WARNING: This is a food porn-centric post.
You see, the people at The Andaman stick to simplicity when it comes to naming their restaurants – there’s no need for any fancy names and there are not too many outlets in the resort. So, why complicate things, right? The all-day dining venue is the place to be for breakfast, lunch and dinner … so it’s called The Restaurant.
The magnificent buffet breakfast served at The Restaurant is not to be missed. Located on a higher level, the restaurant offers a great view of the swimming pool below and beyond that, the Andaman Sea beckons. You can opt to sit in the air-conditioned section inside or at the al fresco terrace. Of course we opted for the latter because it’s just simply beautiful out there and you get a monkey show most of the time too, thanks to the residential macaques and dusky-leaf langurs in the resort.
There are 3 things that you must have at breakfast here. First of all, start your morning right with a glass of self-made bellini. Yes, sparkling wine is on the buffet… simply mix some orange juice with it and there’s your bellini. What is a holiday if you can’t start your day with a glass of sparkly, rite?
Next, look out for the gorgeous fresh-from-oven almond croissants which are personally served by the chef. He’d go round the tables and offer his tray of the insanely delicious croissants. Usually he has to make a few rounds because the croissants are all snapped up within a few tables. I grabbed 2 every time he passed by *shameless*! The croissants are crispy and flaky outside yet maintain a soft fluffy texture inside and those almond flakes add a lovely nutty crunch – truly one of the best croissants I’ve had! Divine with black coffee, I tell you.
The 3rd must-have item, at least for me, is the sambal prawns or sotong (squids). The very first morning I was there, I scooped up the remnants of sotong sambal from the Asian counter and it was the best sotong sambal I’ve had for quite a while. Then, still greedy, I went back to the counter for more, but instead of squids, they replaced with sambal prawns. So I took some of those and they absolutely knocked my socks off. The prawns were extremely fresh, bouncy and succulent and cooked just right so every bite of those juicy prawns was pretty orgasmic. Needless to say, I went back for seconds and repeated the next morning too!
The rest of the buffet breakfast spread is hearty and enticing … all kinds of freshly-baked breads, pastries, cereals, Japanese fares, local delights like nasi lemak, roti canai, curries, noodles, porridge, fruits and all kinds of juices. Guests just take their time and languish over numerous cups of coffee in this perfect setting. The air is fresh and crisp, the sea is calm and the sky oh-so-blue… breakfast is the most enjoyable meal for me at The Restaurant.
Rice Paper Rolls with Seaweed & Special Plum Dressing
That’s not to say that lunch is any less appetizing. The main menu of The Restaurant lists many healthy choices in their “V Integrated Wellness Healthy Menu” as well as regular items. Some items in the Wellness Healthy section are marked with “M” and “R”. “M” is for macrobiotic cuisine and these are specially picked dishes that promote a lifestyle which includes a simple balanced diet for health and longevity. “R” denotes “raw desserts”, meaning desserts that do not have white sugar, white flour, dairy products, trans-fats, saturated fats or processed foods – ideal for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or just plain health-conscious diners. Alternative natural sweeteners such as agave and yacon are used.
Smoked Eggplant with Aka Miso
Grilled Teppanyaki Tofu with Beansprouts and Garlic Soy
Watermelon with Young Feta & Pumpkin Seeds Salad
We happily picked our choices from the Wellness Healthy menu, starting with entrees like Rice Paper Rolls with Seaweed & Special Plum Dressing, Grilled Teppanyaki Tofu with Beansprouts and Garlic Soy, Smoked Eggplant with Aka Miso and Watermelon with Young Feta & Pumpkin Seeds Salad. We tried some healthy Mains like the Steamed Seabass with Ginger-scented Celeriac Puree, Grilled Salmon with Pomelo Herb Quinoa & Avocado Soymilk Sauce and the Pumpkin Ravioli served on a bed of crisp salad.
Grilled Salmon with Pomelo Herb Quinoa & Avocado Soymilk Sauce
Steamed Seabass with Ginger-scented Celeriac Puree
The dishes are all well thought-out and presented beautifully but the best thing is, they are tasty in a fresh organic way, with no overwhelming seasonings that would have hampered the original tastes of the ingredients from shining through. My favourites are the Smoked Eggplant, Steamed Seabass and Watermelon Salad – a salad so cool and refreshing that I ordered this again the next day.
We were tempted to try out something from the regular food segment and thus ordered the Ayam Bunga Kantan and Sotong Garing (Crispy Squids). The Ayam Bunga Kantan is a set meal by itself – it came with turmeric rice, pickles and crackers by the side.
Ayam Bunga Kantan
Don’t forget the desserts too!
Cradled between the sprawling free-form pool and pristine beachfront, Tepian Laut (literally translated as “By the Sea”) is a casual dining experience with varied menus from different states of Malaysia. It’s al fresco dining under shady giant trees with only the sea and sky in your line of vision.
The beach is just a few steps away!
We had lunch here on the 2nd day, after visiting The Andaman’s Coral Nursery (more about this in a later post, I promise). We chose a few different items to try: Seafood Pizza, Fettucine Carbonara, Tomyum Meehoon, Buffalo Wings, Tandoori Lamb and my favourite Watermelon & Feta Salad.
My favourite salad
Buffalo Wings – must order this!
Generally, no complaints about the food here except that I would have preferred the tomyum to have more kick – the milder version here is more for foreign guests, I think. The Buffalo Wings were so good we ordered a second plate and while we were happily munching on these, the blue sky suddenly opened up and blessed us with the most sudden heavy downpour. We actually grabbed the Buffalo Wings and stuffed it into our mouths before running into the shaded area! Yeah, they were just too good to leave behind.
Tepian Laut by night
The Japanese Restaurant
What did I say about The Andaman’s style of naming their restaurants? Very straight-to-the-point, right? Located on the ground level and overlooking the poolside and rainforest, The Japanese Restaurant serves authentic Japanese favourites. The deco is simple with touches of Japanese traditions – paper cranes, screens, samurai swords and ceramic art items enhancing the ambience. Tatami rooms are also available if you want some privacy.
We feasted on all our favourites – sashimi, sushi, maki rolls, chawan mushi and rounded off dinner with some seafood and beef teppanyaki, cooked right in front of us by the chef. Ohh, we didn’t forget the ice-cream either.
So… that basically sums up our dining experiences at The Andaman. In the next posts, I will tell you stories about their Coral Nursery and the V Botanical Spa…so, do stay tuned!
For more information on The Andaman, check out their website here.