Samui Wining & Dining
Kitchen King

Delicious and creative fusion at The Farmer Restaurant & Bar.


15Turning left off the ring-road in Ban Tai, just 300 metres on the left after a sharp left-hand bend as you reach the end of Maenam heading west, head up a long driveway towards The Farmer Restaurant & Bar and you immediately know it’s going to be something different. Besides the big water buffalo grazing nearby, you notice the bright green of expansive rice paddies surrounding the restaurant, and the palm tree covered hill in the distance. If you stop and listen, you can hear frogs and ducks happily croaking and quacking their way through the water. It is peaceful, calm and tranquil. During the day, the green of the rice paddies is beautifully striking against the blue sky, and at night the area is lit up with lanterns giving it an almost magical feeling.

      A thatched pavilion is where the main seating area lies but there are many other tables outside on a decking area around an ornamental pond. Here you can dine under the stars, lanterns on your table, softly glowing, creating a lovely ambiance. Small glass vases with rice plants are the simple yet effective table decorations, and dried rice plant stalks and stems lie pressed under the table glass for a gentle reminder of where you are.

      Creating more magic at The Farmer is Head Chef, Khun Adisorn Kwanthep, or Khun Aoh. He has been at The Farmer since it opened two years ago and brings many years of experience with him. Originally from Hat Yai, Khun Aor learnt to cook while growing up, cooking for his friends and family. He then worked in various restaurants learning as much as he could before finally moving to Samui. Here he worked for five years under the executive chef at Le Meridien, increasing his knowledge about International cuisine. He left Samui and then spent a few years working at the luxurious 5-star Lebua at State Tower in Bangkok, before returning to head up the kitchen at The Farmer.

      Although cooking and menu planning are always on this mind, when he’s not working he finds time to relax by running or spending time on his motorbike. And while he enjoys his relaxation in the fresh island air and around nature, he finds inspiration for his new dishes or how to improve his current ones. Even though he enjoys cooking International dishes (and from the many reviews on TripAdvisor, it’s something he clearly does very well), his favourite ingredients are Thai, including cumin, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime.

       The menu here is innovative and creative. Khun Aor has created wonderfully complementary combinations of Thai and International flavours that’ll leave your taste buds singing. The one dish that caught our eye was the ‘Mussaman Lamb Shank served with mashed potato and arjad sauce.’ That really does sound like the best of both East and West. A dish that he created that is proving very popular here at The Farmer is the ‘Mixed Thai Appetiser’, which is a selection of dishes that enable diners to sample a few of his incredible creations.

       Khun Aor displays his experience of International cuisine mixed with his passion for Thai food in many of the dishes on the extensive menu. Lamb, duck and beef feature highly on the menu as does lobster. In fact the ‘Phuket Lobster Farmer Style’ dish is another firm favourite with guests, being a slight variation on traditional Lobster Thermidore. The ‘Caramelized duck breast with farmer vegetables and fine noodles in honey orange sauce’ is a simple example of how he seamlessly combines East and West.

      Two firm favourites as voted by diners are the ‘Farmer Dirty Duck’ and ‘Panaeng Lamb’. Khun Aor noticed our expression when he said ‘Dirty Duck’ and went on to explain how duck breast is slowly cooked in a sauce and then fried until the skin goes a golden crispy colour. That’s more like it, one Dirty Duck for me please.

       Khun Aor does something very special and unique at The Farmer. It’s called ‘Five coloured herbal rice’. Small servings of rice, all individually wrapped in small parcels created from banana leaves. The special bit comes when you unwrap them and discover that they are all different colours, blue, yellow, pale green, pale red and white. Don’t worry though, they are all coloured with herbs or spices so there’s nothing artificial to be found here, but it is very different. This dish of beauty is served with all the Thai main courses.

      Another treat that this creative chef has perfected is ‘Coconut Custard’. Yes, as the name suggests, it is a twist on a normal custard mix with added fresh coconut milk. It sounds deliciously indulgent.

         The Farmer is open seven days a week from noon until 10:00 pm for both lunch and dinner. The staff is known for being friendly and attentive, and their knowledge of the various dishes will ensure you know exactly what you’re ordering.

         The Farmer also has a very popular ‘promotion lunch menu’. From noon until 3:00 pm every day, they offer dishes such as Pizza Margarita, ice cream and a bottle of water for just 250 baht (which includes both service and tax) or how about Crispy Fried Duck, rice gourd soup, tropical fruit and a bottle of water for just 299 baht. They have prawn, chicken and pork dishes on offer too for 550 baht. It’s becoming extremely popular so make sure you try it out.

         So if you’re looking for something a little different, head over to The Farmer and indulge in some creative fusion.


Colleen Setchell


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