Fine Dining

Dining On Koh Samui

It is now generally accepted that Thai food is one of the finest cuisines that you can experience anywhere in the world. On Koh Samui, you'll be able to sample foods from all over the Thai Kingdom and, due to the diverse mixture of Thais living on the island, the choice of local food is truly astounding.

The most surprising aspect of this for many first time visitors is the incredible variety of high-quality international cuisine that’s available too. Koh Samui has attracted chefs from around the world to set up restaurants on the island which are capable of competing with any other international city or holiday destination when catering to the discerning palate.   

But there’s much more to dining on Samui than the 5 star resorts and restaurants. Everywhere you look you’ll see food. Whatever the style of restaurant they all have one thing in common, excellent food. And in Thailand you should never judge a book by its cover when deciding where to eat. Some of the best dining experiences available on Samui come out of what can only be described as wooden shacks.

In pretty much all food outlets on the island, including the most ethnic looking establishments, the staff will generally have an understanding of English and the menus tend to be in both English and Thai.

Another noticeable food source is the number of people walking around the streets carrying small barbecues or driving around with portable kitchens attached to their bikes. They are literally everywhere and offer a wide variety of food. You can even do the barbecuing yourselves to ensure it’s cooked to your liking.

Food is a very important factor of the island lifestyle and many visitors plan their whole time on the island around which restaurants they must visit during their stay.

Dining Tricks and Tips

  1. Are you hot stuff or not?

Thai food is traditionally quite spicy so please be aware.
However, the heat is often toned down for foreigners. So if you like it spicy make sure to let the person taking the order know.

Saying a couple of simple phrases may improve your culinary enjoyment.
“Mai pet” will show that you don’t want it spicy.
“Pet nit noi” means you don’t mind it a little spicy
“Pet pet” will ensure you get it hot.

  1. Location, location, location.

Don’t be fooled by first impressions or the physical appearance of a restaurant. Some of the best food is served by street vendors or from roadside huts.

Samui has a high number of very nice looking places to eat but that doesn’t guarantee authenticity or quality food. Generally if you see a place that appears popular with Thais then the food should be worth a try.

  1. Ice Ice baby

Even small restaurants and cafes have their ice delivered which is clean and suitable for use with drinks.

  1. Try it. You might like it!

You’ve made the effort to travel to Thailand so it would be a shame if you never sampled Thai food. Samui is a dream for food lovers and, despite being able to get international fare, the Thai food is truly exceptional. So, give it a try. Thai food is generally cheap so order a few different dishes and tuck in.

  1. Variety is the spice of life

Depending on your budget it’s a good idea to go to different venues to eat. For example; spend one night in a high-end restaurant followed by a cheaper option the night after. The five star restaurants are undeniably fantastic on Samui. However, local choices can be equally as impressive for a fraction of the price.

  1. It’s out there

Samui’s range of international dining options is almost infinite. If you fancy something specific then you should be able to find it. The most diverse choices tend to be located in the busier resort areas of Chaweng, Lamai and Bophut.

  1. Tipping

Tipping is not generally expected. However, it is always considered polite to show some gratification if you’ve had a good meal. The more expensive restaurants tend to include service and tax whereas in the smaller local restaurants a 10% would be very gratefully received.

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