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Romantic Dining at Chaweng Beach

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1st _ 31st MAY 2014

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Gastronomic

Pleasures

When it comes to attractions on Samui, the fine-dining restaurants are high on the list. It’s not the beaches alone. And it’s not just the year-round tropical weather. Neither is it only the wealth of local culture on offer. No, what draws more and more people to Samui every year is the superb fine-dining available at just a fraction of the prices you’d be paying back home. Cuisine from almost every nation. World-class chefs. The finest quality locally grown produce, the freshest of seafood (what do you expect, on an island), and the very best imported meats and wine.

These are just some of the factors that ake eating out on Samui such an enjoyable occasion. And to help you discover the secrets behind the successful restaurants on the island, the articles within Samui Wining & Dining will pull back some of the covers. So, enjoy your stay here and make the most of your dining out opportunities. The tans will fade, but memories of fabulous nights of gastronomic pleasures will remain forever!


SAMUI

Graeme Malley Editor

Preeda Tuajob (Puy) Graphic Designer

Akaphon Phongninlaarphon (Don) Photographer

Seksak Kerdkanno (Klauy) Webmaster

Rob De Wet Feature Writer

Rosanne Turner Feature Writer

Colleen Setchell Feature Writer

Peter James Feature Writer

Annie Lee Feature Writer

Nipawan Chuaysagul (Ning) Sales & Marketing Director ning@siammap.com Tel: 0 898 783 891

Henrik Bjørk Managing Director

Siam Map Company Ltd. 52/6, Samui Ring Road, Moo 3, Bo Phut, Samui, 84320 Thailand Tel: (66) 0 7742 2201 Fax: (66) 0 7741 3523 email: info@siammap.com www.siammap.com All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or pictorial content in any manner is prohibited without written permission from Siam Map Company Ltd. Whilst every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Siam Map Company Ltd. assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. c Siam Map Company Ltd. 2014

Distribution at Bangkok Airport courtesy of Bangkok Airways. Reservation Center: 1771 Samui Chaweng Office: 0 7760 1300 www.bangkokair.com

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New branch now open at Central Festival! Located at Tesco Lotus Chaweng, Tesco Lotus Lamai and Central Festival 2 www.siamwininganddining.com


Catch of the Day This month’s catch of the day highlights a sea creature you may not have considered eating – the jellyfish.

Strictly speaking, it’s not a fish. And for this reason, the name was recently changed to ‘sea jellies’, just as starfish are now called ‘sea stars’. Well, old habits die hard, so we’ll stick to jellyfish for now, to avoid confusion (and keep a certain editor happy). So what are they? Well, jellyfish are characterised as free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey. Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea, and a few jellyfish inhabit freshwater. Large, often colourful, jellyfish are common in coastal zones worldwide. These creatures have roamed the seas for at least 500 million years and possibly even 700 million years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal still alive today. Now while there’s much media talk of declining fish stocks in our oceans, the opposite is true of jellyfish. Since the beginning of the 2000s, these

gelatinous creatures have invaded many of the world's seas, and many scientific studies have been conducted worldwide to figure out the cause. Several theories about these ‘blooms’ have arisen, including global warming, overfishing of fin-fish that eat jellyfish, and changes in marine currents. Reason aside, the most obvious consequences to the increase in their numbers include human injury or even death, as well as reduced coastal tourism. Jellyfish also destroy fishing nets, poison or crush captured fish, and consume fish eggs and young fish. They can clog cooling equipment, disabling power plants, and in fact caused a cascading blackout in the Philippines in 1999, as well as damaging the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in California in 2008. Clogging can also stop desalination plants, as well as ship engines. Perhaps the most extraordinary blooms have been those occurring in waters off Japan. There, refrigerator-sized gelatinous monsters called Nomura’s, weighing 200kg and measuring 2m in diameter, have swarmed the Japan Sea annually

since 2002, clogging fishing nets, overturning trawlers, and devastating coastal livelihoods. These assaults have cost the Japanese fishing industry billions of yen in losses. So what’s the answer? Well, some say that if we can't beat them, we can, at least, eat them! And in some countries, such as Japan, jellyfish are known as a delicacy. Dried jellyfish has become increasingly popular throughout the world. Once dried, they can be stored for weeks at a time. Only scyphozoan jellyfish belonging to the order rhizostomeae are harvested for food, and most of the harvest takes place right here in Southeast Asia. In China, processed jellyfish are desalted by soaking in water overnight and then cooked or eaten raw. The dish is often served shredded with a dressing of oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, or as a salad with vegetables. In Japan, cured jellyfish are rinsed, cut into strips, and served with vinegar as an appetiser. Jellyfish is relished as a delicacy in other Asian countries like Malaysia, Korea, and Thailand, and while jellyfish do not have any particular

flavour of their own, the dishes are made tasty by adding various spices and sauces. Shredded jellyfish is a common delicacy at Chinese weddings, and is rarely absent in any celebratory Chinese banquet event vvv. Jellyfish salad, often part of the first course, is made from the bell. The thin round sheet is cut into strips resembling noodles and combined with cucumbers or other crunchy vegetables before being dressed in a fragrant garlic, black vinegar and sesame oil sauce. Another part of the jellyfish used to make cold dishes is the oral arms, known in Chinese as ‘jellyfish head’. These coral shaped arms sit below the bell between the mouth and the tentacles and are often sliced thinly and served icy cold with a side of black vinegar for dipping. You’ll find fresh (salad form) and salted and dried jellyfish in Chinese and Thai supermarkets, so keep your eyes open.

very low in calories and consists of mostly collagen. For over 1,700 years, Asians have been eating jellyfish for medicinal reasons to treat high blood pressure, arthritis, bronchitis and reportedly to prevent cancer. Cannonball collagen has suppressed induced arthritis in laboratory rats, and in fact Auburn University holds a patent on an arthritis treatment involving jellyfish collagen. So perhaps you’re happy to give up flavour for health benefits. Tempted yet? Me neither…

Rosanne Turner

A desalted Cannonball jellyfish is about 95 per cent water and four to five per cent protein. It’s

Romantic views, soothing sounds and classic Italian fare with a modern approach combine to please the most discerning diner. Olivio - a must for visitors and locals alike.

Olivio ~ beachfront at Baan Haad Ngam Boutique Resort Chaweng Beach. Free round trip transfer from Chaweng, Bophut and Choeng Mon. For reservation please call 0 7723 1500 www.siamwininganddining.com

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Remember that old Elvis song, “You’re the Devil in Disguise”? Well the subject of today’s amazingly informative treatise is much the same. Sugar is both a delight and a poison (yes, I’m afraid so!), very much depending on which of its many forms it comes in. Various sugars occur naturally in the plant world, such as sucrose, dextrose and fructose which, when thrown into the mix, only seems to complicate matters. In today’s health-conscious world, whacking the ‘organic’ label on anything carries a lot of weight. But many of the so-called ‘organic’ offerings are also subject to enforced additives, simply to comply with whatever the current government regulations might be. It might seem to some that the more we advance and progress, the more complicated everything becomes. And any of you who are old enough to remember taking a drink from a hosepipe on a hot summer’s day (without giving it a second thought) will know what I mean. Back in simpler times, sugar, as such, was virtually unknown. But the longing for sweetness wasn’t. Next to rare spices from the Orient, something as sweet as honey was highly prized. It was eaten ‘raw’, it was added to foods, it was used as the base for mead, the ‘wine of the gods’. The poet-warrior, Alexander the Great, is accredited with discovering the alternative to honey – he brought sugar canes back to Europe after a military expedition to India, around 300 BC. Which seems a little strange . . .

