Samui Wining & Dining
Extremely Palatable

There’s something for everyone at The Palate.


Page-19Palate - A person's appreciation of taste and flavour. What better name for a restaurant that offers food full of taste and flavour with decor that looks like it’s had fun with a colour palette.

      Yes, The Palate is a recent addition to the restaurant scene in Lamai, having been open less than a year. Situated opposite The Pavilion Resort, The Palate always seems to be a hive of bustling activity. Whether it’s the welcoming ‘openness’ of the restaurant itself, the varied menu or the fresh seafood on display, the customers keep returning.

       The restaurant has three dining areas - an indoor air-conditioned dining room (available for private functions), a courtyard which provides a great view of the show kitchen and an upper deck where you can people-watch on the street below. The wooden tables in the courtyard are all painted in happy, bright colours and are paired with equally bright, happy wooden chairs. Some hanging plants provide a screen on one side, and pretty white hanging lanterns and table lamps add a warm ambiance. They have a great menu featuring Thai, Italian and European dishes.

      The restaurant opens at 3:00 pm and the menu is ideal for a late lunch, dinner or even late supper. Start with a choice of ten different appetisers ranging from a nice, simple dish of deep fried sun dried pork, or spring rolls with shrimp, ham and pork sausage, to a more adventurous dish of spicy glass noodles with minced pork and prawn salad, or how about the rather tempting sweet and sour chicken wings with whiskey.

      Being so close to the sea, The Palate has made full use of what nature so willingly provides on the shores of Samui. Seafood features strongly on the menu, and there is a whole section dedicated to prawns and fish, cooked and served with a whole manner of different ingredients. Fried, steamed, sautéed or deep fried, with black pepper, mango salad, sweet and sour, yellow curry powder, garlic butter, salt and chilli, noodles and herbs, or tamarind sauce. Is your mouth watering yet?

      In the 'curries' section, there is something particularly special called 'Gaeng khiew warn plakry'. Sound like a mouthful? Well, it will be a particularly tasty mouthful because this is a green curry dish made with a very special fish. The fish, called ‘plakry’, is found only in Thailand's largest river, the Chao Phraya, which begins its journey in Northern Thailand and heads south, through Bangkok, for roughly 365 kilometres and finally out into the Gulf of Thailand. The meat of this fish is reputedly the best in Thailand, and owner Khun Virach is very proud of the fact that he flies it in especially for his customers. You won’t find it anywhere else on Samui, and now perhaps you'll understand why it's one of their recommended dishes.

       However there are plenty of dishes without seafood to keep everyone happy too. There are many to choose from, but a few caught our eye - fried chicken with ginger, chicken with cashew nuts, chicken in coconut milk soup, fried boar with dry red curry, fried pork with chilli and basil, sautéed kale with oyster sauce, Caesar salad, duck curry or southern style beef or chicken curry. Some noodle dishes and fried rice dishes (including the ever-popular fried rice served in a pineapple) finish off the Thai menu before the Italian cuisine takes over.

         Delicious pasta cooked with all its perfect accompaniments - cream, mushrooms, garlic, tomato sauce or basil. Go for the old time favourites such as Bolognese, alfredo and arrabiata, but don't be afraid to taste some of the more unusual ones such as Spaghetti Black Ink (made with squid ink), Fettuccine Salmon, White Fettuccine (made with zucchini and porcini mushrooms), Spaghetti Phad Khee Mao (fried spaghetti with seafood) or perhaps their deliciously different Spinach Fettuccine Cream (spinach Fettuccine with prawns, mushroom and cream sauce).

         Besides the normal pizza offerings, they have a very interesting one called Pizza Vocano - a folded calzone-style pizza with spicy salami, mozzarella, cheese, tomatoes, chillies and bell peppers. If you have a craving for more European food, you can order the grilled pork chop, the New Zealand beef tenderloin, or the grilled duck breast and mashed potato. You see? We promised there'd be something for everyone.

         And last but not least, dinner wouldn't be complete without dessert, and Italian food wouldn't be complete without some sumptuous Italian desserts. Yes, here you can find diet-busting tiramisus, smooth crème brûlées, creamy, decadent chocolate mousses and of course The Palate's outrageously delicious signature dessert, hot chocolate soufflé (an absolute must - diet or no diet!!)

         All in all, The Palate has a varied enough menu to cater for a whole host of different tastes and the staff will make sure that you're well looked after during your visit.

         If you're feeling peckish before The Palate opens, nip next door to a new venture by Khun Virach, called Coffee Way. It opens from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm and is a great little spot to enjoy a hot drink during the day or ice cold beer at night. Fresh Danish pastries, croissants, muffins and cakes are available daily, and after 2:00 pm they serve the same desserts that are offered at The Palate. The first floor location of this little coffee bar means you get a cool, breezy seat overlooking the street and can lazily watch life passing by.

         If you’re after something a little more substantial and you’re in Lamai, head to the beach road and look out for the stripes of colour opposite The Pavilion Resort and enjoy what The Palate has to offer.


Colleen Setchell


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