Blending Cuisines and Cultures

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It was dusk when we arrived at Gusto et Cosy restaurant. Half a dozen squid fishing boats sat grounded in the sand
waiting for high tide before heading out into the Gulf of Thailand to land their daily catch. A few families were digging
in the sand for clams. The setting was quite picturesque and completely unexpected.

The restaurant, located on Khao Tao Beach, is elevated and overlooks the sea, with stunning views of Ko Sai and Ko Sadao, two small islands just off the coast. There is almost always a nice breeze any time of the day. Owner Khun Mee met us at the bar with open arms and ushered us to a table. Without opening a menu, he started calling out orders to his attentive wait staff. We began with two of their signature dishes, from two different parts of the world. The first was a steaming bowl of Venus clams harvested from the shore just in front of the restaurant. The clams come in two styles – cooked in butter or Spanish style. Our version was Spanish, a spicy yet somehow sweet combination that we ate with our fingers at the urging of Khun Mee.

The second was a huge rack of BBQ Pork spare ribs. This dish is definitely a nod to American cuisine. Braised for 5 hours, these were ‘fall-off-the-bone’ delicious and came with two dipping sauces (although neither was needed). Other dishes sampled included a seafood pizza baked on pita bread, beef and pork skewers, seafood pasta, and an Isaan dish called farang kodd Laos, a play on the bar snack sai grok. The menu offerings are eclectic, fusion cuisine, or as Khun Mee likes to say “confusion style”. The menu is varied so that every diner in your party is sure to find something that suits their tastes.

If you manage to save any room, the desserts are made in-house. I can highly recommend the apple crumble with vanilla sauce, and the tiramisu. Just as the food is a fusion of cultures, so is the name Gusto et Cosy. It is a mix of Italian, French and English, meaning “flavourful and comfortable”. Every day of the week from 4-7pm is happy hour at Gusto et Cosy, with a buy one get one free offer with the drinks changing daily.

There is also a weekend BBQ special, cooked on a grill in front of your eyes offering buy 4 skewers (beef or pork), get one free. Friday, Saturday and Sunday there is a live band from 7pm-9:30pm, and sometimes longer depending on the mood of the guests and the owner. The restaurant is located at the boutique Blue Sky Hotel, which has just 13 rooms, from the 50 square metre deluxe room, to a 120 square metre suite. Getting there: Heading east on Soi 101, cross the tracks and take the first left – then the first right. At the end of the street is the ocean, Gusto et Cosy, and plenty of parking.

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