Because today’s authorities are agreed that sugar cane was originally discovered growing in the Pacific Islands! What is known for a fact, however, is that the Arabs brought sugar to the western part of the Mediterranean. They cultivated sugar cane in southern Spain and on Sicily, after having conquered these regions. In the Middle Ages, Venice was Europe’s leading importer and exporter of sugar. The raw sugar was imported from India and consolidated in Venice before being exported to the rest of Europe – and not an E-number or chemical additive in sight. It’s tempting to waffle on about Columbus, the Age of Discovery, the spread of European colonies into the New World and all of the things that sailing ships brought back to Europe in the early 17th century. But it gets us no closer to the concept of sugar: the bags of sugar we know today, and their torturous relationship to the original canes of sugar, from whence they sprang. Today the entire business of sugar has become streamlined and industrialised – enter the devil in disguise. Dr. William Coda Martin, as far back as 1957, posed the question: ‘when is a food a food and when is it a poison?’ His answer, “. . . a poison is any substance which, within the body, causes or may cause disease.” He classified refined sugar as a poison because it had been depleted of its ‘life forces’, vitamins and minerals. “What

is left consists of pure, refined carbohydrates and results in the formation of ‘toxic metabolite’ such as pyruvic acid and abnormal sugars containing carbon atoms. Pyruvic acid accumulates in the brain and nervous system and the abnormal sugars in the red blood cells cannot get sufficient oxygen to survive and function normally. In time, some of these cells die. This interferes with the function of a part of the body and is the beginning of degenerative diseases.” The operative word here is ‘refined’. In the process of refining sugar cane, there are repeated processes of washing, boiling, centrifuging, filtering and drying, in which nearly all of the plant’s nutritional elements are removed. What remains is 95% sucrose, along with nutritionally insignificant minerals. It’s then ‘sanitised’ by steaming. And then, to produce the white crystals we call table sugar, bleaching agents such as lime and carbon dioxide are added. The sugar is then further ‘purified’ and whitened by being filtered in a liquid state through the burned, ground bones of cattle. And the average first-world person, on both sides of the Atlantic, gets through 150 pounds of this stuff every year, either by the spoonful or as an intrinsic part of their diet. Back to sugar cane – eat some! What happens to refined sugar is exactly the same as what happens to ‘white’ bread. (I remember a wonderful law case in America, where a

Tropical Pick

Why sugar cane is the way to go when you need a sweetness kick.

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laboratory proved there was actually more nutrition present in the cardboard box than in the cornflakes inside. The company was then forced to add powdered chemical nutrients!) The cane itself is raw and basic. Cane juice contains several essential nutrients and minerals, such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorous, although it has to be said not a lot! But it clears the urinary flow and helps the kidneys to perform their functions smoothly, along with reducing enlarged prostates, and helping with cystitis and nephritis. Sugarcane is also good for digestion, as it can effectively work as a mild laxative because of its high potassium content. Furthermore – it’s grown ‘locally’. Thailand is now one of the world’s leading exporters of sugar cane (Indonesia being the front-runner) but this is also a problem. As in – it’s all exported by the container-load. Nobody wants to use it here. Trying to get hold of it is tricky – it’s not on sale in any of the big supermarkets. An additional cultural disadvantage is that the Thais hate anything that’s not white. They try to bleach their skin. Even Thai ‘toast’ comes out carefully un-browned! Bleached rice and (when they eat it) bleached white bread is their order of the day. (They feed the good stuff – the brown ‘low-grade’ rice – to the prisoners in their jails.) So they are not, as a nation, queuing up to buy wild rice or brown sugar. There’s just no demand for it. But, if nothing else, you can now stop sprinkling

refined sugar on your chemically enhanced cornflakes. Thai honey is on sale everywhere. It’s pure and sweet and it might have a few lumps in it, but at least they’re natural ones! Stir some in your coffee. Mix it with your muesli. You can even dab it behind your ears if you want because, whichever way you look at it, it just has to be better than ‘a devil in disguise’!

Rob De Wet


All too often, a restaurant’s self-styled portrayal on their website is far from the truth. But in this case, it rings true. This short and sweet description sums it up perfectly, “It's lively and fun. It's vibrant and exciting. It's a bar and a restaurant. It serves excellent Mediterranean and Thai cuisine. Its prices are incredibly reasonable. It's in the very heart of the bustling Chaweng Beach Road (opposite Chaweng Garden Beach Resort). And its name is Spagó.” Well, there you have it. But we didn’t just take their word for it. We visited this bustling restaurant that’s been open for nearly two and a half years, and so we have a little more to say than their perfectly worded summary. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to bars and restaurants along Chaweng Beach Road – so it’s hard to know which to choose, as staff enthusiastically try to entice you into their establishment, and menus are proudly on display outside. Perhaps it’s the delicious aroma wafting from the wood-fired pizza oven that’ll first draw you in to Spagó, or perhaps it’s the inviting look of the place – with its chic, but relaxed décor. Whatever it is, you’ll be pleased to discover Spagó, as so many happy customers have done before you. Chaweng is the ultimate people-watching area of Samui – and you’ll see some interesting sights for sure! With its wide, open frontage and comfy seating, Spagó is just the spot for passing time, while sipping on a cocktail… or two. And with happy hour(s) from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, you’ll have a steady flow of people passing by to keep you entertained. And if people-watching isn’t your sport of choice, there’s a strategically-placed TV showing the latest sporting events to help you while-away the time. Although you're more than welcome to visit just for drinks, Spagó is first and foremost a restaurant – one with a great reputation, at that. It’s particularly renowned for pizza, made in a wood-fired oven, with

a thin and crispy base and top quality ingredients; and many locals swear it’s the best pizza in town. The menu offers both Mediterranean and Thai cuisine – which isn’t surprising considering Spagó is owned by a Thai/Italian couple. The menu is vast and the prices are reasonable. If you’re looking for something light and refreshing on a hot day, there’s a substantial choice of salads, as well as a deli counter with a tasty selection of imported cold meats and cheeses on offer. And if you’ve come for the famous pizza – take a deep breath, and work your way through the choice of over 50 options available. Other light lunch options include sandwiches and burgers, all generously portioned. If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, there’s a great selection of main dishes, and co-owner, Khun Jeab reveals that the house favourite is the ‘Spagó Duck A l’Orange’ – seared duck breast in an orange sauce, served with potato cake and seasonal vegetables. Other highlights of the main dishes include the ‘Rack of Lamb’ – herb-roasted lamb served with mashed kalamata, soft polenta and a red wine reduction. Seafood lovers will be tempted with the ‘Red Tuna Steak’ – served with a fresh mango salsa, or the ‘Salmon Lipton’ – salmon steak wrapped with pepper and black Lipton tea. And there’s a good choice of Thai favourites too, for those that want to stick with local cuisine. Should you find yourself in Chaweng early (by local standards anyway), Spagó is open for breakfast from 10:00 am, and serves up hearty breakfast fare to start your day. Choose from classic options such as the English, Continental or Asian breakfasts. Spagó is spread over two levels, with the top floor covering not only its own property, but also two adjacent ground-floor businesses. It’s upstairs that

you’ll find a temperature-controlled wine cellar, stocking a great selection of wines from around the world – a perfect complement to the selection of cheeses downstairs. Upstairs, you’ll still enjoy the sights and sounds of Chaweng, while being elevated above the bustle. It’s also the perfect venue for a private function, as it seats 50 people and can be booked separately from the downstairs section. Sit outside on the open-air deck, or in the fan-cooled interior, where you’ll find more large-screen TVs. Owners of Spagó, Alessandro and Jeab, haven’t stopped here, and have opened another restaurant, Galanga, right next door. While Spagó is furnished in a contemporary European style, Galanga offers traditional Thai décor. The menu is also different, and features authentic Thai dishes with a focus on seafood. It offers the same great wine selection as Spagó, and has a kids’ playroom to keep little ones occupied while mum and dad relax. When you’ve finished your meal, have a browse through the Galanga souvenir gallery for an interesting selection of gifts. Spagó is open from 10:00 am until midnight (main kitchen), with pizzas being served until 1:00 am. So no matter the time of day you’re visiting Chaweng, Spagó will be open to offer refreshment and entertainment in a relaxed, comfortable setting.

Rosanne Turner For reservations and further information, telephone 0 7796 1648. www.spagosamui.com

Just Go to Spagó! With a great vibe and fantastic food,you won’t be sorry.

Located in the beautiful Fisherman’s Village on Bophut Beach, our experienced chefs proudly present authentic Thai cuisine and Southern Thai dishes. Fresh seafood is a must with great quality at reasonable prices. Enjoy the tranquility of the beach, the twinkling stars and the whispering waves along with the beautiful music.  A superb dining experience and great memories.

