Samui Wining & Dining
A Unique Samui Experience at The Farmer

17The ‘Wow!’ factor. It’s what every restaurant around the world wishes to have, but very few manage to achieve. And this spellbinding eatery isn’t even on the beach or perched upon a rocky hillside. No, The Farmer restaurant is, as the name suggests, on a flat plain adjacent to rice fields. But it’s being in such a truly rural and rustic location which gives The Farmer that elusive and sought-after ‘Wow!’ factor, along with many other features, of which I’ll expand upon.

The restaurant is off the ring-road in Ban Tai, just 300 metres on the left after the sharp left-hand bend as you reach the end of Maenam, coming from Chaweng. And you’ll immediately get an indication that The Farmer is going to be a lot more that a small shack with fluorescent lights as you turn into the signposted 150-metre long private driveway which is lined by flaming torches (160 of them!) all the way up to the huge car park next to the amazing Balinese-style restaurant building.

As soon as you arrive, you’ll be escorted inside where the whole place opens out again with an open-kitchen on your left and a bar to your right, with a small ornamental pond straight ahead in front of the main two-storey restaurant structure. Upstairs, there are two rooms available for small groups or families wishing to have total privacy, and downstairs there’s a highly sumptuous dining room with a lovely vaulted wooden ceiling under a traditional Thai thatched roof.

And although interiors of restaurants don’t come more elegant than this, weather permitting, most diners choose to sit at the outside lantern-lit tables complete with vases of rice plants as suitable alternatives to the ubiquitous orchids. There are two expansive terraces here looking out across the (floodlit at night) rice fields, complete with five scarecrows assuming the actions of rice farmers harvesting the crop, and on to the silhouetted mountains beyond. And couples wishing to take full advantage of this magical scene can actually dine at a table especially set up in the middle of the rice field itself. Romantic dining locations don’t get better than this and it’s certainly less clichéd than being on a tropical beach!

The Farmer restaurant is the brainchild of owner/Executive Chef, Khun Somroj Mepiern. And he’s quite an extraordinary man. He’s an island native who’s gone to the very top of his profession, accumulating a highly impressive CV along the way. After 10 years working his way up the cooking ladder with the Dusit Group in Phuket, he was called upon to open Samui’s prestigious Santiburi (Dusit) Resort as the Executive Chef where he remained for two years before being headhunted by the Taling Ngam Resort (then owned by the world-famous Le Meridien Group) to open the resort’s restaurants. And after an incredible 16 years there (an unprecedented period for a chef), he felt the time was right to follow his heart and open a restaurant, the like of which Samui has never seen.

The food is something more than special here, too, and Khun Somroj offers a highly innovative menu covering the very best of Thai and International cuisine. And here are some recommendations. Beginning with starters, the Thai Yam Som-O – herbed pomelo salad with chicken and prawns – is particularly tasty way to begin an Oriental culinary adventure, whilst the Crab-meat with tomato and avocado salad is its International counterpart.

Moving on to mains, do try Khun Somroj’s unbelievably delicious Pla Krapong Yaang Bai Tong – grilled sea-bass in a banana leaf with red curry sauce – or, for International food lovers, the Roasted Marinated French-cut Rack of Lamb with ratatouille and menthe sauce is a real winner.

There’s a good selection of desserts, with the local sweet dish, Kluay Buat Chee – banana in coconut milk – definitely worth trying, and the International favourite, Crepes Suzette, with homemade vanilla ice-cream a very popular choice.

Yes, The Farmer restaurant certainly does that ‘Wow!’ factor with its unique location, excellent cooking, terrific staff and great value-for-money. And for those reasons it comes highly recommended to those seeking a totally different but exceptional Samui dining experience!


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