Samui Wining & Dining
Beach Bistro

Dining at Bistro Samui turns all those daydreams of tropical island life into reality.

 

Page12Feb

Short cold days and long, freezing winter nights. That’s the reality for more than half of the northern hemisphere at this time of year. And it’s one of the reasons many Europeans book some time off work in February and head to warmer climates like Samui. The thought of lying on a sun-kissed beach with a chilled beer or glass of wine is usually enough to get them through the stark greyness of the post-Christmas weeks and months. And Samui rarely disappoints.

Over the last decade or so, the number of new hotels and restaurants on the island has increased dramatically. And that leads to higher standards right across the board. Restaurants not only have to consistently produce exciting, innovative and delicious food, they have to offer something more. And that can be the location, the service, the price and everything else that goes into making a dining experience memorable. It’s those criteria that the local owners, and the General Manager, Khajohn Eakintumas, of Bistro Samui had to consider when opening their new restaurant last year.


   

        They had the perfect spot on Chaweng Noi Beach. It’s just 1.3 kilometres from the southern exit of Chaweng Beach Road heading towards Lamai and just after the Impiana Resort & Spa. There had been a well-known restaurant on the site for many years but when their lease ran out the owners of the land, who already operated hotels on the island, decided to start another new venture. “The restaurant sits right on the beach, just metres from the water’s edge,” Khun Khajohn explained. “And so the location was ideal. We also built a separate covered beach bar so guests could relax before or after dinner or just pop in for a drink during the day. In addition, we have free sun-loungers for all our guests so that they can spend the day on the beach in comfort right in front of the bar. All the restaurant tables, whether inside the open-front covered part or on the beach, overlook the ocean and we can seat around 100 people at a time. For the tables closest to the sea I would advise booking. And, unlike many restaurants, the price quoted on the menu is the price you pay. We don't add a service charge or government tax; the latter is for us to deal with, not the guests. And if they feel that the food and service have been excellent then they can leave a gratuity for the team.”

 

        In keeping with the beach restaurant feel, they’ve kept the décor simple, brought in comfy chairs and left lots of space between tables for some privacy. And they’ve created a menu with more than 100 dishes on it. “We open from 10:00 am right through until around 11:00 pm. As such, we wanted to provide lighter dishes during the day, both Thai and international. And we have a full range of regional Thai specialities, steaks, grills and a seafood barbecue station on the beach for the evenings. Our Head Chef, Khun Suriyan is very experienced in this style of restaurant and he and his team operate from a large kitchen that also overlooks the ocean.”

 

           Khun Khajohn and Chef Suriyan have split the menu into easy-to-read sections and they have plenty of recommendations from each. Amongst the Thai appetizers, they suggest the fish cakes with chili sauce, the soft-shell crab and the laab moo rue kai, a spicy minced pork dish with lemon, chilies and herbs from the northeast of Thailand. There’re dozens of rice and noodle dishes, stir-fries and curries. The most popular tend to be the red curry with duck, the green curry with chicken, the sour curry with fish and, of course, the famous pad Thai. For something a little different to get the gastric juices flowing, they recommend the hor mok talay. It’s a baked seafood dish wrapped in banana leaves, similar to a seafood soufflé but made with a touch of red curry paste and coconut milk from Samui. And they have dozens of fresh local fish and crustaceans on ice displayed in their beach barbecue section which you choose from and say how you’d like it cooked.

 

          Bistro Samui’s international menu is also packed full of tempting starters, main courses and desserts. And alongside pizzas, pasta, burgers and baguettes, they have a whole page of steaks and grills. Choose from T-bone, sirloin, tenderloin and rib-eye. Plus, grilled chicken, breast of duck, salmon steak, lamb chops and pork chops, all served with fries, vegetables and a range of sauces. For the really hungry, they have a huge ‘Surf ’n’ Turf’ to get stuck into. And if you still have some room, you can end your meal with a super-tasty banana flambé with deep-fried ice-cream.

 

           After all that it might make sense to move to the beach bar and sprawl out for a while and watch the lit Chinese lanterns rising into the sky above Chaweng Beach. Bistro Samui has a great range of cocktails and after-dinner liqueurs, illy brand coffee and all the usual beers and spirits. And each evening they host ‘Happy Hours’ between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm with discounted cocktails, wines and beers.

 

           It’s a fantastic place to chill-out during the day. And it works perfectly well in the evening for a romantic dinner for two by candle-light. All those chilly, winter day-dreams of long, hot days, cold beers and nothing to do except relax can become a reality. And should give you enough wonderful memories to last you through until your next trip.

 

        


Johnny Paterson
      

 

         


 


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