(Fisherman’s Village) 16/16 Moo 1, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320 Tel: 077 430 030, 077 245 035 Free Parking!! Opposite the restaurant

www.siamwininganddining.com

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Street Food The good, the bad and the ugly! When I first came to Thailand, I lived in Hat Yai, and I can remember asking a colleague, “Is it safe to eat the street food?” She looked at me quizzically and replied, “Of course you can, what exactly do you plan on eating?” It’s perfectly understandable to be hesitant. Our stomachs are used to strict hygiene regulations pristine floors, chairs and tables (in most places). So the idea of accepting food from someone who has converted their ancient motorbike into some sort of mobile noodle frying station, feels odd. But the truth is, you can’t really say you’ve eaten Thai food until you’ve sampled pad Thai from that old woman and her converted motorbike; coughed and spluttered after trying that spicy green papaya salad from the old man on the corner next to the local Family Mart; marvelled at the sweetest pineapple in the world from the young kid who sets up each morning on the corner of your road, or bit into the crispiest, juiciest fried chicken from the lady who sets up her table in a little corrugated iron shed in a field by the side of the road. There is nothing to be afraid of. If you see Thai people eating the food, it’s going to be okay. While they are known for being able to handle

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spicier food than most Westerners I can promise you that they have the same digestive system. Although you wouldn’t always think so. This article is called ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ so let’s jump right in and talk about the ugly. If you were to ask most Westerners in Thailand what was the weirdest thing they had eaten, they would probably answer either deep fried scorpions or deep fried grasshoppers. Yup, we’re talking ugly with a capital ‘U’. Would you do it? Would you actually bite into a blackened, crispy, crackly shell of a scorpion that had lost its life in order to be boiled in oil and served on a stick? Or would you crunch on a ‘barbecued to a crisp’ grasshopper? Before you turn up your nose in disgust, I have tried one (the grasshopper) and really, they just taste of barbecue sauce and are super crispy. It’s the insects that have, well, mushy stuff inside, that disturb me a little. You can easily buy a little bag of deep-fried insects for around 10 baht at most markets on Samui. It does make for a great photo. You might be surprised to find meat sold out in the open in Thailand. Pig’s feet and heads will

sit casually on a wooden rack waiting to be part of a friendly negotiated deal, wriggling eels and warty toads too. Some fruit might be classed as ugly although the hairy rambutan is odd rather than ugly. It’s difficult to find examples of food to go under the ‘Bad’ heading. Most street food is delicious (sometimes ugly like we said) but always delicious. Saying that, some basic checks will ensure you aren’t running for the nearest toilet, armed with a weeks’ worth of Imodium. Eating seafood that’s been out in the sun for hours is probably not a great idea. It might be that the Thai digestive system has had years to adjust to this, but our spoilt Western ones might object … violently. If the food is dried and has flies sitting happily enjoying their lunch buffet, I’d avoid that dish too. When eating street food from a new vendor, I’m always inclined to go for the dishes that have ‘watery’ gravy because there’s nothing solid that the flies can settle on. A lot of vendors have make-shift fans to keep the flies away, but rather be safe than sorry. A quick scan of the people and their working area will tell you soon enough if the food is okay. Just use your common sense.

You want to spend money on yourself not on improving the value of pharmaceutical company stock. Saving the best for last - the ‘Good’. Thai street food is so good. The smells of barbecuing chicken or pork; fried garlic and vegetables getting ready for stir-fried dishes; or the citrusy tang of limes and lemongrass; the savoury smells of noodle soup and the mouth-watering smell of deep-fried chicken, are all unmistakable walking down any street in Thailand. It always fascinates me how the vendors convert what is seemingly a motorbike into a small kitchen on wheels. Some will have a gas canister for their wok and stir-fries, and some will even have a small barbecue (complete with hot coals) hanging off the side. A makeshift counter top will contain various tubs filled with spices, ready cut veg, herbs and other delights. A pestle and mortar might be within easy reach, and from a shelf somewhere underneath the counter, the vendor will magically produce various take away plates or bowls to serve you heaps of deliciousness. Walking street markets are absolute bliss to sample as much Thai food as you can. Delights such as chicken and

vegetable chunks barbecued on sticks; corn; curry and rice; pies; rice puddings; barbecued ribs; deep fried potato rings; garlic bread chunks; fruit smoothies; kebabs; green papaya or mango salad; grilled fish; grilled prawns; stir-fried noodles; the list is never ending. So don’t be afraid to try something new, you never know, you might just find your new favourite food.

Colleen Setchell


Kitchen King

We meet Chef Basam at Nadimo’s Lebanese restaurant in Bangrak. Often, chefs pride themselves in being inventive and coming up with novel ideas, fusing cuisines from different countries and being flamboyant in their creations. For Chef Basam Abomorra at Nadimo’s, the challenge instead is sticking to authentic cuisine, keeping to recipes that have been passed down with care through generations of Lebanese families.

bread. Here, a few variations of this delicious dip are on offer, aside from the regular version. Try the ‘Hummus Beiruti’ – pureed chickpeas with hot pepper, garlic, parsley, pickles and sesame oil, or the ‘Hummus Mushroom’, topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Popular with meat lovers, is the ‘Hummus with Lamb’, topped with diced lamb and pine nuts.

Sometimes, keeping dishes authentic and traditional can be more of a challenge than throwing new ideas together. Care has to be taken to use authentic ingredients so that the taste, smell and texture are the same as that prepared in the country where they originate. For Richard Al Ghoul, owner of Nadimo’s, this is a very important factor. He wants his chefs to produce real Lebanese food the way it’s been for generations, and that’s why the kitchens of his restaurants (two in Bangkok and one here on Samui) are run by real Lebanese chefs.

Nadimo’s manageress, Sophia, speaks fondly of Chef Basam, and sings his praises. “He’s always in such a good mood and has such great energy”, she says. No Gordon Ramsay prima donna here! She goes on to say how well he’s liked by the staff and is professional at all times. “And of course, his food is delicious!” she exclaims.

Five chefs rotate between the three establishments, including 35-year old Bassam. Having grown up in Lebanon, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours are well known to him, but he honed his cooking skills by studying at the Lebanese Technical Cooking School in downtown Beirut. Before Richard recruited Basam to the Nadimo’s group, he was chef at the five-star Jana Resort, a tourist beachfront location in Beirut. He’s now been in Thailand for around one year, and having no family here means he’s free to move between Samui and Bangkok as he’s needed, enjoying both city and island life in his free time. Lebanese food has similarities with other Middle Eastern cuisine, and Lebanese flatbread is a staple to every meal, often used as a fork to scoop up the juices of delicious stews, dips and salads. The Nadimo’s menu offers a selection of the most famous Lebanese dishes, such as tabbouleh (chopped parsley and tomatoes with fresh, zesty citrus overtones), baba ghanoush (a smoky grilled eggplant dip), kebab (tender skewers of charcoal grilled lamb with chopped parsley and onions), and riz bil hallib (a desert made of rice and milk pudding with a rose syrup). But it’s hummus, a chickpea and sesame dip, that Nadimo’s is most famous for, and for which Chef Basam has earned the title ‘Hummus King’. His authentic Lebanese version (which traditionally doesn’t contain garlic) is silky smooth and ever so more-ish, perfect with warm

As Basam is Muslim himself, all food is prepared as per Halal standards in the kitchen – which is good to know, as there are very few Halal restaurants on the island, making Nadimo’s a draw card for Muslim tourists. But of course, you don’t need to be Muslim to enjoy well-prepared Lebanese food. Vegetarians can rest assured that all vegetable and meat dishes are prepared separately, and that vegetarian dishes are truly vegetarian, in that they don’t contain any eggs, and none of the salads contain meat either. But you’ll find equally delicious dishes for the carnivores, and in particular, lamb options, which is the main meat used in Lebanese cooking. Delicious food tastes even better in a beautiful setting, and it’s easy to see why Bassam enjoys working here so much. The Nadimo’s location on the seafront at Prana Beach Villas along the quieter western end of Bangrak makes it an ideal lunchtime or sunset venue. Dine during the day, and it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a dip in the beachfront infinity pool, or laze about on a sun-lounger with a cocktail or two after your meal. Should you be joining Nadimo’s for dinner, arrive in time for sundowners, as Bangrak beach offers some of the best sunsets on the island, a perfect way to start the evening.

Rosanne Turner For reservations and further information, telephone 0 7724 6362. www.nadimos.com

www.siamwininganddining.com

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Something for Everyone

Poppies announce a new selection of kantokes.

