Samui Wining & Dining
Shoreline Serenity

It'd be hard to find a more relaxed setting for dinner than The Siam Residence.

 It'd be hard to find a more relaxed setting for dinner than The Siam Residence.You’ve probably driven right past them. Never suspected they're even there. And, as a result, gone hungry or headed off on long, unnecessary drives in search of food. West coast restaurants are in a category of their own. Compared to Chaweng, they’re far fewer in number and, as often as not, are located in resorts or off the nearest road. This means that would-be diners can easily miss out on some great experiences. The Siam Residence is an Austrian-owned resort that was one of the first established, here and has been offering excellent fare for two decades. But it’s easy to drive past, especially as all you'll see is the entrance to the resort, and your eyes will probably be distracted by the nearby temple with its catchy architecture.

But if you go down the resort’s drive, past the reception, The Siam Residence’s magic will slowly begin to work on you. First comes a beautiful swimming pool, lit from beneath, which acts as a beacon for the restaurant, just beyond. It’s housed in two contemporary-style octagonal buildings. They're right by the shore, offering sea views and an outdoor feel.

Once you arrive you have the choice of either sitting inside one or other of the two buildings, but you'll probably find yourself wanting to sit outside in the fresh air. And here you'll also find you have a choice. You can dine at a table specially set up for you right on the sand (you'll need to phone ahead for this), or just choose one of the tables on the lawn that fronts the beach. Either way, you'll benefit from the extraordinary peacefulness of this part of the coast.

 It'd be hard to find a more relaxed setting for dinner than The Siam Residence.The Siam Residence is located in Lipa Noi on a small coast road, just south of Nathon. This area is very undeveloped if compared to Chaweng or Lamai; at night the road sees barely any traffic at all, and an utter sense of calm seems to descend on the coast once the sun goes down. You'll probably want to enjoy the sunset sitting on one of the chaises longues overlooking the sea. Just about the only things you'll hear are the wavelets as they lap against the shore, or the puttering of a fishing boat going past out at sea.

Further out across the ocean, you'll see the Angthong Marine Park, shadows that you can watch gradually darkening into night once the sun goes below the horizon. And that’s when the real magic of a west coast nights starts – first you'll experience a pervasive hush, and then as night takes over a feeling of complete serenity that’s quite hard to find, even on a tropical island. It’s magical and many visitors have fallen in love with this stretch of coast precisely because it is such a tranquil spot.

The Siam Residence has to be one of the most romantic settings on Samui for beachside dining. With few people in the area, the resort has a get-away feel to it. Yet, it’s easy to get to. At the big junction, two kilometres south of Nathon, turn towards the sea and head in the direction of Koh Samui Hospital. Turn left at the 7-Eleven and continue until you see the resort, just before the temple gate.

The menu is both Thai and International, featuring everything from snacks, such as sandwiches and burgers, to sumptuous dinner fare. You'll find plenty of temptations but especially recommended is the seafood. The catch of the day is guaranteed fresh from the boat, and you'll find an array of lobster, prawns, red and white snapper, and squid. There are many ways in which you can opt to have it prepared: barbecued, sweet and sour, deep fried or with garlic and pepper, and so on. You can also have it prepared in a variety of especially healthy ways: steamed with soy sauce or young ginger or with lime, spring onions and Thai herbs. (Please note that for catch of the day you need to phone ahead, before 4:00 pm, to place your order.)

Inside the restaurant you'll find a small standing wine cabinet with wines from both the new world and the old. But the real surprises are the Austrian wines, so rarely seen on Samui. And this is certainly one of the very few places where you’re guaranteed to find them. Even though the wines are unusual, none of them is out of reach of the average budget. Try the Bruendlmayer Zweigelt or the Gruener Veltiner Bankett. If you'd like to stick to more familiar wines, they have those too. Naturally, you can also purchase wine by the glass.

 It'd be hard to find a more relaxed setting for dinner than The Siam Residence.The food here is made under the guidance of Khun Lamyai, who has been chef with The Siam Residence for an incredible 20 years. She knows just what she’s doing when it comes to cooking, and is a particularly valued member of the staff. The kitchen is immaculately clean, with ranges of shiny stainless steel sinks and working areas, with not a crumb to be seen. Everything is visible as you walk along the side of the building. It goes without saying that the restrooms are every bit as clean as the kitchen and the restaurant!

Happy Hour is from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm every day, and there’s a special food and drink menu just for the occasion, with cocktails and light bites. Try the Siam Coconut Special: fresh coconut juice with homemade syrup and local Samui rum. It comes served in a young coconut, giving it an especially tropical feel.

Guests also appreciate that the restaurant is especially child-friendly. In fact, they have a special menu for children, filled with treats such as spaghetti carbonara, breaded fish fillet with French fries and some popular Asian dishes as well. Finish off with Mogli’s Sweet Dream – a delicious banana split with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup. Even the most demanding of children will be entranced by the food here.

For New Year’s Eve, the resort will be putting on a special night, featuring teams of Thai dancers from different parts of the country, a sumptuous barbecue, and at midnight, a big display of fireworks. Most weeks, the resort will put on a special evening, and to see what’s current, check out the blog on their website. But you don’t need to wait for a particular event to enjoy a night at The Siam Residence – just one where you want to feel truly relaxed and enjoy the company of those you love.

Dimitri Waring


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