Samui Wining & Dining
Bliss at H-Bistro

Exploring an inventive French-Mediterranean menu.

 

6-7One of the main attractions on Samui is the 'walking street' of Fisherman's Village in Bophut. Almost everyone you see on this street will be carrying one thing – a smile. There are, after all, plenty of pleasurable things to see and do. And, if you take a minute’s stroll down to the end of this street, you will land up at a castle of happiness – Hansar Samui.

      'Hansar', meaning happiness in the Sanskrit language, is an ideal name for this 5-star hotel and resort on Bophut Bay. The minimalistic design here gives you space, literally and figuratively, to relax, and enjoy your stay. The joy of simple things, you will concur, precedes all.

      Each of the rooms has a direct sea view – they have 74 of them in all, some looking right on to the beach. If you stay in one of their deluxe rooms, you may get lost in the artsy oversize bed, or the super-sized sunny balcony.

      The all-day dining restaurant here, H-Bistro, is classy. Bamboo lamps are lit up at sunset, and there's relaxing lounge music to go along with the tropical cocktails. You can sip your drink at their beach bar by the pool, or watch the beautiful sunset from their open-air lounge one level up, called The Chill Lounge, for an unobstructed panoramic sea view. H-Bistro offers Thai specialities with a contemporary twist, seafood, and French-Mediterranean inventive cuisine.

     Executive Chef, Stephen Jean Dion, from Montreal, Canada, has created an excellent menu that uses the highest quality ingredients from around the world. Stephen once used to be the private chef to the King of Jordan, catering to the royal family.

      Stephen's latest creations here include the ‘Spiced Vandouvan Red Emperor Filet, Dutch White Asparagus, Artichoke Poivrade, Young Spinach, Leek Saffron-Vin Jaune Veloute.’

       Red emperor is a marine fish often found around coral reefs, off the Australian coast. It is caught by trawling, droplines, handlines and longlines. It has a medium flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-textured white, flaky flesh with few large bones, which are easily removed.

         Vandouvan is a ready-to-use blend of spices used in gourmet cooking; a derivative of Indian curry blended with a French influence, a masala with added spices such as shallots and garlic.

         Then there’s Vin Jaune, a special type of white wine from the Jura region of eastern France. It combines well with velvety leek and saffron flavoured veloute.

         Next, the purple artichoke of Provence, also called a ‘poivrade’ when smaller. It's found in southern France, Spain and Italy. Petit violet artichoke, a staple of southern French cuisine, is the smallest of all artichokes. It is also the most distinctive, with a conical shape and tender violet-tinged leaves, providing a sweet nutty flavour. Another delight from the chef's specials is the ‘Squab Anjou Breast, Norwegian Scampi, Piment D’espelette Pepper, Xemerez- Spinola Reduction and Passion Fruit Essence.’

         Squab, from the region of Anjou in France, is a delicacy; it is tender, moist and richer in taste than many commonly consumed poultry meats, but there is relatively little meat per bird, the meat being concentrated in the breast. Squab is dark meat, and the skin is fatty, like that of duck.

         It is lean, easily digestible, and rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins. It has a silky texture, as it is tender and fine-grained. It has been described as having a mild berry flavour. Squab's flavour lends itself to complex red or white wine.

         Nordic Scampi, on the other hand, is a name for various culinary preparations of certain crustaceans, commonly the Norway lobster. These are roughly the size of a large crayfish and fished from silty bottom regions of the open Atlantic Ocean, and parts of the Mediterranean. The fleshy tail is closer in both taste and texture to lobster and crayfish than prawn or shrimp.

         Xemerez-Spinola is the best fortified wine from Pedro Ximénez, crafted by one of the most traditional wineries in the world. The Pedro Ximénez grapes are hand-selected, and then sun-dried until they become raisins. This wine is aged in oak barrels with the traditional ‘criaderas y solera’ revolving sedimentation process. The process of sun-drying the grapes into raisins limits the total yield by 30%. Every year certain liquids are pulled from their solera in the barrels, and then the fortified wine is bottled, unfiltered and destabilised. “This is a limited production,” explains Stephen. “The Ximénez- Spinola PX bottles are individually numbered with the year it was produced on every label. The sweetness and tangy taste of passion-fruit essence combines a lovely finishing on the palate creating an explosion of flavours.”

         Don’t forget to take a closer look at their book shelves under a symmetrically patterned roof in the lobby area. They have an exquisite collection of books on design, architecture, places and culture.

         Food, books. That’s bliss. And if bliss is what you are looking for, you are in the right place.

         

Charisma Bharadwaj


 


Copyright 2017 Samui Wining & Dining. All rights reserved Siam Map Company Ltd.