Isaac Chen along with his business partner Doreen have been successfully operating this wonderful gem of a restaurant for just over eighteen months now. Located not far from the bustling new complex of The Wharf in Fisherman’s Village, Febulous Courtyard offers a quite unique dining experience. In a highly competitive market and with a multitude of places to dine Febulous Courtyard has the distinction of being the only restaurant on the island to specialise in Singaporean cuisine.
A quite delightful entranceway of well tended and magically lit gardens leads onto a spacious deck where patrons can admire the calm surroundings overlooking a placid waterlilly strewn lake. Should you wish, Febulous Courtyard also has a thoughtfully appointed air conditioned dining room that, given the huge walls of glass, blends seemlessly with the outside area. There is also an unobtrusive raised stage where local bands play on a regular basis, on the night we visited Samui favourites, ‘Sticky Rice’ were performing a wide range of classic hits setting the ambience with remarkable professionalism. A well stocked bar offers a fine selection of beers, wines and spirits, and in particular, a fine array of world class Whiskies to surely please any connoisseur of the genre and a very extensive signature cocktail menu included in which is the original ‘Raffles’ recipe for the illustrious and legendary Singapore Sling.
Singapore’s multi-cultural origins have led to a diverse range of ingredients being adopted and adapted in various guises. In Singapore, food is viewed as crucial to national identity and is a unifying cultural thread. The influences of generations of Malay and Chinese cooking styles have led Chef Na to create a truly ‘Febulous’ selection of inspirational dishes, just perusing the menu he has thoughtfully put together gets the mouth watering. All of the products are locally sourced and chosen with care by Na to present the freshest and tastiest ingredients available to his guests, only the herbs and spices so unique to Singaporean cuisine are flown in especially.
Rather than using the blunt term starters, the menu at Febulous Courtyard opens with Heritage Bites, a very apt phrase indeed considering the long history of Singapore’s food culture. The Kong Bak Bao, braised pork belly in sweet soy sauce with Coriander was a truly melt in the mouth experience and the Chilli crab Mantou, hand picked crab meat in chilli sauce served on a toasted bun was a magnificent combination of delicate flavours subtly enhanced by chilli spice. Other options available include; Har Jeong Kai, a crispy shrimp paste marinated chicken with lime and sesame sauce; Red Tom Yum, a Singapore style hot and sour soup; and Chef Na’s own Satay recipe for either chicken or pork skewers. The main course or ‘Large Plate’ menu is just as equally tempting; King Prawn Laksa, a typical dish of plump flavoursome prawns seved on a bed of a rice noodles, beansprouts and Tau Pok (deep fried tofu); Bah Ku Teh, succulent pork ribs with mushrooms infused with chinese herbs. Perhaps the most well known dishes on the menu are the redoubtable Singapore Chilli Crab and Pepper Crab. There is no really elegant method of eating these whole crabs and half the pleasure is just to get down and dirty and literally crack on. The pepper crab, Blue Swimmer in this instance, was sumptuously tender and the judicious use of fresh peppercorns in the sauce balanced well with the delicate shellfish meat. Our other choice was the line caught Sea Bass fillets, sauteed with a blend of herbs that flaked apart with the merest touch of a fork and once again it was more than evident that Chef Na has a very real understanding of how to get the best from his products, simple clean flavours prepared honestly.
The Febulous team have pulled out all the stops to enhance your visit, residents receive a ten percent discount, drinks specials are frequently available and this coming month of December they will be promoting various whisky based cocktails at competitive prices. They also offer party buffet packages for staff or private parties and will soon be introducing corporate team buildng events led by their dynamic and highly motivated sales team.
If you are a fan of Singaporean cuisine or have perhaps not had the opportunity to try it before, I cannot recommend highly enough a visit to Febulous Courtyard to experince the delights available in one of the most harmonious dining environments on Samui.
Neil Cretney.Stay updated with Samui Times by following us on Facebook.
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