by Miss Terry Diner
The La Gritta Italian restaurant is on the top corner
of Beach Road and is part of the Amari Orchid Resort. Under the
supervision of the Amari Orchid’s executive chef Stefan(o) Heller, this
restaurant has been getting appreciative comments from the resort’s
guests. It had been some time since we had visited and the opportunity
presented itself when Miss Terry was invited to dinner by the new
executive assistant managers Khun Orapin and Michael Goetz, in conjunction
with Chef Stefan.
restaurant is done out in Mediterranean style with white stucco archways
giving the dining area the impression of being set as alcoves. There is a
pianist to provide suitable easy listening background music and a
veritable army of red outfitted service personnel to cater for the diners.
Tables have heavily starched white linen tablecloths
and bright red napkins as contrast. Each table has a flower and a candle
and your own black pepper grinder. All nice touches. There was also a
container with bread sticks to munch on while contemplating the menu. I
asked Chef Stefan did he make these himself or bought them in. This was
met with a very firm rejoinder that they baked all the breads themselves,
the only item bought in was the flour. I sat chastened for a while!
There is a heavy leather bound standard menu, but we
decided to try the special menu which is a salmon promotion for the month
of May. (Next month it is a risotto promotion - “best risotto in Asia”
chef Stefan assured me! I like “modest” people.)
salmon promotion includes a selection of three Italian wines, a Bardolino
Chiaretto D.O.C. 1999 (Baht 880++), a Soave Blasone D.O.C. 1999 (Baht
800++) and a Valpolicella D.O.C. 1999 (Baht 850++) all of which are
excellent wines and quite affordable. We chose the Soave.
The salmon, which is imported from Norway, is presented
in seven different ways, ranging from a Moussline on spring salad (B.
245), a duo of smoked and marinated salmon with traditional garnishes (B.
245), salmon carpaccio with lime and olive oil dressing (B. 250), a
seafood consomm้ with saffron and salmon (B. 160), risotto primavera
with saut้ed salmon and green asparagus (B. 350), steamed salmon
steak in foil with young leek and boiled potatoes (B. 335) and finally a
wedding of salmon and sole on a white and red wine sauce, spinach and
butter rice (B. 350).
I chose the Moussline as a starter and the wedding of
salmon and sole for a main, while the rest of the team went for the
carpaccio and the salmon steak in foil. However, before our food arrived
we were treated to an “Amuse Bouche” of cherry tomato with mozzarella
and basil with Balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil. We were also given a
basket with warm breads which included a Chiabatta, pizza bread and
Italian farmer’s bread. (I remained chastened while chef Stefan spelled
the names for me!)
The moussline was very smooth, done in wedges with
stuffed olives with the salmon content being 50% smoked and 50% fresh,
then placed in the pan with a little white wine and butter. The resulting
b้chamel sauce is then used with the salmon, blended and sieved with
cream and gelatine and set in the refrigerator. Beautiful!
The next course was the salmon and sole, and imagine a
Swiss roll, but instead of sponge and jam, you have pink salmon and white
sole. The salmon and sole are cut thin and layered with dill and coriander
and rolled up in foil and steamed. This keeps the flavours in. A truly
The salmon promotion was another very polished
performance from the inventive chef Stefan, a young man who is getting
very well known for his imaginative cuisine. The delicate flavours were
all retained and the Dining Out Team can give La Gritta a very high
recommendation. The special promotion was also excellent value for money
considering the quality of the food and its presentation. You will not be
La Gritta, Amari Orchid Resort (next to Henry J Beans
Bar and Grill Beach Road), tel. 038 428 161.