Arriving at the JW Marriott, Mai Khao Beach Phuket, just at the right time, to witness the beautiful oranges and reds of the stunning sunset. I am always amazed how beautiful the environment is there whether it’s daytime, evening or night. The environment is very peaceful and relaxing. Taking in all the great surroundings and landscape as I walk through the resort on the way to Andaman Grill Restaurant. Arriving at the restaurant, I was greeted with warm greetings and smiling faces. Upon entering I could sense a lot of excitement in the air. At the restaurant entrance, there is a gorgeous presentation of fresh seafood.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Executive Chef Dietmar Spitzer. Chef Spitzer was kind enough to spend some time telling me more about Andaman Grill. There is a big variety of meat imported from neighboring countries. They support the local community by incorporating local seafood from local farms. With Executive Chef Spitzer’s strong ties with chefs from other locations, JW Marriott has invited different chefs from around the world to come share their home styles with the Phuket community. Their idea is to create dishes and recipes that are always innovative and fresh, so the clients won’t get bored of eating the same dishes 365 days a year. He encourages his chefs to experiment with these different traditional styles and create new dishes for the Andaman Grill customers.
On this evening, Andaman Grill has invited Chef Eddy Leung all the way from Hong Kong for a one week event. Chef Lueng has put together a wonderful four course meal for the evening accompanied with four different wines to go along with each course. The first course is Lobster Tartare, served with Canadian Lobster, marinated yellow fin tuna, Tsar caviar and Yamagata pear. The second course is Salmon Confit, slow cooked at 48C with salmon roe and champagne crème. The third course is the main entrée, with a choice of either Beef Cheek and Tenderloin or Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb, both cooked over a 12 hour period. The beef is a Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin served with Port Wine Jus. The lamb is lamb shoulder, Ratatouille, served with Rosemary Jus. The fourth course is the dessert, a homemade Coconut Ice Cream with glazed pineapple and fresh vanilla.
The excitement began to grow as they brought out the Lobster Tartare. It was a wonderful presentation of lobster and yellow fin tuna topped off with Tsar caviar. I took my first bite and it was heaven! The lobster tasted amazing! I took my time to savior every last bite. The margination of the tuna was phenomenal! Of all the outstanding dishes, this was one of my personal favorites of the night.
After the Lobster Tartare, came the Salmon Confit. The method in which it is cooked a first glance appears to look uncooked. However, after first taste, the salmon is cooked to perfection. The 48dC slow cook allows the salmon to cook perfectly even and delivers a wonderful taste which is to die for. After the first two dishes I couldn’t wait for the main course.
I had the privilege of trying both the Beef Cheek and tenderloin, as well as the Lamb shoulder. I was not disappointed. The beef was so tender that it almost melted in my mouth. It was so soft and flavorful, I didn’t even need a knife to cut into it. I could tell it was perfectly cooked by how juicy and tender it was. The lamb was amazing as well! The way they marinate and prepare the lamb before the slow cook, definitely comes out in the final piece. It had such rich flavor and tenderness, simply marvelous!
Then the final piece to end an already unbelievable dinner, the dessert! The Coconut Ice Cream presentation was a very creative depiction of Chef Lueng’s interpretation of Phuket. Inset on top of the scoop of ice cream, was a dried caramelized slice of pineapple, intended to mimic the sunset at dawn along the Phuket horizon. I’ve had coconut ice cream before, I’ve had pineapple with ice cream before and I’ve had caramel ice cream before. But, I have never had the ingredients introduced this way before. The dried caramelized pineapple was a mix of crunchy along with soft coconut ice cream. A blend of wonderful flavors to end a fantastic meal.
Chef Leung was a very wonderful person. He took the time in between courses to come check on all the guests and get their feedback. He spoke to every table one at a time and gave the background about each creation as well as his background and experiences. He posed for photos with guests and posed for photos along with his dishes.
Overall, it was a very wonderful night! A night full of fantastic food and great hosting!
Written By Bodhi, E-Table Asia