Rustic Eatery & Bar, situated in a quiet little nook in Patong, offers stunning views of the sea and some of the best comfort food and pastries on the island!
This labor of love is the creation of two Le Cordon Bleu graduates – Executive Chef Nikola Lesar and Pastry Chef Chonthicha ‘Mook’ Surajaroenjai. With delectable menu items such as gnocchi with smoked pancetta and beer ragout, brick oven pizza like The Spaniard with chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes, rocket, Manchego Spanish cheese; and indulgent desserts such as spicy chocolate lava cake and Dulche de Leche & banana, Rustic has been wowing customers and creating a growing amount of street cred. in just six short months!
It’s the perfect place to bring a group of friends before a night out or for an intimate dinner for two, with a huge selection of cocktails, wines and craft beers. We were lucky enough to sit down with what was clearly the largest amount of food to try during a review yet!
As a starter, we were offered the incredibly light and refreshing pomelo and blue crab Vietnamese salad, with a nice citrus-crab balance and Vietnamese vinaigrette, which all melded beautifully with fresh Thai basil and mint leaves. This is a great dish to start any meal with, as it has a bit of a kick to it to wake up your taste buds. We then tried the almond and herb crusted salmon with charred corn puree and summer salad. The salmon was flaky and tender – a good combination with the delicious herb crust with hints of rosemary floating throughout. The corn puree was a genius combination, giving the dish a little more heft and a wonderful, almost nutty flavor that played beautifully with the almonds.
Next up was the incredible pork roast with mushrooms and creamy carrot puree.
This dish was so full of flavor. The tenderness of the pork happily played with an excellent contrast of tenderness from the mushrooms and the carrot puree was amazing. In fact, I am certain I told the chef that I would happily eat it out of a bowl on its own!
Slightly sweet and perfectly balancing the savory pork. And as if that weren’t enough to make our taste buds sing, we were served with two fresh brick oven pizzas – The Spaniard, as mentioned above, and the pineapple and smoked pancetta with red onion, basil and chili slices. Both were excellent, with the perfect amount of cheese, which is always important, and a beautiful crust. The Spaniard is a lovely combination of Spanish flavors with the salty, buttery-ness of the Manchego, the sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes, smokiness from the chorizo and the fresh crispness of the rocket. This pizza is definitely a must-try!
Of course we could not leave with out trying Chef Mook’s incredible pastries and desserts, and did we ever! Placed before us was a bevy of sweet dessert heaven!
Spanish churros, spicy chocolate lava cake, macaroons and Dulche de Leche and banana, just to name a few! I have had many desserts on the island, as you may know, but these were otherworldly. The churros are enough to make you want to Flamenco, and the lava cake has this beautiful nutty flavor, with a spicy kick at the end. Our favorite, however, was the Dulche de Leche and banana, almost too beautiful to eat. With a delectable caramel outside, cool creamy inside and a very delicate banana flavor, this is an absolute perfect way to end an unbelievable meal.
I bow down to Chef Mook and to Chef Nikola for perfectly integrating comfort food with a fine-dining twist, but still offering a comfortable home-style vibe to the restaurant.
I suppose one could call it ‘rustic’! With pizza, pasta, burgers, pastries, craft beer – Rustic really does have it all and does it well, which makes it an absolute must-try for any islander, tourist or expat wanting to know where to eat in Patong!