Located at the southern end of Chaweng Beach and tucked away in a tropical garden with shady trees, fish ponds, waterfalls and little teak bridges, lies a tiny magical oasis - so magical that you’d half expect to find fairies dancing under the trees or elves sitting on the rocks. Yes, Poppies Samui is an oasis. When you walk down the path to the restaurant, you’ll hardly believe what you’ve just left behind. Since they opened back in 1994, they have established themselves as an exclusive boutique hideaway. Their sister hotel, Poppies in Bali, also offers the same style and charm you know you can trust. Something else you know you can trust is the quality of their food. In a previous article for Wining and Dining, we wrote about their two Executive Chefs, Khun Watanee (nicknamed Khun Wan) and Khun Suwit (nicknamed Khun Noi). They are responsible for the Thai and Western menus respectively, and they both ensure the restaurant patron’s tastebuds are always satisfied. And they have a fantastic option on the menu which allows you to sample a variety of Thai dishes. It’s called the kantoke. First a little about the kantoke. Its history dates back to the ancient Lanna Kingdom, which was

centred in present-day northern Thailand from the 13th to 18th centuries. Present day Chiang Mai is right in the middle of where the Lanna Kingdom used to be. The kantoke is an assortment of foods in small bowls served on a platter. In Northern Thai culture, the family sits on small cushions on the floor around a small round table called a ‘toke’. It is made of wood or bamboo, and usually has five or six short supporting legs. On this small table are the small bowls filled with various foods which are collectively called a ‘khan’. Hence ‘khan-toke’ or ‘kan-toke’. There is a variety of foods so that everyone is able to sample a sweet, sour or spicy taste. Sticky rice is usually served and used to dip into the bowls that have sauces. It is traditionally eaten with the hands, although nowadays in most restaurants, you sit at a table and eat with a knife and fork (or spoon and fork). But enough of the history, and back to Poppies. Their amazing team of chefs have once again created magic out of something ordinary. Okay, kantokes are hardly ordinary and certainly not the ones at Poppies, which are served in individual, white ceramic dishes painted with intricate colourful patterns, with a dainty golden

trim and a soft mother of pearl sheen. You get treated to art and good food at the same time. The chefs here have taken the kantoke and created some original ideas with not only new Thai kantokes, but some brand new Western ones too. First the more unusual Western kantokes. The ‘Selection of small Poppies favourites’ option (which is for two), gives you lobster wrapped in a crispy panko breadcrumbs; a fresh, crispy Caesar salad with anchovy dressing; roasted duck breast with plum and strawberry sauce, feta cheese and rocket salad; Australian veal tenderloin with whole grain mustard and sautéed asparagus; and steamed snow fish served on a bed of iceberg lettuce and a sweet ginger and seaweed soy sauce. Save space for the warm chocolate lava cake with raspberry coulis and vanilla ice cream. Or how about the ‘Selection of small seafood dishes’ (also for two). In this kantoke, you have soft shell crab tempura with green mango salad; green lip mussels in white wine, garlic and herb butter; tiger prawns sautéed in a tomato and basil sauce with rocket salad; char grilled snow fish with a coconut sauce and sautéed morning glory; and poached rock lobster in a light green

Sea Wrap ...living by the sea...

curry sauce with sautéed kale. Again, leave space for dessert. There are five new Thai kantokes too. You can opt for the ‘Traditional kantoke’ with spicy prawn soup, stir-fried morning glory, charcoal roasted duck curry, stir-fried chicken with ginger, deep fried prawn cakes with plum sauce and Jasmine or brown rice, and Thai banana fritters with coconut ice cream. Or how about the ‘Four regions kantoke’ with northern Thai spicy sausages, poached minced duck, beef in a peanut curry sauce, stir-fried prawns, stir-fried mixed mushrooms and steamed rice, and don’t forget the Thai pumpkin custard with sticky rice and coconut ice cream. Vegetarians needn’t miss out either. The ‘Vegetarian kantoke’ comes with green papaya salad; sweet and sour vegetables; stir fried bean sprouts and deep fried tofu; mixed vegetable panang curry; vegetables and tofu in a creamy green curry and steamed rice, with a selection of seasonal fruit for dessert. A luxurious treat would be the ‘Royal Thai kantoke’ for two. A selection of appetisers such as stuffed omelette with shrimp, crispy pastry

cups with chicken, and Betel leaf wrapped with ginger, lime and roasted peanuts. A main course choice of king prawns, beef red curry, tamarind vegetables, steamed white tuna fillet, steamed curry crab meat soufflé and steamed rice. And if you have space, Thai pumpkin custard with sticky rice and coconut ice cream. If it’s only seafood you’re after, why not opt for their ‘Seafood kantoke’ which will give you spicy seafood soup, white tuna fillet with chilli and Chinese brandy, soft shell crab, prawns with basil leaves and fresh rock lobster medallions in green curry. Dessert is the very traditional mango and sticky rice. So if you’d really like to try as many different dishes as you can in one evening without having to adjust your waistband, make sure you head down to Poppies and give their new kantokes a try.

Colleen Setchell For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 2419. www.poppiessamui.com

Le Jaroen “A Secret World”

Ease yourself to the sound of gently lapping waves and enjoy the breath-taking sea views. Savor Mediterranean bistro culinary delights & modern Thai specialties, for a unique beachfront dining experience.

Peace Resort 178, Moo 1, Bophut Beach, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320 Thailand Tel: +66 77 425357 | Fax: +66 77 425343 www.peaceresort.com seawrap@peaceresort.com

Probably the most enchanting restaurant on the island for an unforgettable romantic evening. Induldge your senses with an exquisite 5 course Chef’s Signature Menu or 4 course Thai Degustation Menu.

Tel +66 (0)77 962 198 info@thescenthotel.com www.thescenthotel.com The Scent Hotel 58/1 Moo 4 Bangrak Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

8 www.siamwininganddining.com


www.siamwininganddining.com 9


Life’s a Beach (Bar)

Impiana Resort’s Beach Bar is the perfect place to enjoy beach life. If you want to know the best place to go, always follow the locals. One particular local thinks that Chaweng Noi Beach, in front of Impiana Resort is the best spot on the island … if you were around early in the morning on 12th February, you would have seen a large female sea turtle slowly making her way out of the clear blue sea to the powdery sand. For the first time in 15 years, a sea turtle returned to the beach to lay her eggs – feeling this to be the best place for her offspring to start their lives. You can’t get more local than a sea turtle, so she must be in the know when it comes to the best beaches to visit on the island. Luckily for her, the staff at Impiana noticed her labour of love, and called in the Department of Fisheries who carefully removed her eggs, keeping them safe from dogs and other unforeseen dangers, and later released the hatchlings safely into the sea. This is a positive sign that the water is improving in the area, and the department was grateful for the call and commended the resort on their environmental awareness. A big part of an ideal island holiday would involve a substantial amount of time spent sipping cocktails or cold beers at a relaxed

beach bar. If that beach bar is on a beach so pristine that turtles are happy to lay their eggs, then even better. Cue Impiana and their newly renovated and simply named, Beach Bar. A good beach bar requires certain elements comfortable seating, a friendly barman, a relaxed atmosphere, ice-cold drinks, and a fantastic view. Well, Impiana’s Beach Bar ticks all these boxes, and on top of that, serves great food too. Let’s start with the drinks. Beer connoisseurs will insist that a good beer needs to be served at just the right temperature. General Manager, David Xavier (being a beer lover himself), understands this need, and has recently purchased equipment from Bangkok, which ensures that the on-tap beer is kept at just the right temperature – icy cold! Local beer, Singha, as well as imported Heineken are available on draft, and when it comes to cocktails, a full selection is on offer, but a refreshing ‘must try’, is the lychee mojito according to Director of F&B, Khun Sujin. And it’s all too easy to make the most of these refreshing drinks with not one, but three daily happy hours, first from noon to 2:00 pm, then from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and again from 9:00

pm until 11:00 pm. Happy hour works on a buy-one-get-one-free basis, and from Monday through to Saturday, enjoy live music by the Sentinal Band.

why, as they’re such great value. Monday night sees the ‘Classical Thai Night Buffet’, which offers a spread of all the best Thai dishes, and is offered at a mere 590 baht per person.

The Beach Bar extends over two levels – the lower level being only a few steps from the water’s edge, and the upper deck offering exceptional views across Chaweng Noi Bay. This upper deck is the ideal location for intimate private functions.

If you’re not in the mood for Thai food, visit Impiana on a Wednesday night for the ‘Italian Night Buffet’ at 490 baht per person. Friday night offers the third themed evening of the week, with a ‘Beach BBQ Buffet’, offering a selection of fresh seafood and meats from the grill, along with delicious side dishes and accompaniments. Again, the buffet is a very reasonable price tag at only 690 baht per head, and the evening is made special with live music and a fire juggling show.

Moving on to the food. Beach barbecues and beach bars go hand in hand, and at lunchtime, you’ll find a dedicated barbecue menu offering items prepared on a flame grill out in the open. Choose from classic favourites such as burgers or hotdogs and steak sandwiches, or go for GM David’s recommendation of the barbecue pork teriyaki. All items on the barbecue menu are priced between 100 and 170 baht. A light snack menu is also available. Should you want to enjoy the beach on a balmy evening, you can take advantage of Impiana’s themed evenings, which take place at the Beach Bar and Sabai Restaurant. These events have become extremely popular, and it’s easy to see

Impiana is the place to be. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled, as you might just be lucky enough to spot a returning local digging in the sand, looking for a place to lay her eggs… now wouldn’t that be a prized holiday memory?

