Due to the renovation at Samui, Chef Simone Scarparo, Chef-Partner of Clara's sister restaurant Luna by Clara, decided to open a pop-up restaurant at Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 10 Alley for six months so Bangkokians, ex-pats and tourists can taste sustainable, mindful cuisine without flying to the South.
Chef Scarpano's sustainable, mindful cuisine only uses local ingredients to showcase the quality of local ingredients. He also blends his Italian roots and modern techniques to create flavourful art on the plates. The chef has both an à la carte menu and a tasting menu for guests and patrons to choose from. The tasting menu consists of a five-course menu and an eight-course menu. For the full experience, the eight-course menu is recommended.
The eight-course menu starts with Welcome to Luna, inspired by Chef Scarparo's childhood favourites. The course consists of four different bites, beginning with a plump, sweet and savoury oyster from Surat Thani Province served in a shell with foamy white whey sauce and chive oil, adding creaminess, yoghurty flavour and garlicky note to the dish.
The following bite is a deep-fried local anchovy top-on focaccia stuffed with tomato jam. The bite has different levels of crunchiness, saltiness, and umami taste.
The third bite of this course is a waffle made from shrimp head stuffed with tartar and topped with deep-fried krills. The tartar and crunchy texture of the waffle and krills harmonise well together.
The course's last bite is a mushroom pie made from fermented oyster mushroom, mushroom purée and finger lime. This bite is umami, citrusy, slightly sour and bitter.
The first course is paired with house-made hibiscus kombucha. The sweet and earthy notes of the hibiscus, with a slight tartness from fermentation, complement all the bites.
The second course is From Our Samui Farm Dream, inspired by his time in France, where he worked in a chef's table establishment. The course comes with three distinct small dishes. The first dish is oregano oil-marinated green pea swimming in fermented lychee soup, topped with sea grapes and granita made from the pea pod.
Next is compressed watermelon served in carpaccio style. The refreshing sweetness of the watermelon is complemented by the fragrant shiso herb, while the tangy pickled mustard seeds add an unexpected burst of flavour.
The third dish is aubergine, delicately slow-cooked in stock, coated in a rich and flavorful black garlic sauce, before being drizzled with two delectable sauces made from macadamia nuts and Thai basil. Garlic and macadamia chips on top give the dish a crunch. Finally, aubergine purée is served alongside the dish for a smooth texture.
De Fermo Concrete Bianco 2021 complements the course. The Autumn fruit notes, apple and pear, dance synchronously with the first dish's lychee soup, watermelon in the second dish and aubergine from the third, while its dryness clean palates.
The next course is Stuck in a Rock Hole. Usually, this course is baby octopus served with house-made bottarga, octopus garum and rice crisp. For those with specific dietary, this course is replaced with a doughnut made from succulent, sweet blue crab meat served with guava and house-made nduja sauce. The sweet and sour guava and a kick from nduja give the course dimensions. The perfect pairing for this course is a rich, floral, dry Akishika Shuzo Omachi No.7, a junmai daiginjo from Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
Tribute to a Samui Fisherman Friend is the fourth course, Hoi Job or Tairagai in Japanese or pinnidae or pen shell in English, served with Nordic dressing, crispy burnt shallot and fresh dill. The Hoi Job is sourced from local fisherfolk in Samui and is slow-cooked with grilling to get some smokiness. The sauce is a mixture of ponzu and onion stock. The mayonnaise on top is made from the Hoi Job, replacing the egg yolk. This dish is flavourful and full of textures. The course pays tribute to the fisherfolk who introduced the chef to Hoi Job.
Clos du Tue Boeuf Cheverny Frileuse 2022 has soothing peach, honey, lemon and grapefruit notes that complement the ponzu and dill in the dish.
Gulf of Siam Gold is the following course, made from mackerel that has been cooked in hot beeswax and left until the wax is hard. Chef Scaparo visited Mini Bee Farm in Samui and saw the staff throwing away the beeswax. To stop wasting the beeswax, the chef decided to use beeswax to cook his food.
The mackerel is plated with the chef's version of traditional Miang Khum. To enhance the fish flavour, it is coated with honeycomb-infused mackerel stock and dusted with bee pollen. The combination of salty, smooth fish, sweet and savoury honeycomb-infused stock, crunchy bee pollen and Miang Khum is a medley of textures and flavours. The acidic with honey and beeswax notes and dry Weingut Rabl Riesling Steinhaus Rote Erde Reserve 2016 is perfect for this dish.
The main course is a choice between Klong Phai Farm and Khun Ta Farm. The Klong Phai Farm consists of Khao Yai Duck, Korat Jerusalem artichoke and Chiang Mai blackberry. The duck is cooked to crispy on the outside but juicy inside. The Korat Jerusalem artichoke comes in two forms: purée and roasted. The blackberry is fermented and made to jam. The dish is accompanied by cacao brioche topped with duck leg prosciutto and a duck liver mousse tart with blackberry juice and Jerusalem artichoke. This dish deserves a pair such as Jean Claude Lapalu Beaujolais Villages Vignes 2022, a dry red with black fruit and red fruit notes with high acid.
Khun Ta Farm features an Argentinean-style slow-grilled picanha, which results in tender and juicy meat with a smoky, savoury taste. It is served with chimichurri that complements the meat very well. On the plate, the picanha also comes with grilled romaine lettuce and Siam ruby pomelo with brioche made from bone marrow on the side. The combination of the tender meat, tangy and spicy sauce, charred greens, sweet pomelo and rich, buttery brioche creates a flavour explosion in every bite. To enhance the experience, oaky, tobacco-scented, earthy, leathery Alpamanta Estate Malbec 2012 is a red for the job.
Safe Heaven, the first dessert, was inspired by Finland's Helsinki, the city covered with snow all year round. Coconut cream and mango jam buried under the snow coconut that is sprinkled with kaffir lime zest. The refreshing citrusy kaffir lime zest contrasts the creamy coconut and sweet and sour mango.
The final course of the meal, called Kad Kakoa, is a dish created in collaboration with local cocoa brand Kad Kakoa. This dish features a variety of different types of cocoa, including ganache made with 70% Chumphon cocoa, chocolate mousse made with 100% Chumphon cocoa, and Espuma made with 100% chocolate from Chanthaburi. The dish is then topped with frozen pomegranate, smoked mascarpone, and fermented cocoa juice. Although the dish may have many cocoa-based ingredients, the taste is definitely not one-dimensional.
LUNA by Clara, a pop-up restaurant, has been open from December 2023 until May 2024. So, it might be a good idea to visit it soon before it moves back to Samui.
LUNA by Clara
Hours: THU-MON, 17:00 - 23:00 Hours
Tel: +6699 998 4080
Location: 52 Soi Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 10, Thung Wat Don, Sathon, Bangkok 10120