Samui Wining & Dining
Whatʼs that Buzz

Nadimos Lebanese restaurant is creating quite a stir.

 

12-13The restaurant trade can be a fickle business. Loyal customers are few and far between, and most foodies are quick to move on to the next ‘big thing’ to hit town. Sometimes, a restaurant is flavour of the month, and then silently closes as quickly as it appears. But other times, they really do impress beyond just being the latest place to be seen. They need to show consistently great food, friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere. Nadimos, located at the western end of Bangrak in Prana Beach Villas, does just that.

      So what’s all the fuss about? Well, Nadimos serves up great Lebanese cuisine. And on an island with so many expat restaurateurs producing a literal smorgasbord of International cuisine, Lebanese food, with its exotic spices and rich flavours has been sorely lacking in availability. If you’ve never tried it before, do yourself a favour and do so..

      In Lebanon, very rarely are drinks served without being accompanied by food. Similar to the tapas of Spain, mezeluri of Romania, and antipasto of Italy, mezze is an array of small dishes placed on the table and shared between the guests, creating an array of colours, flavours, textures and aromas. Mezze may be as simple as pickled or raw vegetables served with hummus, baba ghanoush and pita bread, or it may become an entire meal consisting of grilled marinated seafood, skewered meats, a variety of cooked and raw salads and a tempting assortment of desserts to finish off with.

      But owner, Richard Al Ghoul, is by no means testing the waters with Nadimos on Samui. The recipes are tried and tested at his two branches of Nadimos in Bangkok, both extremely popular with locals, expats and tourists alike. Being Lebanese, he’s obviously passionate about the authenticity of the food served, so most of the ingredients are imported from Lebanon and then prepared by his Lebanese chefs, Executive Chef, Noor Safwan and Chef Bassam Abamorra.

       Lebanese food has similarities with other Middle Eastern cuisine, and flatbread is a staple with every meal, often used like a fork to scoop up the juices of delicious stews, dips and salads. The Nadimos menu is a selection of the most famous Lebanese dishes, such as tabbouleh (chopped parsley and tomatoes with fresh, zesty citrus overtones), baba ghanoush (a smoky grilled eggplant dip), hummus (silky mashed chickpeas with sesame paste), kebabs (tender skewers of charcoal grilled lamb with

chopped parsley and onions), riz bil hallib (a desert made of rice and milk pudding with a rose syrup), and last but not least, Lebanese coffee, a hot beverage that is a must try at the end of the meal,or simply any time of the day for a pick-me-up. It’s thick and strong, similar to Turkish coffee.

      Now while Thailand is known for its pork dishes, the Middle East’s meat of choice is lamb. Expats who crave lamb with be spoilt for choice when it comes to the Nadimos menu. Choose from lamb ras asfour (sliced sautéed lamb with cream and pine nuts); one of the nine different varieties of kebab, like the kebab ezmelli (tender, juicy minced lamb with dots of white cheese); grilled lamb chops; and maanik (homemade mini sausages), to mention but a few.

       To ease the kick of the strong coffee, be sure to try a dessert. Lebanese sweets typically use dried fruit such as dates and apricots, as well as nuts such as pistachio, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts, as well as honey and rose syrup to sweeten. There’s a similarity to Greek or Moroccan desserts, with baklava being the most famous. End the meal by smoking a shisha – a traditional water pipe, with flavours including melon, strawberry, mint and apple. As the smoke is filtered through water, it’s not nearly as offensive to non-smokers as regular cigarettes or cigars, so you’ll feel slightly less guilty in doing so.

         Delicious food tastes even better in a beautiful setting. Nadimos’ location on the seafront makes it an ideal lunch time or sunset venue. Dine during the day, and it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a dip in the beachfront infinity pool, or laze about on a sun-lounger with a cocktail or two after your meal. Should you be coming for dinner, arrive in time for sundowners, as Bangrak beach offers some of the best sunsets on the island, a perfect way to start the evening.

         So if you fancy something other than Thai food, but still crave exotic flavours, try Nadimos. The restaurant is open from 7:00 am until 11:30 pm, and it’s a perfect venue for intimate private functions too.

         

Rosanne Turner


 


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