Rosanne Turner For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7744 8994. www.impiana.com

An a la carte menu is available too, with chef’s specials on non-themed nights. Tuesdays highlight the ‘Catch of the Day’ from 250 baht, Thursdays is ‘Steak Supreme’ from only 300 baht, while Saturday offers ‘Surf & Turf’ for those who like both! So whether you’re looking for a spot to lie back, dig your toes in the sand while enjoying an ice cold beer or cocktail, or looking for a hearty buffet at a reasonable price, the Beach Bar at

Weddings, Celebrations, Parties & Honeymoons River Prawn Tom Yum

Rock Lobster

Sunset Dining in Spectacular Surrounds Enjoy breathtaking sunsets while discovering our culinary delights at The Terrace, one of Koh Samui’s best beachfront dining destinations. A holiday or a visit to The Passage would not be complete without sampling the food at The Terrace. Nestled on the beach, this majestic open-air restaurant affords diners a perfect view of the spectacular sunset over Laem Yai Bay and the distant islands. 10 www.siamwininganddining.com

Sea Food Taco

Lamb Chop

Beef Lasagna

Phuket Lobster Thermidor

Carbonara Pizza

This epicurean dining nirvana serves up the finest catches from the sea so our guests can feast like kings. Pay homage to our specialty – the royal triumvirate of lobster, tiger prawn and oysters. Engage your senses as Executive Chef Moo takes you on a culinary journey, and discover the flavours that resonate in Thai-European fusion cuisine.

The Passage is not just a resort. It’s also a great location for weddings and honeymoons. The resort offers specially designed packages to suit your personal style and budget. So come and experience the wedding of a lifetime at The Passage Koh Samui.

The Passage Samui Villas & Resort Laem Yai Beach Reservations 077 421 721 www.thepassagesamui.com


www.siamwininganddining.com

11


Some may think that it’s a crime to eat anything but Thai food when visiting Thailand – after all, ‘when in Rome’ as they say… except in this case, it’s ‘when in Thailand’. And this may be true if you’re only here for a few days. But let’s face it, there comes a day when we all feel like a change from the (albeit fantastic) flavours of Thai cuisine. You’ll find yourself craving a particular dish or ingredient, usually something not commonly found in Thai cuisine – cheese springs to mind. And as with most cravings, you’ll think of nothing else until it’s satisfied. Now you may think that Samui, being a small island in the Gulf of Thailand may be limited when it comes to fine-dining and international cuisine options. But, you’d be wrong. Samui is fast becoming known as a culinary hub in Southeast Asia. This is partly due to its appeal in attracting expats, who move here from all over the globe, many of whom set up restaurants. Whether it’s Italian, French, Japanese, or fusion food you’re after, you’ll find it on the island. And of course, you’ll find Thai food. Good Thai food. But it’s not that we’re focusing on here. The island draws not only top international chefs, but also some of the best chefs trained right

here in Thailand, and these chefs are keen to show the world not only what great Thai food is all about, but also the skills that they’ve picked up learning from the international chefs. Of course, having the big international hotel groups on the island only adds to the culinary talent pool, as the resorts bring in chefs from around the world to produce delicious food for their discerning guests. Gone are the days when Samui was only a backpacker haven. Sure, you’ll still find your fair share of budget accommodation and eateries, but now there’s an abundance of 5-star establishments too. And fancier hotels bring guests that are looking for more than just a cheap bowl of noodle soup on a street corner. These well-travelled guests are used to the high life, and they expect no less when visiting Samui. Luckily, they won’t be disappointed with the options available, be they stand-alone restaurants, or those within the resorts. Talk to any of the island’s top chefs, and you’ll discover that there’s a strong focus on fresh produce. Being an island, you would think that the choice of ingredients and supplies is limited. Not so, and Samui’s chefs have a vast supply of fresh fruit and vegetables grown on the island or

brought in from the mainland. And seafood caught daily by local fishermen, couldn’t be fresher. The ingredients that aren’t produced locally are flown in fresh. When the island had no airport, and only had a few hotels requesting imported goods, this was a costly and logistically-challenging process. Now with so many chefs requesting foods from all other the world, it’s no longer an issue, and whatever chef wants, chef gets – be it truffles from Umbria, lobster from Maine, or salmon from Norway. There’s hardly a popular cuisine not represented on the island, and you’ll find Italian restaurants in particular abundance due to the large number of Italian expats on the island. In Chaweng alone, three popular establishments spring to mind, namely ‘Rice’, ‘Prego’ and ‘La Taverna’, all Italian owned and run, and all producing excellent authentic regional cuisine in vibrant settings. Equally as popular is Mediterranean food in general, and many resort restaurants focus on this as their Western cuisine of choice. Particularly good Mediterranean options are H Bistro at Hansar Samui in Fisherman’s Village, Full Moon Restaurant at the newly refurbished Anantara

Bophut, Le Jaroen at The Scent in Bangrak. Sticking with Mediterranean cuisine, if you’re a lover of Spanish tapas, then The Cliff, along the scenic drive between Chaweng and Lamai offers a tasty assortment of tapas as good as the view – perfect for a sociable lunch. If you’re craving lamb – rare on a Thai menu – then head to Nadimo’s Lebanese restaurant in Bangrak, where this meat features strongly on the menu. Their hummus is particularly good, creamy and full of garlic. And if you’re in the mood for a bit of spice, but don’t fancy Thai food, you’ll find a few excellent Indian restaurants on the island. A popular one, which also runs its own Indian cooking school, is Noori India in Chaweng. Feeling a little carnivorous? Then Zico’s Brazilian restaurant in Chaweng is the place to head. For a fixed price, and a reasonable one at that, you can eat as much as you like in this contemporary Brazilian grill house. It’s quite a fun experience too, with feather and bikini clad dancers entertaining the diners.

selection of the best of what Samui has to offer. And of course, each month we’ll publish up to date info and inside news on what’s happening on the island’s restaurant circuit right here in Samui Wining & Dining. One of the best parts of travelling is sampling new cuisines, but also just relaxing and enjoying your favourite dishes in a new setting. So if you fancy Lebanese, Italian or Brazilian fare, don’t feel guilty about it, nobody’s judging if you don’t eat Thai food every meal!

Rosanne Turner

Be sure to pick up your free copy of the Samui Dining Guide when you arrive on Samui, or browse the online version, found via a link on www.samuiholiday.com for a comprehensive

Tired of Thai?

Not to worry – Samui has a vast array of international restaurants to choose from.

Daily Theme Nights From 7pm. Monday: Classical Thai Night Buffet - THB 590 Tuesday: Catch of the Day - from THB 250 Wednesday: Italian Night Buffet - THB 490 Thursday: Steak Supreme - from THB 300

Friday: Beach BBQ Buffet featuring live music and a fire juggling show - THB 690 Saturday: Surf & Turf - THB 790 Sunday: Roast Chicken Sunday - THB 390 Enjoy music from the Sentinel Band - Monday to Saturday from 7pm – 10pm

Romantic Beach Dinner: Moonlight dining on the beach with your own private chef, from THB 1,500 per person Daily Happy Hours at Beach Bar - Buy 1 get 1 free beers and cocktails from 12pm - 2pm l 5pm - 7pm l 9pm - Midnight

Chaweng Noi Beach 14 www.siamwininganddining.com

Tel. 077 448 994

info.kohsamui@impiana.com

www.impiana.com


So Much More than Just a Coffee Shop

Black Canyon Coffee expands yet again.

