Koh Samui, Dec. 2017: Food
If you consider yourself a foodie just like me, Koh Samui is a great place to go. The island is filled with all kinds of restaurants, each with their own particularities, upsides, but also downsides. I've come up with a list of places I found interesting in some way or other.
Before I start, I just want to point out one thing about the service in Koh Samui: it is considered a vacation island, and has lots of tourists just looking to chill for a few days and slow down their pace of life. The service in restaurants, cafés and hotels is very representative of that lifestyle. No one is in a rush, everything has its own timing. If you are planning on having a three-course meal at a good restaurant for lunch, you can definitely expect to be spending a good part of your afternoon doing just that. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing - it's just something to factor in when making plans and organizing your vacation. Unless I say otherwise, this is a quality common to all the places I will be talking about in this post.
One of the best parts of Koh Samui is its magnificent views and marine sceneries. Lots of hotels and restaurants take advantage of that, and beach clubs are great places to spend a day by the sea or the pool, spend time with your family and friends, and also enjoy some good food. The first beach club we went to is the well-renowned Nikki Beach. The location is beautiful, the service is extremely helpful and friendly. I highly recommend their sushi, which was absolutely delicious as well as original. They also have entertainment (a DJ, musicians, dancers). However, it was a bit weird spending the afternoon there, with the music, the dancers and so on, when the club was mostly empty. From what I heard, the busiest season in Koh Samui is in February, so if you happen to be there at this time, I definitely would check out the Nikki Beach and even spend a full or half-day there. Otherwise, you can always go there for the food!
Another beach club we went to, which was way busier, was the Shiva Beach. It is part of a resort, however anyone can go there and have a meal or spend a day at the beach. Their food is pretty simple and mostly finger-food, but very well made. Their beach is also stunning, and although it was busy, it wasn't too crowded. From what I saw, it's a good place to go with kids as well - there were lots of families there.
Lastly, I want to say a word about Zazen Boutique. It's actually a hotel, but we decided to go spend New Year's Eve there. The location is absolutely gorgeous and their installations are beautiful as well. Their New Year's Eve meal, however, was nothing to write home about - then again, most set menus usually aren't.
For a meal in an animated area:
If you are looking to have a meal somewhere you can also spend the day and do other things, the two areas I would head for are Chaweng and Fisherman's Village (you can read about those in my previous post about exploring Koh Samui). In Chaweng, unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to try many restaurants, but I highly recommend Red Snapper. We went there twice and I had sushi each time, and it was really great quality. They offer original recipes and ideas for their sushi, and execute them perfectly. If you sit inside, you can watch as the chef makes your sushi - but I recommend sitting outside in order to enjoy the animation of Chaweng's main street.
In Fisherman's Village, there are three restaurants I want to talk about. The first is CoCo Tam's. It's one of the first places you will see when entering Fisherman's Village, and quite frankly one of the most appealing. There are two parts to CoCo Tam's: a great restaurant which offers, among others, Thai and Italian food, and a bar by the beach which offers cocktails and - if you are lucky and go there on the right day and at the right time - hookah. At night, they install beanbag chairs and small tables on the beach, so you can actually enjoy your cocktail with your feet in the sand.
The second place in Fisherman's Village is Smile House - unfortunately, this place didn't really impress me. We had a decent dinner there, but it left a sour taste in our mouths when some of the waiters made it clear to us that it was time to leave, by miming (for lack of English vocabulary) that they wanted to go to sleep. We decided to give it a second chance by going there for lunch during a day at the beach, and it only confirmed our first impression. The food was, again, decent, but the service was very rude.
Lastly, and to end this paragraph on a good note, I highly recommend Krua Bophut. This restaurant has got a classier feel to it, increasing the quality of the food and the service. They have tables inside, outside, on a terrasse, and directly on the beach, so you are able to choose where you want to sit. For this one, I recommend calling in advance to reserve a table.
For a classier feel:
If you are looking to have a classier dinner, maybe in a more elegant atmosphere, there are a few places I found interesting. The first is the W Hotel. It has a very nice outside area with a pool (go there during the day if you want to enjoy the view) and a bar serving very original cocktails. As for the food, I have heard only good things about their Japanese restaurant, but unfortunately, we weren't able to get a table there as it was booked until mid-January. If you enjoy Japanese food, I would definitely recommend you reserve a table there in advance. We then decided to try the buffet restaurant and were a bit disappointed. The food was decent, but nothing great, the room wasn't really up to our expectations (this may seem random, but it was very cold in there). Altogether, we had a pretty good meal - it just wasn't W-quality.
The next restaurant it called Orgasmic, and it's a very nice beach restaurant with a great setting. The view is beautiful, and the setup is ideal for a romantic evening - the candle-lit tables right by the beach give out a truly intimate and beautiful feel. The food was pretty good - nothing amazing, either. The one negative point I want to mention about Orgasmic is that the waiters were not very professional. They forgot a couple of orders, didn't understand us when we spoke to them - and didn't really try - and made a mistake on the bill. I think Orgasmic is definitely worth spending an evening there for a nice date with your significant other, but if it weren't for the atmosphere, there wouldn't be much to it.
Finally, we went for lunch at the Four Seasons resort. The location of the hotel is definitely my favorite one. The resort is not made of big buildings built close together, but of villas and bungalows that actually take up an entire hill. They have carts with drivers to take you to the different parts of the resort, through the forest and nature. The area where you can find the restaurants has an incredible view. The food was absolutely delicious, and the service was not as slow as it usually was - my guess is they are used to Occidental expectations and lifestyles. We were unfortunately not able to try it, but from what I heard, their Sunday brunch is something you really would not want to miss out on.
For a welcoming, family atmosphere:
My last recommendation is Antica Locanta, which is an Italian restaurant with a true Italian chef. The location is nothing phenomenal, but the food definitely is. The service is very friendly and pretty quick as well. It's a great place to go for non-formal, family or friendly evening, nothing very classy but definitely cozy and friendly.
This marks the end of my Koh Samui food recommendations. If you want to see more photos from my trip, you can check out my Instagram. If you want any other info or have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me through the contact page, and if you enjoyed this post, please click the little heart at the top of the article - you can also share it on Facebook, Tumblr or Pinterest from there!