There are some places where time stands still.
For a brief moment, something slices through the humdrum of modernity, pulls you by the ear and makes you stop and feel. You don’t have to be a foodie to experience it, but let’s just say that it’s akin to an out of body experience.
An empyrean getaway amidst the lesser claptrap that heralds the way to Bang Niang beach. The location doesn’t exactly scream fine dining, but I had been told it was an unmissable experience.
Oh yeah? We shall see.
In the past, with the exception of the traditional Thai food, I’ve been quite disappointed at the provender available on the islands. So the thought of yet another Japanese restaurants, didn’t exactly tickle my fancy. After all, why would anyone go to all that effort to provide fresh, locally sourced and delicious food to the many tourists that would simply take whatever was slapped in front of them?
If you’ve ever had tempura that had the texture and taste of a scone, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
The inconspicuous exterior gives nothing away about what could lie within, but it didn’t score any brownie points with me. In hindsight, I am reminded again of the countless sayings about judging things by their appearance alone. I still judged though.
In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that as I entered, I was determined not to enjoy it.
Shame on me.
We decided to sample the degustation menu, and at 1500 baht a pop, I started to doubt whether this would ever live up to the hype.
The owner, Mr Enzo, himself, came to serve us our dishes. I’ve seen nothing like it since, but when the chef comes out and delicately places each dish in front of you, explaining the source and the direction in which it would be best enjoyed, you listen.
He was clearly proud of his work.
And so he should be!
Each mouthful showed me a new world of possibilities when it comes to flavour. My mind was blown. Everything presented before us, was handpicked by him that day; the freshness could not be attested.
I’m not much of a meat eater, but this was melt in your mouth good.
I won’t get all foodie on you, but my feet did a little happy dance. I can only describe it as that movement that children make on their high chairs when they are being fed. I was a child.
And I sure as hell didn’t know anything about food.