There are certain brand names in this world that you associate with quality and value for money - Black Canyon Coffee is one of these. The only misleading thing is the name which doesn’t hint at all at the incredible food that they offer as well as an impressive selection of teas, iced drinks, smoothies and frappes. First established in Thailand back in 1993, you could say that Black Canyon were a pioneer as Thailand’s first coffee shop. They use modern roasting methods and high quality Espresso coffee from Italy. They have over 250 branches throughout Thailand and three on Samui. Their baristas have won awards at both national and international levels, so it’s easy to understand why they are a trusted brand and much loved by both foreigners and Thais. So it was with great excitement that Area Manager, Wongchan Jinawong, told us all about the brand new branch that opened in the new Central Festival shopping mall. The mall, which opened on the 29th March, is smack bang in the

middle of Chaweng, and can’t be missed from the beach road. The new Black Canyon is located on the second floor and is a massive 150 square metres. It has 25 tables and also free Wi-Fi (coming soon to the Lamai Black Canyon too). Going for a more comfortable and relaxed feel, there are more sofas in this branch than the other branches, although tables and chairs are still available for those who prefer a more upright dining experience. Being an outside mall, entering Black Canyon will be a welcome relief as it is air-conditioned and therefore an ideal place to cool off during your shopping expedition to enjoy a nice iced drink or a bite to eat. Their 12-15 new staff members have had their official two weeks training and are prepped and ready to care for their new customers. Opening at 9:00 am, they have a good breakfast menu for you to start your day with, as well as various bakery items. They also have the largest selection of iced coffees you’re likely to find

anywhere on the island. They have iced cappuccino, iced mocha, iced espresso, Mexican iced coffee (served in a glass boot!), Black Canyon iced coffee and black coffee champ iced coffee. But it doesn’t stop there; there are ten (yes ten!) different coffee frappes. If coffee is not your thing, fear not, there is hot Twinings tea, iced teas and tea frappes. And if you’re not a caffeine addict like the rest of the world, then how about a chocolate drink? They have both hot chocolate drinks and iced chocolate drinks and three very delicious frappes - chocolate chip, chocolate glacier and the very unique cranberry chocolate frappe. You’re on diet? No problem, there are smoothies, fruit frappes in the form of watermelon, apple, lime and honey lime; and herbal juices. But as mentioned, just because they’re called Black Canyon Coffee, doesn’t mean they only do coffee or only drinks. They are a full blown restaurant and if you haven’t eaten here before,

you’ll be amazed at how big their menu is and the variety you’ll find inside. A wonderful choice of both Thai and Western food and sometimes a combination of both (like their fusilli dish served with a green curry topping).

influenced seafood sauces. And there are noodle dishes, rice dishes, a good choice of vegetarian dishes, some spicy salads and if you have room, some traditional Thai desserts and ice cream.

Some nice comfort food in the form of soups, salads and sandwiches are perfect for a quick lunch stop while you’re working your way around Central. But if you’ve been shopping all day and have multiple shopping bags hanging from your arms and shoulders and you feel you’re starting to fade, perhaps you need to go for something more substantial like a steak. But there’s not just a juicy rib eye steak for you, there is also a salmon steak, a pork chop steak, and a chicken steak. They can be served with spaghetti or chips, with some great sauces such as mushroom, cheese or black pepper. This meal might even give you enough energy to head back for the next round of shopping.

So don’t dismiss Black Canyon Coffee as a mere coffee shop. It’s so much more than that. Give it a try and we’re sure you’ll agree.

Colleen Setchell For further information, visit www.blackcanyoncoffee.com

There’s also a variety of pasta dishes. The sauces range from the more traditional to Thai

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15


Knowing your Onions Or, in this case, knowing your okra!

You can blame many things on sailing boats. And one of the most significant of these (boats, that is) was the one that Ferdinand Magellan captained, in 1519 AD. But Christopher Columbus had already paved the way some years before, when he sailed off to find a trade route to Asia, but bumped into America instead. Mind you, a hundred years before this the Portuguese had similarly stumbled across The Canary Islands (named after dogs, not birds, by the way). All of which is really quite remarkable when you realise that a further 700 years or so before even this, Eratosthenes of Cyrene, working in The Library of Alexandria, had already scientifically proven that the Earth was round, not flat. Well, there was no satellite-based photography in those days, so it must have taken quite a leap of faith to set off in a sailing ship the size of a three-bedroom house and aim it towards the edge of the hopefully-not-flat Earth. And the subsequent joyous realisation that you didn’t drop off sparked off a completely new craze in the early 16th century. Suddenly all the prosperous nations of Europe were at it. The Portuguese, Spanish, English, Dutch, and French were all racing each other to discover new trade routes and establish new colonies. Plus, of course, to bring back tons of natural booty that

ranged from gold and silver through to wonderful new plants, fruits and vegetables. And, amongst these, was one that’s now generally become known as lady’s finger, gumbo or okra, depending upon what part of the world you come from.

so is the thick and rich-flavoured stew that it enhances. Gumbo has become world-renowned, and is now one of the best-known dishes to represent the deep south of the United States.

A tropical plant of the malvaceae (mallows) family and known scientifically as abelmoschus esculentus, it can trace its native roots back to Ethiopia, and a little north of this to the region of the Sudan. And as early as the 13th century, it was reported to have been growing along the Nile River. From Africa, okra travelled to the Middle East and India. It then headed off towards Brazil in 1658, then Dutch Guinea and New Orleans, before eventually extending outwards throughout in the United States, towards the end of the 19th century.

In Louisiana, it’s called okra. In England, it’s lady’s fingers. In the Caribbean, it’s known as kallaloo. Strictly speaking, it’s a fruit, as it contains seeds, but it’s universally eaten as a vegetable. The primary characteristic of this attractive little ‘fruit’ is inevitably that it is ‘mucilaginous’. This comes from the Latin noun mucus, which unilaterally translates as ‘phlegm’. Okra contains two obscure mild acids that are released when the fruit is cut open and these form a glutinous sap. Incidentally, okra can also be dried and ground into a powder that is used as a thickening agent for soups and sauces.

But it was during its introduction to the southern United States that it made its greatest culinary impact. Okra, brought in by the slaves from Angola, was called ochinggombo; later shortened to ngombo. The Indians of Louisiana discovered okra’s thickening properties, and used it in place of traditionally dubious powders to thicken a regional stew made of vegetables and seafood. Today the name of this vegetable in these regions is still known as ‘gumbo’. But

Okra has quite a striking appearance. The slightly curved pods come to a point at one end, while the stem-end has a neatly-fitted conical cap. Some varieties are ribbed on the outside, while others are smooth and slightly fuzzy. Its colour can vary from light to dark green, with some types even heading towards a reddish hue. The pods are filled with soft edible seeds that can range in colour from beige to a dusky pink. The fruits grow from between two

A Unique Koh Samui Experience at The Farmer

inches to eight inches in length, with the smaller sizes being the most tender (the larger ones tend to be woody and tough). The flavour is actually very pleasant (despite the mucus!) being somewhere between eggplant and asparagus. And, when cooked, the texture is soft and the taste delicate, with the seeds adding a nutty dimension to the mix. Over the last few decades, okra has become something of a dietary star. In today’s health-conscious climate, everyone’s on the lookout for solid sources of natural nourishment, and this is one more example of Nature’s kindness. Okra has become renowned for its high vitamin C, vitamin K and also substantial folic acid content. It’s also rich in natural fibre, which helps digestion and settles the bowels, balances blood sugar levels, and helps to absorb excess sugars, thus keeping diabetes at bay. It contains iron, which helps to form haemoglobin within the blood and offsets anaemia. And it’s got a good level of vitamin K, which is necessary for effective blood coagulation. Furthermore, in today’s pacey and stress-filled life (living on Samui excepted!) a regular intake of okra will help to allay those niggling stomach ulcers. The bacteria heliobacter pylori is a pre-requisite for such ulcers, and okra contains glycosylated substrates

which have been proven to prevent this bacterium from attacking the lining of the stomach. At the close of the 19th century, the English grammarian and lexicographer, C. T. Onions, was the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. And over the next decade or so his name became synonymous with ‘being in the know’. In those days anyone having an insight into, or an profound understanding of, not just words and their meaning, but the bigger picture in general, was deemed to ‘know his Onions’. And now, thanks to the high-Onion content of Samui Wining & Dining, when it comes to talking about okra, you can tell everyone that you really ‘know your onions’!

Rob De Wet

Exclusive Lunch Promotion at The Farmer from 12:00 to 15:00 every day

The Farmer Restaurant & Bar is the only restaurant on Samui offering a unique natural ambience, set amid paddy fields and green meadows. It is perfect for a relaxed lunch, or dinner under the twinkling stars. Visit The Farmer and experience the real meaning of “Back to Nature” whilst enjoying the best of local Thai, Western and seafood dishes.

