Samui Wining & Dining
Saucepan Lids’ Specials

A look at what’s on offer for those smaller appetites.


12This month’s star question. Pork pies. Jam jars. Plates of meat. Saucepan lids. What do all of these have in common? And your nationality will have a lot to do with how you answer this! So – only half a point if you ventured an answer directly connected with wining, dining or food; you’re off track. But if your response had the word ‘slang’ in it, particularly alongside the word ‘Cockney’, then award yourself the entire enchilada. It’s Cockney rhyming slang and, translated, the earlier phrases mean lies, cars, feet, and kids, respectively. And the latter is what this one’s all about: restaurants which are offering special deals for families with children.


Obviously it’s just not possible to cover every restaurant on the island! But the ones mentioned below are those that we know are very much aware of what families with youngsters need. Essentially restaurants have three approaches. One: they make no allowances at all for children. Two: they offer discounts on meals or perhaps have a children’s menu. And, three: they cater for families and have an extensive children’s menu, outdoor activities, a kids’ club or playroom and supervisors to take care of it all whilst you eat. So here’s a brief outline of what you can expect, beginning with the most committed that we’ve discovered. But please note: as a general rule the kids’ clubs and babysitters are mostly daytime activities and might not apply to evening dining – it’s best to inquire first.


Mercure Samui Buri Beach Resort & Spa, Mae Nam (telephone 0 7742 7275-7). A large and impressive resort with dramatic Thai architecture, their L’escale beachside restaurant is positively family-orientated with a daily kids’ club and activities, outdoor games and water fun, an extensive children’s menu and reasonably-priced evening beach theme buffets on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Children under 16 are charged half-price and it’s free for under-12s on theme nights!


Six Senses Samui, Samrong Bay (telephone 0 7724 5678). Both their spectacular Dining on the Rocks and Dining on the Hill restaurants have developed an extensive healthy and varied dedicated children’s menu. There are several intriguing items spread between starters, mains and desserts, with various vegetarian choices. There are specialised menus for infants (six to 12 months) and toddlers (12 months to three years). An added highlight is the range of 20 homemade ice-creams! Five-star dining at reasonable prices.


Anantara Bophut, Bophut (telephone 0 7742 8310). A relaxed high-end resort with a gourmet Italian restaurant, Full Moon, their active children’s club is based at their all-day restaurant, High Tide. Titled ‘Little Monkey’ (Baan Ling Noi) there are varied daytime activities including an ongoing booklet-based program with facts, figures, quizzes and puzzles. This is also presented to visiting diners who can take advantage of an international and Thai menu for children, colouring books, a video room and on-site ‘nannies’. Evening baby-sitters are also available for diners.


Buddy Oriental Beach Resort, Lamai (telephone 0 7745 8560). One of Lamai’s landmarks, this bright and modern resort features a children’s menu at its flagship Italian restaurant, Pazzo, including a complimentary ice-cream. However, if you fancy eating at the adjacent Buddy Mexican or Chom-Lay Thai seafood restaurant, your offspring will be taken care of at the active daytime kiddies’ club which includes supervised games, activities and videos. Evening babysitting available.


Rocky’s Boutique Resort, Lamai (telephone 0 7723 3020-4). One of the island’s most attractive resorts, with elegant fine-dining at The Dining Room and a laid-back poolside location for their international/Thai restaurant, The Bistro. There are daybeds and loungers, a tapas menu, and there’s also a special menu for children, a play-room with games and videos, and a nanny. Baby-sitting is also available in the evening, when the atmosphere is at its most alluring!


Chaweng Regent Beach Resort, Chaweng (telephone 0 7742 2008). One of Chaweng’s longest-established resorts, their beachside Chomtalay restaurant features a dedicated children’s souvenir take-away menu hosting a wide variety of dishes. This menu also contains a colouring book and crayons. Children eat at half-price at their extensive yet reasonably-priced beach buffets on Saturday and Tuesday evenings.


Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi, just around the corner and a few minutes from Chaweng (telephone 0 7742 2011). A laid-back and elegant resort with a keen approach to value-for-money and an all-day ‘happy hour’. Two quality eateries, the upper Tamarind Bar & Lounge and the beachside Sabai restaurant, both offering a range of daytime and evening meals for children.


Prana Resorts & Spa, Bang Rak (telephone 0 7724 6362). One of |Samui’s very few vegetarian restaurants, this is an extremely laid-back venue with some exceptional cuisine at their beachside Amala Restaurant. Although there’s no actual set menu for children, smaller portions are readily available at a discount and the kitchen will happily provide several small ‘tasters’ together on one plate, if requested. It’s all very relaxed and the kids can play on the beach.


Hansar Samui, Bo Phut (telephone 0 7724 5511). This large and modern resort at the far end of Fisherman’s Village boasts two super restaurants, H-Bistro and Chill Lounge, and has a dedicated children’s menu, with a daytime babysitter available upon request in the evenings.


The Library, Chaweng Beach (telephone 0 7742 2767). This award-winning ‘minimalist’ resort with its splendid restaurant, The Page, features a specially-selected range of smaller-sized meals for children.


Bandara Resort & Spa, Bo Phut (telephone 0 7742 7340). Another laid-back and prestigious resort, with a dedicated menu for children presented in cartoon form, at their Chom Dao beachside international and Thai restaurant.


Black Canyon Coffee in the Chaweng, Lamai and Nathon branches of Tesco Lotus, and in Xin City on the Chaweng Beach Road (close to Soi Green Mango). No kiddies’ clubs or beach parties here, but probably one of the widest children’s menus you’ll find and at extremely affordable prices!


The Coffee Club, central Chaweng, just along from Burger King. Another excellent range of affordable snacks and main meals specifically for children, with the added attraction of a huge range of ice-creams at their Swensen’s ice-cream parlour!


Coming on holiday with children can be a substantial drain on resources, in more ways than one. One solution, of course, is to explore the more-affordable option of budget dining. But with the restaurants we’ve listed above, there’s no need. They provide another alternative; quality meals but with children having smaller portions at a reduced cost. And that, as the Cockneys might say, keeps the ‘trouble and strife’ happy and takes care of the ‘saucepan lids’ as well – without emptying your sky-rockets!


Rob De Wet

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