Asia · Travel

Foodies guide to Koh Samui

I don’t think we had any bad experiences with food in Thailand, but I thought I’d organise this fantastic bunch into price brackets for you. If you’re staying in Bo Phut these are all easy to get to, furthest being Talay Cafe on Mae nam which is a 10 minute taxi ride, if that.

Splurge – £30-£50 for 2 course meal, drinks and tip for two people.

Barracuda

We’d read some really good reviews for this place, so thought we’d give it a try. It isn’t Thai food in the slightest, but the produce is all local and perfectly prepared. Silly me, forgot her camera on visiting it, but I’ve got a pretty picture so you can spot it behind the ‘ship’ sculpture & below the ‘spa’ sign.

Yep, I was pretty taken back by their grand wooden entrance doors too!

It’s a very western menu and the food is all about presentation, think 5 star style with foams, jus and gastronomy. That makes it sound snobby and I can assure you it was quite a relaxed atmosphere, just posh nosh!

If you visit & it’s still on the menu you have to order the Sesame-crusted yellow fin tuna, which Patrick ordered – hmmm after writing this I’m beginning to see a trend. Patrick orders damn good food! Anyway, it was amazing, it sounds a bit odd with pineapple, asparagus & wasabi, but it just worked. Not too spicey, not too sweet, I suppose they have a very Thai approach to balancing flavours.

Zazen

A beautiful walk along the beach will bring you to Zazen flags and candles will welcome you up the stairs to their terraced seating area.

Again this place is all about the presentation, however they have got a Thai menu as well as a western (most restaurants here had both, we liked to stick to the local cuisine, we can get steak & chips at home).

The cocktails are actually amazing, they taste like sweets. A base of vodka, apple sour and sugar syrup made for a neon green cocktail, delicious tangy & sweet. Zazen also has a few cocktails under their signature menu, where the floral laden cocktail was under.

The meal was perfectly cooked, the softshell crab starter just fell apart in your mouth leaving the sweet crab taste, but the real corker for me was the fish Patrick ordered. I think it was cooked in a tamarind sauce, stupidly, I didn’t write it down!

They even have a sommelier, named Guilliame, on sight, so if you’re a bit of a wine connoisseur ask him all about what you’d like to pair with your food. Sommeliers are rare on Koh Samui as he explained wine can be marked up by as much as 400% due to import taxes.

Spend – £20-30 for 2 course meal, drinks and tip for two people.

Sea wrap

This was the restaurant attached to Peace Resort and  we loved it here. If you’re popping by do not leave without tasting either the golden bags or seawrap golden tray, deep fried heaven on a plate!!! Then choose whatever takes your fancy off the mains, its bound to be good.

As I said when I wrote about the hotel, they have a few special nights, on Saturdays they have the BBQ night with fire dancers. The food is great and you can pick and choose from locally sourced meats, fish, corn on the cob, mini jacket potatos, pad thai & salads.
As you can see P piled it high

But be sure to leave room for the dessert hut of flambéed bananas or crepe suzette. After all the food you’ll be treated to an amazing show, and not what I expected at all.

They were like human Catherine wheels spinning fire balls about the place. Definitely do not try that one at home!

Krua, Bo Phut

You can choose between sitting in the restaurant or on the beach under a tree covered in twinkling fairy lights. I’ll give you one guess to where we sat…?


We ordered the satay prawns for starters which you char yourself over an open flame – definitely fun for a fire lover like Patrick! The curries were delicious but I think the starter stole the show!

Save – <£20 for 2 course meal, drinks and tip for two people.

Talay Cafe, Mae nam


This was probably our favourite & one of the cheapest meals, sitting out on Mae nam beach watching the sunset as fishermen pushed their boats out.

It was a hot & humid evening, so as soon as we’d walked along the shore to Cafe Talay there was one thing on my mind and it was an icy cold drink. This was perfectly quenched by their frozen watermelon margaritas!

We shared a few starters the no name vegetable was delicious, chopped veggies, deep fried into little patties – later we found out they are called No Name because they were made in times of poverty out of whatever scraps were around & never intended to catch on – another left over winner to add to my list of black pudding, pytt i panna and many more!

Their spring rolls are also fantastic wherever you go in Thailand, this was no exception! However thai fish cakes you could do with giving a miss – don’t get me wrong they were well cooked, I just didn’t enjoy their consistency. However, the island curry here was amazing, fiery and sweet packed full of veggies! Definitely somewhere I’d recommend whole heartedly!

Starfish & Coffee, Bo Phut 
Unassuming & in all honesty doesn’t look like it would have good food. The walls are a pastel purple and every crevice they could line with gold paint, they have.


But these are often the best aren’t they? Well in this case it was and portions were far from shy! We started on their terraced, but we’re quickly talked into reclining Like Romans on the beach.

This is where we made the acquaintance of a rather beautiful young queen cat named Malay.

Malay highly recommended everything on the menu saying she’d happily clean up any left overs. We started with crispy fresh fried calamari & signature sweet chilli sauce – well it was our last meal in Thailand and I think Patrick may have never forgiven me if we hadn’t had sweet chilli sauce. Patrick followed with a green curry. As with most places we visited, portions are huge, so you’ll never be left hungry!
I fell head over heels for their coconut chicken soup, which I’ve since recreated at home.

Night market/stalls in Bo Phut

Now if you really want to save, Friday night (from around 5pm) in Bo Phut is the night market. A buzzing atmosphere, cocktails for the equivalent of 80p, clothes, food, jewellery, you name it, they sell it! We had spring rolls as we browsed.
Once we’d wondered up and down, buying gifts for people and fancied something sweet, we came across a mango sticky rice stall. Sweet rice boiled in coconut milk served with fresh mango, coconut cream and kernels, much like rice crispies! It’s much less wishy washy than rice pudding – think sushi rice consistency, with fresh mango and sweet coconut cream filling you up, but not leaving you feeling healthy – plus perfect to recreate at home it is bound to please everyone & excludes most things people could be allergic to – winner, winner!

So simple, but actually one of my favourite food memories!

Beach boats

Another great money saver is the boats that turn up everyday around lunch time. Each hotel will warn you about them, but the chap outside Peace resort seemed to cook everything perfectly & our tummies didn’t complain. Everything is prepared quickly, efficiently & very hygienically; I mean there must be a reason he constantly had a queue!

The fruit was beautiful and their spring rolls were undeniably delicious.

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