Farmer’s Duck

Khantoke (for 2 people)

Crispy fried duck served with 5 colour rice, herbal sauce, gourd soup and fresh tropical fruit. 290 Baht ++

Chicken satay, spring rolls, tom yam goong, laap (minced chicken salad with Thai herbs), choice of curry (either green, red, massaman or paneang), stir fried vegetables. Served with 5 colour rice. 990 Baht ++

The Farmer Restaurant & Bar 1/26 Moo 4, Maenam, Koh Samui Tel: 077 447 222, 077 247 979, 083 092 2632 www.thefarmerrestaurantsamui.com email: info@thefarmerrestaurantsamui.com Free transfer for dinner guests Nathon - Maenam - Bophut. Other areas 300 Baht return. Для гостей из районов Nathon - Maenam - Bophut - трансфер бесплатный. Гостям из других районов острова мы возвращаем 300 батт от стоимости такси. 16 www.siamwininganddining.com

TOP TEN 2011 www.tripadvisor.com


Off the Track

Get sizzling hot at Grill Bophut

It’s not so well-known, but the splendour of Maenam’s Samui Buri really has to be explored! Let’s plot the script. You’ve been here for five days now. The first day or so was to clear the jet-lag, and you more or less hovered between the beach and the pool. Then you got your legs back again, and took a stroll outside. The first couple of times it was just within walking distance. And then you hopped in a taxi and went out to look for a nice place for dinner. Now a whole week has gone by, and you’re in need of something more than the pool every day. So you rent a jeep or a motorbike, and set off around the ring road to see what’s what. Someone once said that there’s only two ways to go on the ring-road – right or left. But, either way you go, it’s a dead cert that you’ll head towards Bophut and Fisherman’s Village; everybody does! And from here, it’s only a little way into Maenam. The Walking Street here is a big attraction. But, apart from that, there’s also a good chance you’ll drive through Maenam several times, back and forth as you’re travelling. Truth be told, there’s about seven kilometres of not a lot to see – other than end-to-end houses and little Thai shops! And now I’ve got to the point. Because there are actually quite a few utterly lovely places, that can’t be seen from the road. One of these is Samui Buri Beach Resort. It’s actually right on the western-most fringe of Maenam Beach, marked by where the ring-road

makes a 90-degree bend to the left, with the landmark of a big temple arch (Wat Napralan) over a side-road on the right. The signpost will read ‘Lomprayah Ferry’ so turn right under the arch. Coyly, there are no signs for ‘Samui Buri’. But about 50 metres down this road you’ll see a narrow right-hand turn to Harry’s Bungalows. Follow this slowly around, watching out for the speed bumps that look like shadows in the afternoon sun. When the road straightens, after about another 100 metres or so, ‘Harry’s’ will be right ahead. But slow down and look towards the right. You’ll see an awe-inspiring tangle of exotic Thai roofs standing high above the screening trees. This is Samui Buri – head towards Harry’s and it’s a stone’s throw to your right. That probably sounded complicated! But it isn’t. Samui Buri is something of an unsung classic in these parts. It took the best part of 18 months to build; the reason being that it’s actually quite big, having 84 rooms and villas tucked away in its verdant grounds. The other reason was the architecture. The roof-styling is deliberately elaborate, and contains design elements from each of Thailand’s four most prominent regions. It’s one of the most dramatic examples of Thai architecture on the island, and worth a visit for this aspect alone. It’s also 4-star, verging onto the edge of 5-star. Plus . . . it has a simply superb restaurant!

At this point, right away I have to say that you’ll be welcome here for the whole day, for the afternoon or simply to come and dine – although there’s a cover charge if you want to make a whole day of it. But, unlike some resorts, this is only 300 baht for a “One Day Pass” card! And for this meagre sum you’ll get the use of a big beach towel, sunbeds and sunshades around the pool and on the beach, pool service, shower and changing facilities, free run of the gym and fitness centre, free internet access, plus 10% off the F&B prices in the beachside restaurant, which goes by the name of Seetawaree. But this isn’t the only way to do things here, although it’s just the job if you’re in need of a change of scene from your own resort. Let’s try script # 2! You take a light lunch, maybe a nap for an hour, and then head out to Maenam in the mid afternoon. There’s no cover charge now, and you’re most welcome to laze on the beach, read a book, or catch up with your emails. Happy Hour comes into play at 5:00 pm, with local beers and cocktails at discounted prices. The sunsets on this coast are the best on the island – forget about the sun dropping in front of you! Here the whole sky is painted with luminescent pearls and pastels. And then, there are the delights of what Seetawaree has to offer. A few days back I read a comment on TripAdvisor (about another top resort) which applies equally

here. It said, “. . . hotel quality food at street café prices.” Not only are the portions surprisingly big, but they’re all astonishingly affordable. Plus the cuisine is way better than the little local restaurants. The meat is imported from Australia and New Zealand, the international offerings are just tip top, and there’s a full Thai menu. There are appetisers (smoked salmon salad with toast and rocket salad), soups, sandwiches and snacks (Italian panini with curried chicken). They make their own pizzas, 11 of them, and with even an ‘Indian’ offering (tomato, goat’s cheese, yoghurt, chicken and potato). The ‘mains’ are super (duck breast with potato gratin, stir fry choy sum, cherries, tamarind, and topped with pink peppercorn). Plus there is a big Thai ‘shared’ set menu for two (just 1,500 baht) of four courses each, a whole white snapper, plus yellow curry and dessert. I could go on . . .

And there’s one thing more. Most menus you’ll see will have prices without the tax or a tip included. But here the prices are inclusive. What you see is what you pay. There is no ‘plus plus’. This resort is not in plain view and it’s not so well-known but, without a doubt, spending quality time at Samui Buri is well worth going ‘off the track’!

Rob De Wet For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7744 7275. www.samuiburi.com

But then I’d be ignoring the all-day tapas menu – 15 different scrumptious variations on a theme, big portions that get cheaper the more you have – go for the five plates for 420 baht.. Or the desserts. Forget the usual ‘ice-cream and fruit’. Here the Executive Chef, Khun Suraporn, has worked under several international celebrity chefs and will offer you a choice between apple strudel, tiramisu, crème brûlée and crêpe suzettes, amongst others.

The restaurant where every evening becomes a memorable occasion. For reservations please contact: Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa, Koh Samui Tel: +66 (0) 77 428 300 Email: bophutsamui@anantara.com Skype: bophutsamui www.siamwininganddining.com 17


Going Native Joining the locals at Hek Miang.

It all started 20 years ago with a bottle of whisky and an idea. Sitting with a friend from Bangkok late into the night, Khun Apichart (known as Hia Meng) was excited to note down elaborate instructions and recipes. But while most dreamers would be nursing a large hangover and lots of tiny doubts the day after, Hia Meng set about the business of opening a duck restaurant on Samui. Many Thai eateries offer ‘up to you’ menus, with 17 kinds of fried rice or 12 soups (usually subtle variations of the same ingredients). Hek Miang is one of the few local specialty restaurants on Samui offering a short and concise menu on a single laminated sheet. Roast duck. Roast pork. Duck soup with or without noodles. Slow cooked pork with rice or noodles. Pork with Chinese sauce. Simple, right? Sort of like Thai fast food? Think again. Think slow cooked with elaborate care. Think careful preparation and complex ingredients. Think focus and attention to detail. In fact, don’t think - tuck right in. You can taste it in each mouthful. The steamed ducks are served in a tasty broth over noodles with fresh coriander, bean sprouts

and greens. You specify the size and type of noodle: ‘ba mi’ egg noodle (green or yellow), ‘sen yai’ or ‘sen lek’ (wide or small noodles), or ‘sen mi’ which are very fine and light. It is a luscious combination of sweet, spiced meat in a broth redolent with mushrooms and crunchy fresh greens. How does one make such a flavourful broth?

he’s been doing this for 16 years. “I can’t miss a step,” he says proudly. Khun O has to ensure that by opening time, the steamed duck, roast duck, broth for the duck soup and the pork in its own broth are ready to serve. By 8:00 am the shop is open for trade, and he’s already put in four hours of intense focus to be ready for the day.

The ducks for the soup are cut in pieces and stewed in a mix of ground and dried Chinese spices including cinnamon, anise, wolfberry, codonopsis (a kind of ginseng), a mixture of two different kinds of soya sauce, and water from mushrooms soaked overnight.

For the roast ducks, for example, one has to clean the ducks, cut their feet off, and stuff them with a spiced sauce while the ovens are preheating. Fortunately Khun O has a brother, Khun Mongkon, who is charge of the roasting. He adds salt and sews up the ducks, pumps them with air to keep the skin taut during the cooking process, and ties them at the neck. Adjusting the cylindrical roasting barrels behind the kitchen to turn the heat on high at first, he then has to constantly brush the skin with oil to ensure that it crisps and does not blacken during roasting, as well as monitor the temperature throughout the three hour process. “It’s very important. We can’t have any marks on the skin when we serve it,” says O.

