Samui Wining & Dining
Serene Setting, Sublime Seafood

The Siam Residence offers wonderful seafood treats in an oasis of calm.

Serene Setting, Sublime Seafood Samui might seem quite large when you’re looking out of that plane window and drifting down towards the airport – hilly jungle stretches out into the distance, and bays and beaches aplenty mark the coastline. But really, as islands go, it’s a tiny one, surrounded by a huge expanse of sea. Head out in a boat from the island and you could head straight towards Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo, or Indonesia.

There’d be little in-between except for ocean, a few islands, and ... millions of fish. Not surprisingly, some of those fish end up on the dining tables of Samui itself.

Seafood could hardly be more popular than it is already, and if you’re in Chaweng you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants. But make a beeline across the island from there to the less populous west coast and you’ll find there are far fewer restaurants, though there are some wonderful choices if you know where to go.

The journey’s worth it, as the coast here is spectacular, offering very fine sunsets and much less hubbub. Restaurants are still to be found. Drop into The Siam Residence, one of the west coast’s most established resorts, and you’ll find a restaurant specializing in seafood (some great meat dishes, too) and a selection of wines to go with everything. And apart from dining in style, you’ll be able to enjoy a very beautiful beachside setting, which works well if you’re looking for a romantic evening out, or have come with children who will love to play on the sand.

The beach is a great place to sit out. It’s so quiet you can hear the splash of waves against the shore, just a couple of metres away. The beach here is part of the large bay of Lipa Noi. It’s a great place for swimming, and as soon as evening comes, a wonderful spot for dining. There are tall palms on the grassy lawn, as well as casuarina trees – you can hear the breeze gently swishing through them, and the atmosphere’s extremely relaxed and peaceful. Serene Setting, Sublime Seafood As soon as you arrive at the restaurant you’ll feel a sense of calmness – it seems to pervade the entire area here; there are fewer cars, too, and it’s very easy here just to sit back and unwind.

The Siam Residence is a cinch to find, even if you’re not familiar with the area. 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, which is located just before the temple.

Make your way down to the beach and you’ll see the restaurant by the swimming pool, with the beach beyond. First you’ll need to choose where you would like to sit, and if for any reason you would like to be inside, there are two dining rooms, both simply decorated and extremely comfortable, from where you can enjoy views of the garden and sea. In all probability though, you’ll probably want to sit outside by the sea – most people do, as the garden is so beautiful.

Start with a long drink or cocktail – there are of course few better places than a tropical beach for a sundowner. You can take advantage of the Happy Hour from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, every day. A particularly recommended cocktail is the Siam Coconut Special. It comes in a real coconut, and inside you’ll find fresh coconut juice with the addition of the resort’s own homemade syrup, and rum that comes from Samui’s own rum distillery a few kilometres down the road. Definitely yummy, and not to be missed.

And then browse the menu, which is basically Thai and international. You'll find a full range of snacks, such as sandwiches and burgers, to lunches and dinners. And as The Siam Residence is located right by the sea, it’s only natural that very high on the list of temptations is their seafood. The staff go to buy it when the fishing boats come in, guaranteeing plenty of locally-caught fish and total freshness. When you order your fish you can ask for it to be cooked in some especially healthy ways: steamed with soy sauce or young ginger or with lime, spring onions and Thai herbs. Lobster, prawns, red and white snapper, barracuda and squid are other menu favourites.

For a treat try The Siam Residence’s barracuda. Many people love the taste of this fish, which cruises the region’s waters, and is famed for its predatory abilities and extremely sharp teeth. It tastes delicious, and here you can enjoy it in a variety of ways – just ask your waitress which style you’d like. The simplest way they prepare it here is barbecued with garlic butter. Then there’s a garlic and pepper dressing, with the barracuda being deep-fried. Sweet and sour is another popular choice, or you can enjoy it Thai-style, either braised in penang curry or stir-fried in Thai yellow curry. The chef here, Khun Lamyai has been with The Siam Residence for 20 years, and is thoroughly conversant in making her guests feel spoiled.

You might also want to check out the special evenings that The Siam Residence puts on. They host regular beach barbecues. These are excellent value and include a buffet as well and live cooking of stations. Check out their Facebook page for details, of what’s on and when. Or alternatively, just phone ahead to find out when the next barbecue or event is going to take place. The food’s great value and you’ll enjoy the beachside ambience. It’s great for all the family and makes for a very relaxed evening out.


Dimitri Waring


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