Fiery flavours and spicy specialties at Kiree
Diners curious to experience authentic southern Thai cuisine, in an upscale environment, will feel right at home at Kiree restaurant, at the luxurious Vana Belle Resort. Perched on the upper part of the vast property, the restaurant is located on a quiet beach, amidst a hillside forest, on the Eastern coast of Koh Samui island. It’s comprised of an elegantly furnished dining room, featuring cream-coloured, comfortable sofa seating and opulent decorations, as well as a large alfresco terrace overlooking the lush green surroundings and the waters of the Gulf of Thailand. It offers an extensive breakfast buffet—available for in-room, as well as outside guests—and a lavish Saturday brunch, but it’s the restaurant’s unique dinner menu that best showcases Chef de Cuisine Nattanan Deeruang’s expertise with seafood and Southern Thai specialties, known for their spiciness.
A perfect first step in this culinary journey is the resort’s signature drink, Golden Storm (B390), inspired by the fishermen who sailed these coasts many centuries ago. This refreshing cocktail contains a syrup base of fresh ginger and vanilla, as well as Mekhong whisky and lime, all garnished with delicate gold leaf.
An array of appetizers—made-to-share in traditional Thai fashion—begin the meal. These included Deep-fried Thai polyscias (green shrub leaves) and crab meat fritters (B400), and a Wild fern salad with minced pork (B520) served with grated mature coconut. The crispy cakes were flavoured with curry paste, and added texture to the refreshing, coconut-y salad. The highlight, however, of the trio of starters, was the Asiatic pennyworth leaf salad with poached prawns (B520), boasting humongous, meaty crustaceans on a bed of slightly bitter greens, crisp, sweet coconut chips, and speckles of chili sauce, which gave the dish a bit of a spicy and sour tang.
This was followed by the Garcinia leaf flavoured pork ribs soup (B400), a fragrant, clear broth with meat so tender it was falling off the bone. This dish, despite being packed with flavour, also served as a sort of palate cleanser for the next course to come.
Meanwhile, carnivores will be impressed with the Deep-fried turmeric marinated chicken (B525) with fresh coriander leaves, and the Koh Samui-bred Wild boar (B490), which is stir-fried with Thai Southern herbs and curry paste. Another entrée highlight was the Southern specialty of Stir-fried liang leaves (B400) with egg and lots of crispy garlic.
If you still have room for dessert, a trio of Rice dumplings (B320), stuffed with coconut caramel and served in coconut milk, make a perfect ending to this culinary journey into Thailand’s southern realm.
Vana Belle Resort, Koh Samui
9/99, Moo 3, Chaweng Noi Beach
Tel: 07 791 5555 | Open daily: 6pm-11pm