|Sweet things: Chocolate bar with hazelnut, salted caramel gonache and coconut ice cream is a great way to finish an awesome dining experience. — VNS Photo MinhPhi.|
BY MỸ DUYÊN
After long confinement imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, my friend and I joined the legions who’ve headed for Phú Quốc Island to lose themselves in its vast beauty.
We stayed at Regent Phú Quốc, a recently opened luxury resort on the island.
The scenery, as expected, was magnificent, with white sandy beaches and villas nestled among coconut groves. But the most memorable part of our two-day getaway was a fine dining experience at the resort’s Ocean Club restaurant.
As its name suggested, the club offered great views of the ocean. In this terrific setting, the Ocean Club presented an assortment of local and Mediterranean culinary delights along with rum-inspired cocktails, a sophisticated wine selection and a live in-house DJ.
In particular, after sunset, this Balearic-inspired beachfront became a special entertainment venue with cinema nights, seaside grill and other delights.
|Romance in the air: The Ocean Club is a perfect destination for celebrations, including romantic dinners. — VNS Photo MinhPhi.|
The restaurant’s menu presented a wide range of food selections – from the land to the sea – aided by the freshest of ingredients both local and imported and transformed into gourmet offerings by an experienced cooking team.
While popular common foods like pizza, pasta and burgers favoured by Western fast food lovers were also on the menu, we wanted to focus on seafood, given that we were on an island surrounded by the ocean.
However, despite our fondness for seafood and this being an Ocean Club specialty, my friend and I became uncertain when confronted with the restaurant’s long list of delicacies. The drinks menu, too, seemed to have so many options that made us indecisive.
We needed help and help was at hand in the form of a friendly restaurant manager dedicated to ensuring her guests have dishes they will not forget in a hurry.
|Startling starter: Tempura featuring French oysters, white asparagus, caviar sabayon pickled shallot, and fresh tarragan. — VNS Photo MinhPhi.|
We told her we were wary of raw seafood and she said no problem. Thus started our meal with tempura oysters. And what starter it was -- French oysters, white asparagus, caviar sabayon, pickled shallot and fresh tarragon.
Despite being dipped in batter and fried, the oysters retained their freshness and went superbly with the delectable caviar sabayon, pickled shallot and fresh tarragon.
Covered with the crispy and soft flour coat, the oyster tempura melted in my mouth mingling, tingling with the homemade sauce. The starter was delicious and whetted our appetites.
For the main course, we had a barbecued Australian Black Angus beef tenderloin including seared foie gras, whiskey morel mushroom Fricassee with taro root puree. This stand-out dish was expensive (VNĐ1,290,000) but well worth it.
The beef was extremely fresh and juicy and the way it was cooked and garnished was perfect. It was our first time and I understood why people had said it was irresistible.
Each dish at the Ocean Club was so skillfully prepared and presented that it looked like an artistic masterpiece that you would never want to destroy. But when we “destroyed” it, we were bowled over by how delicious it was.
Lovers of pizza, pasta and burgers would stand a good chance to discover their favourite version of these dishes at the Ocean Club, which has a fine collection including plant-based meat burgers, wagyu beef burger, pizza alle alici e burrata, pizza iberico e pere, rigatoni con manzo, and many more.
Then there was the roasted corn-fed chicken supreme with spicy peruvian aji verde, or the BBQ seafood platter and the cold seafood platter, the restaurant’s two specialties.
The Ocean Club is justifiably proud of its rum-inspired cocktails. The two drinks – Ocean Club signature iced tea (VNĐ120,000) and Ocean Chiller (VNĐ180,000) – that we tasted were as exceptional as they looked.
To round off an awesome meal, there were offerings that are difficult to resist, acarigua 70 per cent chocolate bar with hazelnut, salted caramel ganache and coconut ice cream; yuzu tart featuring orange sable, yuzu cream, mango sorbet, lemon meringue and passion fruit cheese cake including passion fruit curd, tahitian vanilla ice cream and passion fruit sphere.
As chocolate buffs we decided to order two portions of the chocolate and hazelnut sweets (VNĐ230,000). Though we were full after the beef and oyster tempura, we savoured the decadent dessert to the hilt.
The beach front view, food and drinks made for an unforgettable evening, so much so that both of us agreed that whenever Phú Quốc is mentioned our thoughts will go to the Ocean Club. — VNS
Ocean Club Restaurant
Address: Regent Phú Quốc Resort, Bãi Trường, Dương Tơ Commune, Phú Quốc Island, Kiên Giang Province
Tel: +84 (0) 297 388 0000
Comment: The only luxury beach club in Phú Quốc presents a delicious and eye-catching assortment of local and Mediterranean cuisine with great beachfront views.
Prices start from VNĐ320,000 per dish; side dishes at VNĐ90,000 each.