Samui Wining & Dining
Barge Right In

If you’re looking for delicious traditional Thai cuisine in a beautiful setting, visit the Rice Barge & Terrace at Nora Buri Resort.


Page-5Samui has an endless variety of restaurants, both Thai and International, and sometimes the decision on which one to visit can be hit and miss. This is where we come in, as Samui Wining & Dining represents some of the best dining experiences that the island has to offer. Now while it can be great fun visiting an authentic Thai roadside vendor or little café, sometimes, you fancy a little more sophistication. And the addition of an attractive setting, comfortable seating, air-conditioning and well-trained serving staff by no means makes the experience any less authentic.

      Cue the Rice Barge & Terrace, located at the very popular Nora Buri Resort, midway between Chaweng and Choeng Mon. So you won’t have far to drive if you’re staying around the popular tourist areas of the island, and there’s ample parking and easy access to the Rice Barge & Terrace, without having to go through the resort itself.

      The Barge is an impressive building, with its imposing angular roof looking like, as the name suggests, a barge ready to sail into the sea. The restaurant is spread on three floors – on the first floor you’ll find the fine-dining restaurant and beachside dining, sprawled across the terrace

overlooking the ocean, flowing onto the beach and around the pool. And this is where the themed evenings are held. On Mondays, there’s Cowboy Steak Barbecue night, it’s Hawaiian Seafood on Wednesdays, and Thai Barbecue on Thursday evenings. The second floor is reserved for special events and private functions, and the top floor, the Rice Barge & Terrace serves authentic Thai cuisine, and is what we’re focussing on here.

      At the Rice Barge, diners have the option of a covered terrace overlooking the ocean and cooled by the sea breeze and ceiling fans, or an air-conditioned room, beautifully Barge Right In If you’re looking for delicious traditional Thai cuisine in a beautiful setting, visit the Rice Barge & Terrace at Nora Buri Resort. furnished and dominated by an impressive teak-wood vaulted ceiling and bold artwork on the walls. Traditionally, Thais dine at low tables with cushions on the floor as seating. Now most Westerners wouldn’t feel comfortable sitting this way for the length of a meal, so the seating has been cleverly designed to give one the effect of low seating, by way of raised platforms and triangle cushions, and ‘cut outs’ for the tables, so you can still sit with legs down, not folded under you.

      The artwork isn’t confined to the walls, and each plate of food is an artistic creation in itself. From the crockery used, such as beautiful coconut wood bowls for the soups and curries, to the intricate vegetable carvings on the plates, you’ll be impressed from the moment the waiter arrives with your meal. As much as you’re tempted to tuck right in, you’ll no doubt want to snap a picture of these impressive looking dishes to show off back home.

      But of course, the food needs to taste as good as it looks, and you’ll not be disappointed with the selection, or the authenticity, of the dishes here. The menu is conveniently divided into appetisers and salads, soups and curries, typical Thai dishes, general fare and desserts. If you’re unsure what to try, there’s the option of ordering one of the Thai set menus for two, and if you’re a party of four, why not try both set menus for a great selection! You can share the spread and try a bit of this and a bit of that, which is the real Thai way of enjoying a meal.

       Everything on the menu is written as its Thai name, but with a full explanation of the dish below, as well as a ‘chilli indicator’ showing the heat of the dish. Of course, this can be adapted to your liking, just relay your request to the serving staff, who all have a good level of English.

      The curries and soups are particularly good at the Rice Barge. The tom yum goong is rich and flavoursome and full of prawns, and the tom kha gai is creamy, fragrant with herbs, and packed with tender chicken. Other highlights of the menu include the ‘yam ped yang’, or spicy roast duck salad with Thai herbs, as well as the ‘som tam Thai goong sod gai tord’, or spicy green papaya salad with fresh shrimps and deep fried chicken, from the appetiser menu. And for something a little different, try the ‘hor mok ta-lay’, a steamed seafood curry mousse with coconut milk, set in a coconut shell.

         The Rice Barge & Terrace is open in the evenings, from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm, just be sure to book in advance, particularly if you want a specific table – indoor air-conditioned or outdoor with a view, as it would be a shame to miss out on what could be one of your great Samui experiences.


Rosanne Turner


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