In Argentina, a barbecue or ‘Asado’ is not just a way of cooking meat; it is an art form. Every chef has his own personal secret when it comes to arming the parrilla (grill), whether it is the heat of the fire, the ratio of coal to wood, or at what moment they turn the meat over. Grilling meat is part of the Argentine national identity.
To realise this ‘art form’ in Thailand may be a big ask; but when Monsoon Valley’s General Manager of Food and Beverages, Guido Campigotto, put his mind to the task of offering such an extravaganza at the vineyard’s Sala Restaurant, there was little doubt that would be achieved.
To begin with, Guido was unable to find an authentic Argentinian barbecue in Thailand. His simple remedy was to design and build one of his own. Without going into all the details, that design means being able to adjust the cooking grill and warming station heights to better control the cooking process and being able to direct the flow of juices to reduce flames from the fire and coals. At Monsoon Valley, the barbecue fire uses pruned grapevine branches, adding to both the sustainability of the grape growing process and infusing the meat with the real flavour of the vines.
Our wood-fired barbecue brunch was a most social occasion, amongst convivial company on a picture-perfect day. Plans to expand the restaurant facilities to include more wine tasting areas have been put on hold, with builders unable to guarantee completion before harvest time. The plans are still intact but the renovations won’t happen until mid-year.
That means that diners, including our group of good friends, could still enjoy expansive views overlooking the rows of grapevines below or be amongst the verdant gardens in other private spaces. We could also check out two elephants wandering by, supervised but unchained, on an excursion from their on-site sanctuary home.
One early point of discussion was the roadworks en route. The condition of the approach road has long been an issue for visitors, but that’s now changing. It’s taken very persistent efforts from Guido, including spreading photos of 30 cm potholes in the road on official desks, to demonstrate the urgent need for maintenance.
This Argentinian barbecue meant being offered a sumptuous feast with platters of mixed meats amongst chargrilled eggplant, corn, other vegetables and salads. That feast for the eyes and palate was followed by colorful sweet delights, small in size, but as many as you like.
One of the reasons Guido gives for the Argentinian theme is the perfect match between the barbecue flavours and the award-winning vineyard red wines. The only bad news is that Monsoon Valley is outside the current Blue Zone where wine service is allowed. That conundrum leaves him shaking his head; it’s a situation a bit similar to the theme of the iconic Australian song ‘’A Pub With No Beer’’, a vineyard with no wine tasting is beyond belief!
That veto meant our visit was without wine to toast the New Year. Instead, our ‘ÇHEERS’ were offered with grape juice and soda; but somehow that didn’t really matter.
When all the other sensational ingredients were on, or around the table and surrounds, an Asado at Monsoon Valley delivered all that was needed for a perfect day in Hua Hin’s hinterland amongst the vines.
An Argentinian Asado – Wood-Fired Barbecue Brunch at Monsoon Valley Vineyard
Every Saturday from 12 noon to 2 pm.
Vineyard Open: 10:00am. – 10:00pm.
Email: email@example.com. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for transfers to the vineyard