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Amporn Choeng-Ngam’s Spa Cuisine



Angie Thien for "Who in Dining"
April 02, 2011

For the most part, we don't like to be deceived by our food.  


We want real meat when we order steaks, we want to know what our sauces are made of… and don't get us started on the over abundant molecular gastronomy fiasco.


So why then, would we want to tell you about spa cuisine?  Because this isn't the over hyped tiny-portion-flavorless-three bites you're used to seeing.  For once, there's a proper fine dining menu that tastes amazing, and rivals the culinary big guns in terms of innovation.


Chef Amporn Choeng-Ngam's Spa Cuisine at Bandara Resort and Spa Samui comes from years of research.  The chef has cooked for various resorts before, having been trained at Thailand's famed Chiva Som—he was also poached by Princess Hassah bint Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudia Arabia as a private chef, where he oversaw 38 other chefs and ran his own health-food-oriented kitchen (which was specially built for his cuisine.)


On to the food: It's a hot day, so we start with Lobster Granita, large chunks of lobsters and fresh vegetables in a delicate paper-thin spring roll and sprinkled with a sour iced granita that serves as a dressing. There's Miso Glazed Snow Fish on a purée of what looks like mashed potatoes—it turns out to be crushed lotus seeds which takes much of the carbs out of the meal.  You can see the numbers as you eat, 300 calories, 15 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fat… you'll see it, but you certainly won't taste it.  The secret to creating such a flavorful menu is in preparation.

  


Chef Amporn uses special skillets to ensure food can be cooked without oil, and infuses flavors into everything, marinating different ingredients far ahead of time.  He replaces traditionally unhealthy ingredients with alternatives—fast burning coconut oil, buckwheat instead of rice, and more—the result is spectacular, and time consuming.  Dishes may take hours to prepare.  


Bandara Resort and Spa Samui runs two spa cusine programs, which includes Chef Amporn's menu as a 3-course set lunch or dinner along with matching spa treatments.


The Royal Siam Package lasts 4.5 hours and includes the 3-course Spa Cuisine Menu, Florbal Foot Bath, Herbal Steam, Hydrotherapy Bath, Siam Body Polish, Siam Body Swathe, Hot Stone Massage, and Bandara Facial for THB 9,900 net.

 

The Bandara Paradiso Package lasts 150 minutes and includes a 3-course Spa Menu, Herbal Steam, Seaweed Body Buff, Detoxifying Seaweed Swathe, and Indian Head Massage for THB 5,900.
The Detoxify and Relation Package lasts 90 minutes, and includes a Hot Stone Massage along with the Spa Cusine Menu for THB 3,499 net.


Bandara Resort and Spa
178/2 Moo 1 Tambol Bophut,
Bophut, Koh Samui 84320,
Thailand

Photos copyright W5 Magazine and Bandara Resort & Spa Samui