, succulent, cooked to perfection and served with celery sticks, carrot sticks and the most delicious blue cheese sauce that comes in a cute jar that I shocked the staff by ramming my fingers in to ensure I got every last tasty morsel, I was close to eating the jar itself but thankfully the table was cleared before I embarrassed myself any further.
The four on the table next to us seemed to be devouring their shared starter with an enthusiasm that equaled mine, they had ordered a dish called simply Share that has tempura prawns, lab tod, curly fries, 2 styles of wings, thod man pla, triple dipped onion rings and a mad amount of dips and sauces in those cute little jars. I am also very sure the couple on the Chargrilled Tomato Soup and the Jar of Oxtail broth that contains Chester stix and black truffle were enjoying their starters as much as the rest of us if the noises they were making were anything to go by, I am assuming there was nothing inappropriate going on under the table.
Feeling, well, pardon the pun but, Stacked, we were wondering if ordering main courses had turned out to be such a great idea, but it was too late to turn back especially as the main course selection had been as hard to choose from as the starter menu.
The main course dilemma starts with Signature Burgers that come with slaw and a choice of fries on every plate. Of course the classics are there with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle and the addition of smoky bacon and white cheddar if you so wish however, it is hard to keep your eyes off the Aristocrat that comes with wagyu beef, foie gras, chanterelles, beetroot, rocket, brioche bun, truffle butter and demi-glace, or the Flavor with a beef burger, gorgonzola, pancetta, spinach, mushrooms, multigrain bun, salad and lemon shallot butter or indeed the Drive-In with a beef burger, chili con carne, cheddar cheese, pickled jalapenos and stacked sauce on a sourdough bun. If like me you love lamb the Kiwi will draw your attention, with its tender NZ lamb burger, beetroot, pineapple, salad, white cheddar, sizzled egg, stacked sauce and sourdough bun. If you are not a fan of red meat the Yah Habibi has crispy chicken, cucumber, mint, pickles, tomato a chili lime bun and garlic sauce. If you like it hot the Red Hot with its Thai spiced pork patty, spicy salad, chili lime bun, sizzled egg and Sriracha aioli won’t disappoint. Another great choice is the Samui Bad Boy with pulled pork, Bourbon BBQ, cheddar, jalapenos, salad, salsa verde on a ciabatta bun. If fish is more to your taste try the Pla with lobster, crab, salmon, gremolata, chili, watercress, tomato, sweet pepper remoulade on a lemon parsley bun and if you are vegetarian then get your teeth into the Pretender with crispy eggplant, simple tomato, buffalo mozzarella, caramelized onion jam and rocket on a ciabatta bun and if you are, well, plain greedy then take on the Stacked with a double beef patty, double bacon, double cheese and double dressing on a single bun!
Of course there is more than just posh burgers on this menu, the Maine Lobster char grilled with lemon shallot butter, twice baked potato, grilled sourdough and crispy greens was being devoured to murmurings of “I am in heaven” noises on the table next to us along with the Paparadelle with taleggio cream, black truffle, fennel sausage and wilted rocket. The Surf and Turf comes with 250g of Alberta Black Angus strip loin and ½ a Maine Lobster with twice backed potato, crisp greens, grilled lemon, demi-glace and lemon shallot butter, and another temptation for us was the 2x Duck with pan roasted breast and confit leg with white bean puree, natural jus, wilted rocket and sourdough spoon bread. However I could not resist the Black Cod that is baked in parchment paper with fresh herbs, white wine, new potatoes, lemon butter and grilled asparagus, it is a masterpiece, light, fresh and a great choice when you are already stuffed from your starter. My partner had the beef cheeks, a heavenly combination of 2day braise beef, cheddar chive mashed potatoes, root vegetables and natural jus, I will let you into a secret, this tasted even better the next day, haven been beaten by portion sizes and given a doggy bag for our sins.
The steaks are also a huge hit at Stacked you can choose from Wagyu, Filet Mignon, T-bone, Strip Loin or Wagyu Tomahawk with blue cheese, butter, sweet corn, grilled onions, cheddar, chive mashed potato, demi-glace, crispts, greens and sourdough spoon bread on every plate. If you have room for more I highly recommend the Parmesan truffle fries, shallot garlic confit toast and purple yam crisps that can be found among other tempting sides.
We felt pretty bad ordering a dessert after the doggy bag incident, and had no intention of until we spied the Brownie Sandwich with double churned vanilla bourbon ice cream, we wished we had not to be honest, it is not a big portion it is a gargantuan and well worth eating until you feel sick, seriously delicious. Other desserts include the PB&J – chocolate truffle & peanut butter ice creams with berry jam and cinnamon sugar brioche, Warm Apple Crumble, Candy Cheesecake, Oreo Cookie Trifle and a great selection of ice creams.
I am generally not one for predictions but I have to say that, having had the pleasure of eating at many of the best restaurants on the island, Stacked is very soon going to join the ranks of the best of the best. Not only for its superb dishes, fresh food, impressive cocktails, wonderful atmosphere and easy to get to location, but because of the highly trained staff who make you feel like VIP every moment you spend under their exceptional care and attention. I also predict that even though this restaurant has a large seating capacity both in and outdoors it won’t be long before you have to book a table if the quality and service we received continues.
To find out more about Ozo and stacked you can visit their website by clicking here
Tel phone – 077 915 222 opening hours 05.00pm – 01.00am