Absolute Review : Sam’s Steaks and Grill

Posted on June 6, 2014

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I have often wondered what happened to the art of dining out.

In times past going out to a restaurant was something usually reserved for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. People would put on their best clothes and then all concerned would make their way to a place that was dedicated to ensuring that their experience that evening was one that they would not forget. This was called “dining out”. Now it seems that the sole intent of most of us is to eat as fast as possible rather than to savour the flavours of the produce and the skill of the people preparing them.

Thank heavens then for Sam’s Steaks and Grill at the Holiday Inn, Patong, Phuket.

This oasis of dining sanity in an ocean of fast food and quick turnaround is an unexpected find in an area more known for its hedonistic opportunities rather than its culinary offerings. Its subtle layout makes allows each table to have its own sense of privacy making it perfect for that romantic dinner or for larger tables when you want to celebrate with friends or family or opt for the private dining room.

Sam’s takes the concept of Dining Out very seriously from when you make your reservations, and it is recommended you do as Sam’s is very popular. The reservation staff makes sure that no 2 tables are seating at the same time allowing them to give you their undivided attention.

As you arrive and are shown to your seats, which are high backed and perfect for a prolonged meal, you take in the atmosphere which if you are coming mid service includes an interesting aroma which you cannot place as there is no sign of the kitchen.

My host for the evening, Holiday Inn EAM Morgan Layberry, selected from across the menu and so one of the best dining experiences I have had for many years commenced.

First to arrive were the French oysters, prepared in 3 different ways which are flown in for the hotel twice a week these. The St Kerber’s had the soft salty taste of the sea whilst the Kilpatricks with their bacon and Worcestershire sauce and the Rockefeller with the spinach and cheese were a blend of delicate flavours.

Next to arrive were the scallops and prawns and it was at this point that the theatre of Sam’s first arrived. Cooked at table, including a flambé at the end to secure the flavours, these were slightly sweet and beautifully textured.

Gourmet dining is not complete without Foie Gras and the terrine that is made in-house by the chef was creamy with a beautiful gamey flavour that went well with the accoutrements.
Sam’s offers other cuisines and we could not miss trying the Mahi Mahi prepared in a yellow curry sauce, the flavours of which complimented rather than overpowered the taste of the fish and the small black mussels from America added intensity to the overall taste flavour.

A lamb rack from New Zealand served with a BBQ sauce, perfectly cooked to medium rare had the flavours just jumping out at you. Four very good sized cutlets made up the rack with lots of meat on each, something you do not always see in other establishments with 3 or even 2 cutlets being the norm.

Morgan had left the best to last when the Chateaubriand was served. Theatre time again as the meat was carved professionally at the table with the aromas permeating the room. Cooked to perfection, rare, the meat was so delicate it hardly needed a knife to cut it. We chose the garlic potato gratin and blue cheese sauce prepared with Gorgonzola to compliment the steak beautifully.

Theatre time again for dessert when we chose to Crepes Suzette prepared and flambéed at the table. It was at this point that we realised that we were often the centre of attention for others in the room who were taking in the show. Morgan told us that many guests seeing the different dishes being prepared at table decide to come back for a second meal, especially on their last night.

The final theatre of the night was the Irish Coffee, experience that I have never had before and one you should not miss. Your waitress comes to your table with the makings of an Irish Coffee and dexterously moves glasses with lit alcohol in a mini fire show before culminating in pouring lit alcohol from a great height in to your glass of coffee.

In 2013 Sam’s was voted by Trip Advisor customers as being #1 Fine Dining Restaurant in Thailand. Morgan pointed out that whilst extremely pleased for their staff to win such an award Sam’s did not consider itself to be a Fine Dining restaurant but rather a steakhouse that does things others do not do.

They may not be a Fine Dining restaurant in the strictest sense but they do offer an extremely fine dining experience.

Absolute Thai Magazine would like to offer all our readers an opportunity to try Sam’s for yourself and invite you to visit http://www.tastevouchers.com/absolutemagazine to receive a complimentary voucher for 20% off your total bill.

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