Moo4 Bistro, located at the front of The Stage and opposite the trio of upmarket resorts, Awa, The Chill and Gajapuri in the centre of Kai Bae Beach, is rated as one of the area’s premier restaurant options. To see if we agreed with the ratings, we popped in to see what’s cooking.
Moo4 Bistro – Seating and Menu
The bistro has just a few tables out the front but the main seating is in a small open-sided covered terrace, with space for around 8 tables and a handful of tall stools at the counter. It’s an intimate venue but certainly not cramped and on our visit, full as it was, the place had a great buzzing atmosphere.
The short menu is split into French and Thai options, appetizers in each, a kids’ menu and the desserts. On the French side of things, starters include classics like Bisque de Homard, Coquilles St Jacques, Saumon Fumé and Salade de Chèvre Chaud, while in the mains, you’ll find Coq au Vin, Gambas Flambées alongside steaks and a mushroom risotto.
Over in the Thai section, spring rolls, either fried crab or fresh vegetarian, are the only appetizers, while the mains here are concentrated on seafood, with well known staples such sea bass steamed in lime or fried with chilli sauce, Tom Yam soup and prawns in tamarind. The ever popular Gaeng Massaman Nuea (beef) is your choice as a curry dish.
Moo4 Bistro – Appetizers
After a couple of rounds of mojitos and G & T’s, accompanied by some tasty toasted amuse-bouches, the group went for starters of Coquilles St Jacques, Saumon Fumé and the crab meat spring rolls.
The pan fried scallops were served atop their shells on a basic green salad bed and finished off with a mango foam. The combination worked well, the foam delicate enough not to overpower the shellfish but still imparting plenty of flavour to the dish.
The salmon was beautifully presented, a row of crostini decked with the fish itself, a horseradish cream and twists of citrus fruit, capers scattered across the whole. Again, the flavours worked handsomely together, though the crostini needed much more uniform toasting to give the dish its required crunch.
The crab spring rolls were as expected, a good clean taste offset by the accompanying sweet but rather bland sauce.
Moo4 Bistro – Mains
Unadventurously, we plumped for just a short selection of mains, red snapper fillet with a tomato vinaigrette from the French side of the menu and and a Thai dish of scallops in chili paste.
The pan fried fish fillet was perfectly cooked, moist, firm flesh with a very fresh flavour, if just a little bit too oily. The tomato vinaigrette contrasted nicely with just enough acidity coming through from the lime zest.
As sides, you can choose from French Fries, pureed potato or sauteed herb potatoes, so we tried them all and can report they all passed the test.
The Thai scallops, meanwhile, looked great, with the whole dish lifted by the sweet basil, an integral element to this Thai staple. We sensed, however, that the roasted chilli paste sauce was perhaps not homemade.
The short desserts’ list, which includes ice creams, an apple crumble and of course, creme brulée, did not tempt us this time. Instead, buoyed by the setting, we opted for yet another bottle of the excellent Pinot Grigio from a very comprehensive selection.
Moo4 Bistro – To Sum Up
Within just a couple of years, Moo4 has become one of the best restaurants in Kai Bae Beach. The hostess, who hails from Luxembourg, imparts an instant friendly welcome, as well as being thoroughly knowledgeable and helpful on the menu and her wines.
Presentation is one of the bistro’s strongest points, everything from tablecloths to plates, from decent wine glasses and cutlery has clearly been thought through. That attention to detail comes across in the food too, which overall, bar the few minor quibbles outlined above, is of a high quality.
Yes, service is undeniably slow, but Moo4 is a restaurant you should set aside time for, with your reward not only a quality meal but also a sophisticated evening out. It’s a terrific little place.
Average cost per head with wine and aperitif: 1,000bt+
Open for dinner only, though it does serve breakfast for The Stage guests.