At Outrigger’s Laguna Beach Phuket Resort, Thailand, there are both top-notch Thai and vibrant Asian foods aplenty (read my reviews here). And there is a stylish restaurant called Metzo’s. That might push the expectation envelope, as it has pan-Mediterranean dishes as its delicious focus.
Metzo’s Bistro and Bar offers foods difficult to find anywhere else in Phuket. It is open for both guests and local Phuket residents to enjoy meals here, and to sample an exquisite new dining experience. It is sure to attract a loyal and discerning clientele. This contemporary restaurant serves authentic Levantine and Mediterranean dishes from the culinary heritage of Morocco, Spain, Greece, Lebanon and Italy. The menu is a veritable trip around this gastronomically fascinating corner of the world, and it is a rare opportunity to taste these dishes in Thailand.
A visit here might not be what one would expect from a restaurant in this region, but it has foods that are as good as any from its area of focus. This isn’t a fusion restaurant. This is the real Mediterranean deal.
Muhamara didn’t disappoint
We enjoyed classic starters of Hummus – purée of chickpeas, and my personal favourite Muhamara – mixed crushed nuts, tomato, chilli paste and spices – didn’t disappoint. Do try this at Metzo’s. Then comforting Moutabal – purée of eggplant (aubergine) and tangy feta cheese; cheese Rakakat – crispy feta cheese-stuffed pastry; unmissable Falafel; and Baba Ghanouj for yet another taste of tradition.
These sharing plates are something over which to linger. They are convivial, allowing diners to dip and scoop different ingredients and textures in those well-seasoned specialities. Nothing more needed than some freshly-made bread to convey those tasty morsels from bowl to expectant (and likely drooling) mouth.
The main course was an extravaganza of grilled meats and seafood – a platter of seared and mouth-watering temptations. Side dishes of Couscous and Potato wedges with lemon were simple, and worked well as a foil for the rich meats and fish.
Shish Taouk – skewers of Turkish-style chicken – is a well-loved classic and it is done perfectly here. Beef-lovers will enjoy Shish Kebab of 120-day aged grain-fed Australian beef tenderloin: so succulent. The chef is careful to source the best ingredients around, so consistency is assured. These meats are simply prepared at Metzo’s so the quality of their beef, lamb and chicken is important. The Lamb Koftas of minced meat with Lebanese spices were flavourful and melting. Charcoal-grilled Tiger Prawn with garlic and herbs, and Grilled Harissa-marinated Tuna, added a luxurious note.
Lamb grilled to a juicy medium-rare
But the Charcoal Grilled Lebanese-Spiced Lamb Chops were the stars of the showcase of Mediterranean flavours. These were perhaps the best lamb chops I have had for a very long while. One cuts into the tender meat to reveal a perfectly central pink band. The lamb was grilled to a juicy medium-rare – neither bloody nor grey from over-grilling; a display of the chef’s skill at the charcoal brazier. The main courses depend on that deft hand and attention to detail for which the whole of Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort is noted.
Baklava was our dessert; what could be better to finish a pan-Mediterranean meal than this quintessential sweet and sticky pie? This flaky Ottoman pastry is filled with chopped pistachio, honey and fragrant rose water. It is glossy with syrup, and would be a fitting partner to a short black coffee, a nice cup of tea or a nightcap from the well-stocked Metzo’s bar.
Metzo’s at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort could easily be overlooked. It is tucked away on a lower level, a little apart from the top concourse of reception and main restaurant. But don’t miss an evening or two here. There is a considerable menu that will waft one away to lands that are famed for their diverse dishes.
Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort
Laguna Phuket 323 Moo 2
Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay,
Thalang, Bangtao Bay,
Phone: +66 (0) 76-360-600
Fax: +66 (0) 76-360-670