Wine Gallery is one of our favourite restaurants. It’s counterintuitive to expect great tapas ina roadside eatery on a Thai island. But this place was a real surprise when we first tried it following the recommendation of a Thai friend who loves her ‘farang food’ and wine.
There are two parts to the Wine Gallery. There’s the bottle shops that sells the island’s largest selection of wines, plus imported beers and spirits. And there’s the restaurant which sells food to accompany the booze.
Having your own wine store means there’s always a great selection of wine by the glass. You’re not limited to a choice between ‘red’ and ‘white’ out wineboxes containing the dregs from a Chilean vineyard. Choose for example a glass of Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Merlot, Garnacha Tintorera, Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc. If wine isn’t your thing there’s a selection of German, English and Spanish beers – including the hard to find Estrella Damm Inedit. And a few cocktails plus a Gin menu.
The open fronted restaurant is tastefully decorated with around 18 tables. There’s seating on the ground floor and on the roof terrace. It is run by a German chef whose menu features classic European dishes plus a good selection of tapas, cheeses, cold cuts and gourmet burgers. A board out front also lists daily or weekly specials.
When we eat there we tend to go for a selection of tapas and a cheese board to share plus a couple of beers. Just because that gives us the chance to try more things than simply ordering a main course each. And it’s a nice atmosphere to graze without being rushed.
Dishes are consistently good. This isn’t fine dining. But it is delicious, simple dishes using quality ingredients. Including imported meats such as Serrano ham and Aussie steak, for example.
You will find cheaper western food on the island. So if you want pub grub, go to a pub and they’ll defrost a pie and chips for you. But if you want something you’ll remember and enjoy eating, try Wine Gallery.
Price: $$$ – $$$$
Location: Roadside in Kai Bae village. Around 100 metres north of Gajapuri Resort. No car parking, but if you have a scooter you can park roadside in front of the restaurant.
These restaurant reviews are just my thoughts on a place at the time I visited. I’ll mention if I know the owner well or get any freebies. But for the most of the time I am happy to play tourist and don’t mention this site at all. Obviously it isn’t possible to sample every dish on the menu and the type of food you have for lunch will differ to evening. In addition, owners and more importantly chefs, can change and your experience may differ from mine. If it does, post a comment below.