If Willy Wonka existed and really had a chocolate factory, there is no doubt he would hire chef Sa-it Pidtafai from Marrakesh Hua Hin Resort & Spa as his head pastry chef. With a boundless imagination, chef Sa-it is creating some of the most innovative and delicious desserts in Hua Hin and beyond.
Just as Willy Wonka says in the movie, “Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything,” so does this apply to everything on these fanciful plates. The first dish I sampled was The Chocolate Shell (280 THB). The shell was made of white chocolate that had been coloured blue. Sitting inside the open shell was a “pearl” of chocolate mousse with a passion fruit cream, all coated in a dark chocolate glaze. On the plate was coral painted in melted chocolate. Some cookie “sand” was sprinkled about and other rock formations were made from strawberries, kiwi fruit and cantaloupe.
A side of lemon creme brûlée and chocolate ganache finished off the dish. Next came the Crispy Roti (200 THB) which resembled seaweed or kelp. Thankfully that is what the chef’s intentions were. Alongside the crisps were dipping sauces of melted white chocolate, and a raspberry coulis. The crisps were sprinkled with icing sugar, and were so light and flakey. Flavour wise they reminded me of a churro. I could have easily eaten the entire basket (and yes, even the basket is edible). For me the last dish I sampled was the piece de resistance.
The Sea Urchin (280 THB) arrived with its long spiky quills going every which way. Just as in the ocean one must proceed with caution around a sea urchin, so must one approach this dish with caution. Not wanting to ruin the illusion, I looked to the chef and asked him how I should eat this dish. He suggested cutting it with a knife, and then just going for it! Inside the sea urchin was a vanilla cake base, then a white chocolate mousse, and in the very centre a raspberry coulis. The cake was iced in the same white chocolate as the quills. The sea urchin comes in three colours: red, blue or white – diner’s choice. Mango, strawberries, kiwi fruit and grapes surrounded the sea urchin, all on a bed of cookie crumble with a glazing of honey.
There was also a side of lemon creme brûlée and chocolate ganache. The pastry shop at the hotel is called The Pavilion. A series of eight specialty dessert items have been created by chef Sa-it, all of them inspired by the sea. Although currently undergoing renovations, it will emerge with a French bakery feel. Right off the main lawn of the property, it is the perfect location to order one of these incredible desserts any time of the day.
Other locations to order these desserts are Al Hamra, the hotel’s main restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features Moroccan, Mediterranean and Thai fusion, and international cuisine. And, Al Bahr (the ocean in Arabic) which is the hotel’s beach bar and features fanciful drinks like the Magic Carpet or Prince of Persia. With three of the eight specialty desserts now under my (protruding) belt, I look forward to working my way through the others.
Where: 63/411 Petchkasem Road between soi Hua Hin
83/1-85, Nongkae, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110
When: Open Daily, 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.