White, sandy beaches, azure blue water, relaxing spas and fantastic food make Koh Samui a top destination for all types of vacationers; honeymooners, island hoppers couples celebrating their anniversary and stressed out working professionals like myself. Koh Samui’s gastronomic landscape is as varied as its vacationers and can therefore rightly be considered a paradise for food lovers. Apart from the island’s tourist traps it offers restaurants which cater to a wide variety of tastes – from solid down to earth curries to upscale cuisine –you will find everything on Koh Samui.
The Spirit house in Chaweng simply oozes romance and a definite must visit for all lovebirds on the island.
Just a few steps from Chaweng’s bustling main street the Spirit houses offers a serene and secluded dining experience.
The restaurant’s two floor, semi open architecture features various dining areas with a view on the lush fauna surrounding it. The dining areas are tastefully decorated and candlelit. The restaurant only features Thai dishes and some of them are rather unusual such as …which has an interesting taste to it or the banana flower salad. The beef is tender and well prepared. The banana flambé marks the end of our indulgences. It certainly is something to look at and tastes delicious. Although the menu is Thai, this is not your regular thai fare, the cuisine is far more elaborate.
Pherensiri is a small eatery with 7 tables in one of the quieter streets of Chaweng.
The bohemian atmosphere and down to earth cuisine reminds me of some of the eateries back home in Zurich’s Kreis 4. The menu features western and Thai dishes and everything tasted are prepared with care and taste delicious. The Vietnamese spring rolls and wantan filled with mozzarella cheese are excellent, so was the kohpangan and the club sandwhich. The service is friendly and attentive.
Founded by two Expats the Larder features creative, upscale cuisine with fresh ingredients at affordable prices. The dining room which can host roughly 25 people emanates an elegant yet warm atmosphere. The interior is tasteful yet minimalistic. Even during off season all tables are occupied.
The menu features a divine selection of starters and main courses with some very creative names. We opt for the scotched duck egg which comes in a type of…cover and tastes great. The goat cheese with pear and nuts is excellent too. For a main course the chicken with vegetables fails to enthuse particularly while I jealously taste some of the beef and truffled fries of the plate in front of me. The beef is tender with a coal type taste to it and the truffled fries are hands down the best ones I have ever had. The portions aren’t as small as in other fine dining restaurants and we contemplate on whether or not to have a desert but the selection is simply too good. At the end we opt for a brandy panna cotta with caramelized bananas – too good to be true. Tonight the chef isn’t in but we meet the sous chef who is only 18 (!) years of age and learned his skills at the Larden for the past two years. We are very impressed and cannot praise this establishment highly enough!
Ocean 11 is a rather famous address in Bangkok and has been topping the lists of many Gourmet Guides in Koh Samui. Naturally our expectations were dementsprechend high when we ventured to this restaurant on a Tuesday night. The restaurant is located right by the beach and offers a pleasant, airy setting.
The menu is a mix of Mediterranean and Thai influences. We start with the Tuna with Algen which turns out to be Salmon with algen and the beef Carpaccio which comes half frozen.The pasta with tiger prawns is good but no culinary innovation and the Gnocchi Quattro staggione have a Thai taste to it which does not pair well with the supposedly Italian roots of this dish. To make things worse the crème brulée with lemongrass is an utter disaster. The texture is flocked and we can’t taste a hint of lemongrass.
Our waiter is an overly enthusiastic personality who walks around with his thumb up mumbling some German words as he is overheard we speak German.
In summary, Ocean 11 is a culinary disappointment and we can’t get our head around why this establishment has been receiving so much praise by a number of magazines.
If you are in the mood for something quick try out the local food stall.
If you’d like a break from thai food head to “Stacked” a burger restaurant on Chaweng’s main street.