Leading boutique resort MANATHAI Koh Samui has appointed Chef Roberto Belliti to create the concept and lead Waterline Restaurant, the property’s new beachfront dining experience.Located opposite a traditional fishing village on Lamai Beach, Waterline is the brainchild of the innovative chef whose career has been populated with art, travel and a love of freedom of expression, which he now channels into his cooking and latest creation.
Growing up in Parma, Italy, where Chef Roberto attended art school with the full intention of becoming an illustrator but fortune played its part early on as the struggling artist went to look for funds to pay his way through college by working in restaurant kitchens where he discovered his love of the culinary arts.
At 25 he left Italy to travel throughout Europe, moving to London where he worked at the Hilton Park Lane where he had the opportunity to work with starred and great chefs in the city over a period of eight years.
MANATHAI Koh Samui’s signature Waterline Restaurant is headed by Chef Roberto Belliti.
A move to Milan followed where he opened a restaurant named EFF CUCINA E STAGIONI which was awarded the 4th best newcomer restaurant in the city after three months – before his travels took him to Bangkok, Singapore, Phuket and finally to Koh Samui
“I am delighted to be here,” he said. “All the ingredients are in place both in the style of the restaurant, access to fresh food and the destination itself, which is relaxed and perfectly suited to a dining concept.”
A glimpse at the menu at Waterline reveals a level of creativity and innovation only found in many of the very top restaurants – a menu that is infused with Chef Roberto’s deep reverence for nature.
“Nature is extremely important. I like freedom and this is synonymous with nature. The dishes represent what is around me,” he said. “But this is not our theme. We are not focusing on healthy food for health’s sake. I think we have forgotten how good vegetables taste. There’s so much fried, sugar coated, dressed heavily food. What I am trying to do it get ingredients that taste as they are supposed to. We are rediscovering fresh ingredients.”
Dishes have playful names. Take Salmon In The Garden, where sprouting broccoli, basil, peas, mustard seed, guacamole, onions – everything you can find in the garden – are juxtaposed with lemongrass-cured salmon. All ingredients are pickled, raw or marinated. No fat, no oil. A mini watering can is used to add the dressing.
Full of Flavour: In The Pot offers diners a creative chance to rediscover the freshness of garden vegetables.
Or In The Pot, a desert that is built on the concept of “going to the garden to pick your food for a Sunday meal”. It is essentially carrot cake but full of mint, basil and coriander, with a baby carrot dunked right in the centre.
“Perfection does not exist unless it is in nature. The carrots still have the leaves on. When we are plating – I give my team freedom. They do not have to be perfect. When leaves fall from a tree they are not always in the same place. This is natural. This is how we are and it is within this framework we have fun. A lot of fun!”