Samui Wining & Dining
2012 is Here!
There’s no better place in the world to start the new year than Samui.


2012 is Here!And as the holidaymakers are slowly recovering from the excesses of the New Year celebrations, the rest of us here on Samui are cracking on and getting back to work. None more so than our feature writers, who are running backwards and forwards around the island picking up all the latest wining and dining news. But it must be said that it’s not that bad a job, as they’re often invited to go beyond the call of duty and tuck into some of the best cuisine you’ll find in all of Thailand whilst they’re interviewing the food experts about their restaurants.


Feature Writer, Rob De Wet, starts off his January by joining in the Thai cooking class at Samui Buri Beach Resort, in Maenam, and comes away more than capable of hosting a Thai cuisine dinner party – I just hope I’m invited when it actually happens. Then he’s over to Chaweng’s most celebrated beachside Italian restaurant – Olivio – at the chic Baan Haad Ngam Boutique Resort & Spa, where he spends a typical day with its charming Restaurant Manager, Khun Komvika Rodchangphuen, and finds out what she does in front of and behind the scenes.


The next day, Rob’s back over to Maenam, this time to Fair House Villas & Spa where he discovers all about the exciting F&B operation they have there, focusing on their breathtaking beachside restaurant, The Bre-Eze. And, finally, he’s across to X2 (that’s spoken as ‘cross to’) in the very south of the island, where he falls in love with their minimalist restaurant 4K (and that’s pronounced – Fork) and immerses himself in their delicious cuisine.


Next out of the tracks is another of our full-time feature writers, Johnny Paterson. And his first assignment of the new year also takes him to Samui’s ‘Deep South’; this time to the luxurious ShaSa Resort & Residences where he meets up with this month’s ‘Kitchen King’, Executive Chef, Raden Kaew-Udon, who’s in charge of the kitchen brigade at their renowned Beyond The Sea Siamese Brasserie. Later on in the week, Johnny’s back in bustling Chaweng but in an oasis of utter peace and tranquillity at the truly amazing Spirit House Restaurant & Spa Resort. And here, amongst a totally authentic backdrop of ‘ruined’ ramparts and city walls, a mini-lake and Oriental chedis, he’s pampered inside-out during an unforgettable spa/dining experience.


Johnny rounds off January with his regular monthly task of discovering a local Thai food eatery where the natives (both Thais and expats) go. And this time he uncovers a gem in the form of Daeng’s Restaurant, in the heart of Chaweng. Not only is the food absolutely delicious, scrupulously clean and incredibly good value-for-money, but Khun Daeng is one of the nicest people you could wish to meet (and speaks excellent English, too!).


One of our regular contributors, Lisa Cunningham, gets to visit Baitong Restaurant & Terrace Bar at Banana Fan Sea Beach Resort, in Chaweng, where she interviews their General Manager, Khun Supit Choo-in, and asks him for the reasons why the restaurant keeps getting rave reviews on the internet and in the local press. And our new contributor, Christina Wylie (recently arrived from working in London for The Times and Hong Kong for Time Out) stops off at Samui’s ‘restaurant with a difference’ – Twisted Thai – at the prestigious Imperial Samui Beach Resort in Chaweng Noi, and finds out all about their innovative approach to cooking and presenting Thai cuisine.


Our resident Wine Guru, Peter James, doesn’t actually go anywhere this month but he closes the show with a personally prepared list of ten new guidelines to replace the antiquated wine ‘rules’ we’ve all grown up with. And when you read it, you’ll see that Peter doesn’t have much respect for ‘Old World’ formalities!


What with all the above and a whole load of other features (including articles about the Chinese New Year which is celebrated this month, the local shrimp farms, and yaa-dong – a strong local liquor) there’s plenty to read in this month’s Samui Wining & Dining. That’s when you’re not actually wining and dining yourselves.


Happy New Year!


Steve Taylor



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