Forget the bible-length tomes of international juggernaut resorts. Ignore the team of international chefs manning the kitchen of skyline troubling hotels down the road. For us there’s nothing better than a short, snappy menu of deliciously fresh fish cooked to order by the family who own the resort. Hello, Peppercorn Beachfront Restaurant!
Housed in the secluded, beautiful, most northerly resort of the island, Peppercorn Beach, the restaurant is run by an aunt of the family run affair. This does not make it feel budget or cobbled together though – quite the opposite in fact. It gives a clarity and synergy to the welcoming, feel-at-home vibe of the place. What’s more, she can cook, and with nature’s bounty just a stone’s skim away, this all adds up to a recipe for a great dinner (or lunch, or both…we just couldn’t resist!).
The charming restaurant overlooks the swimming pool, especially pretty at night with mystical purple under lighting, and further beyond to the sea. To have your fish supper sound tracked by the sea is to have the stars align – just lovely.
There’s a laid back feel to proceedings, as you’d expect from its location. You can chat and socialise with staff and fellow guests as much or as little as you please – there’s room for both. A decent selection of music plays throughout the day and service is friendly and efficient.
For a menu to be refreshingly short and still be spoilt for choice speaks volumes. For us, brief equals fresh and confident. It’s dominated by fish, as it rightly should be, with a few international options for the seafood and spice weary traveller. Local fish sauce and peppercorns, of which the island is so famed, is utilised well and often. A specials board keeps things interesting and dynamic – another nice touch.
We tried a variety of gorgeous dishes but if pushed, highlights included; scallops served in their shell cooked over coals, the smoky flavor very much imparted but not overwhelming the fresh sweetness of the shellfish. Also, the grilled local fish (we assume dependent on the catch) with tomato dressing was generous and perfectly seasoned. Squid was also done brilliant – a gem of the surrounding seas treated with respect.
They also import Australian beef, the product on the island tends to be water buffalo, and the superior quality shone through in the chili beef we enjoyed.
There’s a fair wine list, with Vietnamese and Australian offerings paying homage to the roots of the family running the resort, as well as some more classical offerings. A happy hour each day offers a complimentary cocktail for guests of the resort which riffs on tropical fruits and all the better for it. We highly recommend the espresso martini which uses the resorts secret coffee blend – it will be the best one you’ll ever have.
Genuinely, we would recommend anything from the surrounding seas and on the Vietnamese side of the menu, as it makes the most of the restaurant’s location and chef’s origins – a perfect harmony.
Need To Know
The restaurant is open to everyone and gets extremely busy during high seasons so book your table in advance. For guests of the resort, the menu is designed for a five night stay, however if you fancy trying something just put in a request the day before.
The food is great, I’m sure you get the picture. You can watch the sea as you dine, we’re sure you’ve got that too. But more than that, there’s a warmth and welcome that only a family run, independent place can evoke, which just raises the experience higher. We loved this place, and given the chance, I’m sure you will too.
IDEAL dined at the restaurant as a guest and received a complimentary meal