(Updated August 15, 2017)
The splendor of Samui is not just the island’s stunning beaches and incredible, laid-back beauty, but its fine dining experiences. For all its relaxed, beach-style Koh Samui serves up some of the best menus in Thailand, with some chefs and tables attracting international attention. Holidaymakers can enjoy cuisine from across the globe, from romantic tables looking out across the spectacular coastline, to wonderful al fresco dinners right by the soft sands and the air-conditioned comfort of bistros serving up gourmet dishes.
Where: Overlooking Lamai Beach
Style: Understated elegance
The distinct flavors of traditional Thai dishes are created with authenticity at Saffron whilst age-old recipes are reinvented to add fresh appeal to The Banyan Tree’s signature restaurant. With views over the bay through floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor dining terrace, surrounded by greenery, Saffron is a truly hidden dining gem. The evocative spice-shop drawer décor of this boutique restaurant creates a quiet sophistication for diners to enjoy some of the best Thai food on the island in an incredible location. For more info, visit the restaurant website.
Ocean 11 Restaurant Bar & Lounge
Where: Bangrak Beach
Cuisine: Mediterranean & Thai
Style: Intimate and cozy
Whilst the setting right by the beach is perfect, what Ocean 11 is renowned for is its award-winning menu created by a 5-star German chef who has cooked for the glitterati of Hollywood and politics, as well as sports stars and even royalty. The relaxed interior leads out to a teak dining terrace and tables on a raised sand terrace right by the beach. A recipient of Thailand Tatler Best Restaurant Awards for many years consecutively, Ocean 11 attracts A-list diners staying on the island with its sophisticated French and Italian fare with touches of Eastern promise and a Thai menu too. www.o11s.com
Where: Bophut Beach
Cuisine: Thai and International
Style: Classic romance
Award-winning Zazen has become a fine-dining go-to restaurant in Samui. The candlelit tables by the beach create a warm ambience as soft jazz adds to the romantic setting. The open-fronted interior with its red lanterns and padded wrought-iron chairs is classic rather than on-trend, with space for outdoor dining too. The Thai dishes are created using home-grown herbs, matching the menu’s many gourmet ingredients, from Wagyu beef, to Canadian lobster and homemade foie gras. A glass panel in the floor looks down to a red-brick wine cellar which diners can visit with sommeliers on hand. For reservations, visit samuizazen.com/cuisine.
Where: Mae Nam
Style: Contemporary and chic
For real gourmet lovers seeking a menu that is innovative and exciting, Namu has a reputation for its sense of adventure and for taking diners on an extraordinary culinary journey. Alongside a handful of individual tables at the W Retreat restaurant, diners can sit al fresco or at Asian-style shared seating at a counter, with ringside views of the entertaining chefs in action. Namu is renowned for its inventiveness and imaginative menu, whilst the beachside setting and clean minimalist lines give the Japanese eatery an intimate feel too. Click here for reservations.
Where: Cliffside Phang Ka Bay
Cuisine: Contemporary Thai
Style: Sunset sophistication and opulence
Peaceful, elegant and simply stunning; the sunset views of the Conrad restaurant are standout fabulous at Jahn. The outdoor terrace seating with sofa seat tables too, exudes an air of relaxed chic dining overlooking the gentle waters of a quiet bay. Indoors, the ambience is far richer, with an extravagant black and gold décor with pillars. Whilst the interior may create a classic style the menu is focused on modern Thai dishes with a tasting menu and wine pairing available too. The upscale quality of Jahn, interesting contemporary menu and wonderful moonlit restaurant setting combine to create a unique charm. To reserve a table go here.
Dining in Samui is part of any luxury beach holiday experience and restaurants on the island serve up sophisticated, gourmet menus for fine dining experiences.