Samui Wining & Dining
Lamai Dining

The Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort offers exceptional dining at its beachside restaurant, The Patio.


25-01If you’re heading to Lamai, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to decent food and a perfect cup of coffee. From the ring-road, you’ll see a sign for McDonalds – don’t worry, this isn’t where we’re sending you… head down this road a few hundred metres and you’ll arrive at The Pavilion, a long-standing project by local Samui entrepreneur, Khun Virach Pongchababnapa. With just one rai of land, which was part of his inheritance, he started his empire as a small bungalow resort, and slowly bought up the surrounding land over the years, and now has six rai where the Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort lies, on Lamai Beach.

      Khun Virach is passionate about good food – and expects only the best from his establishments. The Pavilion is serviced by three restaurants, catering for all tastes. Firstly, there’s The Patio, which is located at the beachfront within the resort. Across the road from The Pavilion are the casual coffee shop, Coffee Way, as well as The Palate, a vibrant eatery on two levels.

      The Patio forms the main restaurant at the resort, working as the breakfast room for resort guests, and opening for dinner from 6:00 pm for

both hotel residents and outside guests alike. The restaurant is located in an impressive structure – a tiled-roof pavilion with high vaulted ceilings decorated in intricate woodwork and holding Asian-inspired pendant lights. The building is open to the sides, allowing the sea breeze in, and tables spill over to the outside deck area, beside the pool and overlooking the beach. Although the tables are clad in crisp table clothes, the cutlery and glassware are of a high standard and the service is impeccable, the atmosphere still offers a relaxed dining setting.

      The Pavilion is built and furnished in contemporary Thai style. Khun Virach is very much involved when it comes to the design and styling of his projects, and The Patio, as with the rest of the resort, is testament to his good taste. And speaking of taste… the food at The Patio is outstanding. The menu offers both traditional Thai cuisine as well European favourites, with Italian dishes being a speciality. A meal with Khun Virach revealed his personal favourite dishes – each as delicious as promised.

     A recommended start to dinner is the baked spinach with cheese - rich and delicious. Another house speciality is the ‘Hindae no name’ named after Khun Virach’s friend who invented the dish – little patties of chopped gherkins, ham, salami, boiled egg, and cheese, deep fried till crunchy on the outside and packed full of flavour. If you’re after an authentic Thai dish, try the kaeng khiao wan luk chin pla – green curry with fish balls. The fish balls can also be enjoyed deep fried and served with a sweet chilli sauce as an appetiser.

      The tom yum goong (sour and spicy clear prawn soup flavoured with Thai herbs) is particularly good at The Patio – piled full of fresh prawns, just the right amount of spice and highly aromatic. There’s a fusion version of this popular Thai dish too – the restaurant’s signature dish, tom yum goong with Italian spaghetti. This dish offers all the intense flavours of the traditional soup, but is more substantial as it comes as a sauce on the pasta. You’ll find plenty of fresh prawns sitting atop the spaghetti, which is coated in the rich tom yum flavours. And for dessert, try the sweet and creamy coconut ice-cream, made with local coconuts which the island is so famous for.

       A new addition to the Pavilion portfolio is a quirky little coffee shop called ‘Coffee Way’, directly opposite the hotel. Here you can enjoy perfectly brewed speciality coffees and delicious breads and pastries. It’s the perfect spot for doing a little ‘people-watching’ as you sit sipping on a latte overlooking the street below.

         The Palate, located next to Coffee Way, prides itself on serving authentic Thai dishes, with some that you’ll find nowhere else on the island. The seafood, which features prominently on the menu, is as fresh as you can get. The Palate’s vibrant and appealing décor, although colourful, is still tasteful. Choose from three dining zones, namely an indoor air-conditioned dining room, a courtyard that overlooks the show kitchen, and the upper deck where diners can look down on the street scene below. The air-conditioned room is perfect for private functions, while the upper deck offers ‘natural air-conditioning’ by way of a breeze with its elevated position. Wooden tables in the courtyard and on the deck are painted in bright colours, and are paired with orange cushioned wooden chairs. White hanging lanterns and table lamps add a warm glow, as do the broad smiles of the serving staff.

         Well there you have it – three good reasons to head to Lamai Beach for a meal, whether it’s a romantic dinner on the beach, authentic Thai food or just a coffee with a freshly baked pastry, you’ll find what you’re looking for.


Rosanne Turner


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