Samui Wining & Dining
Krua Kudos
Creativity, consistency and conviviality have been the hallmarks of
Krua Bophut restaurant’s continued success.

 

Krua KudosNow into its third year of operation, Krua Bophut restaurant remains a firm favourite for all real Thai food lovers. Sitting comfortably in the far western end of Fisherman’s Village, its beachfront location only enhances the experience. But in terms of food alone, you’d trek into the densest jungle just to find it.

 

From the first day of opening, local Thais and expats have flocked to the village to dine here. And word quickly spread amongst visitors used to browsing on-line restaurant reviews before they arrive. Plus it very quickly found its way into the pages of the Samui Dining Guide, essential reading for gourmets. From the exterior it looks like a very traditional Thai wooden house, albeit a rather large and grand one. Students of design and architecture will appreciate the intricate carvings in the doors and panels. It wasn’t simple carpenters that constructed this restaurant, it was true craftsmen. And the attention to detail, quality workmanship and understated finesse run right through every aspect of the operation.

 

Guests are warmly greeted by the restaurant team resplendent in their elegant Thai uniforms. And even in the busiest of times, they seem to glide gracefully rather than rush around. Genuine hospitality comes naturally to them and the service is as every bit as good as the cuisine. One of the first things you’ll have to decide is where you want to sit. Inside the restaurant there’s comfortable seating for around 60 people. Out on the terrace there’s space for another 40 or so and on the beach they can accommodate another 50 guests.

 

Each area has its own unique qualities and every table affords a wonderful view of Koh Pha-Ngan in the background but I would suggest you have a look around the interior of the restaurant first, if it’s not too busy. It’s a treasure trove of antiques and collectables and reflects the history of generations of the owner’s family. In the middle of the room there’re some very old and valuable Benjarong porcelain plates and tea sets. Each item is hand-made and painted and has been lovingly cared for. The afternoons and early evenings are best if you want to have a really good nose around.

 

Booking a table on the beach is advisable if you want to enjoy one or two of their excellent cocktails when the sun’s going down. Restaurant Manager, Khun Jum, recommends the ‘Blue Samui’, which has generous shots of vodka, blue Curacao, Cointreau, lemon juice, lychee juice and syrup, and their signature ‘Samui Sawasdee’ containing vodka, Campari, orange Curacao, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar syrup and grenadine. Enjoying a beachside cocktail is not something you’d do on a cold December evening in Europe but it’s almost de rigeur when you’re on a tropical sunshine island around Christmas time.

 

Choosing what to eat is your next decision. And it may take some time as there’re over 100 dishes on the menu and new creations are always being added. You’ll spot familiar names on the menu like traditional curries and stir fries as well as regional specialities and local seafood. But don’t think for a minute that the tastes, textures and aromas will be the same as everywhere else. Chef Nong and his team re-create classic recipes using only the best and freshest ingredients and place a contemporary twist on the presentation. A great ambience, wonderful views, perfect service and your company are all important component parts of any dining experience. However, the food is central to it and always will be and it has been critical in defining this restaurant as one of the best for Thai cuisine on the island. And with main courses around 230-300 baht the value for money factor is huge.

 

If you can’t make your mind up then Jum suggests ordering one of their two special six-course set menus. And at only 550 baht it may be the best bargain you’ve ever had. They both start with a selection of five different appetizers per person followed by either a fresh fruit or garden vegetable salad. You can then opt for their famous spicy and sour prawn soup, tom yam goong or a chicken soup with coconut milk and Thai herbs known here as tom kha gai. Next up is curry, and you can sample a traditional green curry with chicken and eggplant or a roast duck curry. The fifth course is either stir-fried white snapper with three spices or stir fried chicken with cashew nuts. And to finish off, if you can manage it, there’s coconut ice-cream or a warm banana fritter. These dishes bring all the essential flavours of Thai cuisine to the fore and there’s more than enough food on offer for even the hungriest amongst you.

 

None of the dishes are overpoweringly spicy and you can still enjoy a bottle of wine with them. And they have some good Australian and Chilean Sauvignon Blancs, Cabernet Sauvignons and Shiraz Cabernets that are up to the task. Plus they have a very good PB Khao Yai Reserve Shiraz from Thailand worth tasting and they’re all around the 1,300 baht mark per bottle.

 

Over the Christmas and New Year period they also have some special festive (Thai) menus on offer. And reservations will be necessary, particularly on the 24th, 25th and 31st of December. They’re open every day from 1:00 pm until late, with last orders for food at 10:30 pm and there’re plenty of parking spaces available opposite the restaurant. Krua Bophut is now a Samui landmark Thai fine-dining restaurant and deservedly so. Have it high up on your list of places to visit whilst you’re here.

 

Johnny Paterson

 


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