“Yes, there’s a secret ingredient,” admits Khun O, Hia Meng’s son, who inherited the mantle of duck king of Samui, “but mostly the unique taste comes down to getting the sequence of preparation right. For example, I have to turn the burners on high to start, and then down to simmer at exactly the right moment.” His mornings are a tight choreography, as he works alone in the predawn hours adjusting the gas burners, chopping and dicing, turning on the rice cookers, and preparing the ingredients for the sauces. He is at work by 4:00 am. And

Roasted duck on rice is served simply: sliced over rice with homemade pickled ginger, fresh cucumber and two sauces. One is a thick

sweetish black soya sauce and the other an in-house piquant number combining lemongrass, pickled soya beans, two types of ginger, galangal, wild lime leaves, garlic and mixed Chinese spices. You are also always welcome to add sour, sweet, chilli or salty from the condiment tray provided. Another staple at the restaurant is ‘khao kha mu’ - slow stewed pork leg in a broth, similar to the duck soup but slightly saltier, with Chinese herbs, peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise and coriander powder. Again the broth is turned up high and then simmered for two hours. Served with pickled mustard greens over rice, and hard boiled eggs soaking up the gravy, the tender meat falls off the bone.

shop’. You would meet all your friends, bump into staff from the land office or immigration. Hia Meng and his wife Khun Aradee moved the restaurant to Maenam, and then to Lamai, opening at its current location on the main ring road just two years ago. Coming from Chaweng, pass Tesco Lotus Lamai on your left, then turn left at the landmark 90 degree intersection at Lamai temple and drive about 800 metres. You will see the bright pink signboard with a duck logo on the left after the 7/11 as the road curves around. It’s open from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm daily except the 1st and the 16th of every month.

Annie Lee

Hek Miang is the Thai equivalent of a diner service is fast and efficient with people calling their orders to Khun O, while he stands confidently with his cleaver at the cutting board, ready to serve their favourite daytime meal. Hek Miang was a local institution from when it opened in Samui’s capital Nathon, almost 20 years ago. In the days when the biggest supermarket and all the banks were in town, no trip was complete without stopping at ‘the duck

Iconic Beachfront Restaurant Daily Modern European Asian Cuisine. Oyster Sunday Brunch from noon - 4 pm.

With breathtaking views and an unrivalled ambiance, RockPool is an unmissable Samui dining attraction. Resting on the rocks just a few metres above the ocean, the RockPool terrace offers an exquisite beach-side dining experience. Chef Christopher's menu is an a la carte journey embracing an exotic tapestry of the freshest ingredients, delicately prepared to enhance each individual flavour. RockPool is the perfect location for all celebrations, and is equally delightful for a casual, gourmet lunch or a romantic dinner. Sunday Brunch is a long, lazy affair. RockPool is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

RESERVATIONS: 077 234 500

Email: info@kandaresidences.com www.kandaresidences.com

Located Between Chaweng And Choeng Mon. Location In Thai: 18 www.siamwininganddining.com

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Complimentary one way transfer to or from your resort .


Most established restaurants on Samui, and indeed worldwide, have a signature dish. Something that they feel is extra special, or something that is only available at their restaurant, something that stands out among the other menu items. The Palate is no different. Situated in Lamai, on the road that runs parallel to the beach, this restaurant caters for both locals and tourists alike. Owned by the charismatic Khun Virach Pongchababnapa, who also owns Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort across the street, the restaurant first opened its doors towards the end of 2013, offering a selection of both Thai and European food. There are three dining areas, an air conditioned room (which is also available for private functions), a courtyard area that overlooks the show kitchen and an upstairs open air deck which overlooks the street below. The decor is bright and happy, and they have a great feature of a ‘wall’ of hanging plants on one side of the restaurant. Hanging lanterns and table lamps create a warm dining atmosphere, and the friendly yet unobtrusive staff look after you well. The seafood on offer is displayed at the entrance to the restaurant, so you can easily see the quality and freshness of what you’re going to be eating. There are prawn dishes, fish dishes and some very interesting crab dishes too. They even have a good selection of vegetarian dishes,

so you won’t have to go hungry if meat isn’t your thing. Baked spinach with cheese or white fettuccine tossed with sautéed zucchini, mushrooms and parmesan are just two delicious options. If you’d like to try something a little bit different, try the ‘tod-yun-pla-grai’ which is a dish of fish balls made from the ‘pla-grai’ fish which is only found in the Chao Praya River in Bangkok. Recommended by Khun Virach himself, it’s delicious. The selection of European dishes has a distinct Italian focus, and alongside many traditional pasta dishes, various pizzas are available too. But with all this delicious food, was it difficult to choose a signature dish? No, they have two brand new items on the menu which are going to blow you away. The first one is called ‘Green Salad with Onion Ice Cream’. You’ve absolutely got to try it to understand how the combination works, in this simple yet beautifully presented dish. A green salad consisting of tomatoes, cucumber and mixed lettuce leaves and rocket, provide the base. Two slices of toasted French bread are positioned on top of the salad and resting proudly on top of the bread, waiting for people to fall in love with it, is a scoop of onion ice cream with a long strip of crispy bacon. It sounds strange, but it somehow works. It is homemade ice cream mixed with onion sauce, fresh cream and milk and has a very subtle taste

of onions rather than being an ‘overpowering and clearing out your sinuses’ taste. But it doesn’t stop there. The chef has cleverly taken two of the most popular cuisines on the island, Thai and Italian, and combined them to create an absolutely heavenly dish - Spaghetti in Tom Yum Goong. If you’re not already familiar with tom yum goong, it is a traditional hot and sour Thai soup. It is made with prawns, chillies, mushrooms, lemongrass, fish sauce, limes and kaffir lime leaves. These ingredients have been combined to make a luxuriously thick sauce which they mix with perfectly cooked spaghetti. So what you end up with is a beautifully stacked pile of spaghetti in a delicious sauce topped with a huge prawn. It looks so simple and yet the flavour is so rich. It’s so good, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed when you take your last mouthful.

and igniting every single chocolate memory you’ve had. Open your eyes again and watch the thick hot chocolate sauce flow slowly onto your plate and mop it up with ice cream and cream. You’ve arrived in dessert heaven.

Colleen Setchell For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 4420.

You might already be full because the portions are generous, but do yourself a favour, and always make sure you leave enough space for dessert. Sticking with the Italian theme you can indulge in a rich and creamy crème brûlée or the tiramisu (which is made with Kahlua for that extra coffee kick). But if you really want to splash out and indulge in the ultimate dessert heaven, try their hot chocolate soufflé. Once you break into it with your fork, close your eyes and sense the aroma wafting up to your brain

Signature Dish Italy meets Thailand at The Palate.

Is this your dream Romantic Beach Dinner?

T: 077-960 567 E: book@TheSeaSamui.com W: TheSeaSamui.com We make sure that you arrive in style with a free round-trip transfer between Chaweng, Bophut, Bangrak, Maenam or Nathon.

Join us for a delicious lunch, a romantic dinner for two or a private BBQ on the tranquil and pristine Bang Por beach. Enjoy stunning sea views, exquisite cuisine and if you want to get together and share a meal with your closest friends, you can also enjoy a bubbly treat - groups of five or more people get a free bottle of sparkling wine.

Located on the enchanting white sand beach of Maenam - Bang Por. Free day use of swimming pool and Wi-Fi. A member of

Do it yourself BBQ Chef’s BBQ romantic dinner

1,000++ baht/person 1,600++ baht/person

Thai set menu romantic beach dinner 1,200++ baht per person North Meets South (Khantoke Beach Romantic Dinner) 2,400++ baht per couple www.siamwininganddining.com 19


101+10+10 When it comes to sheer style, it’s no wonder that everyone’s off to The Library!

This isn’t about a library. It’s about THE Library, and it’s a resort. It fronts the beach, smack in the middle of the most popular part of Chaweng. It’s a thesis in its own right that spans the cultural roots of the island – from hippie huts, to Bangkok high society, to the fringes of Thailand’s new generation of creative artists, designers and architects – not to mention several of the shining stars of today’s Thai pop culture and one world-renowned international mixologist. Many resorts try to emulate the style of The Library and fail. They’re snatching at fragments of form and struggling to do things with style. But everything at The Library is done IN style, and that’s the difference. The land here has been in the same family for generations. Twenty five years ago, when you could see the sea from just about anywhere along Chaweng Beach Road, there were a handful of huts and a little shack restaurant on this site. Today, the family’s eldest son, Khun Pang, has re-shaped it all into one of the cleanest and coolest statements of contemporary design around. His time spent in Bangkok, first at university and then in amongst the fringes of Thailand’s new and emerging avant-garde community, sowed the seeds of what was to emerge. And after three years spent sharing ideas with vibrant and talented young architects and designers, his concept became a reality and ‘The Library’ opened its doors in 2007. I could go on at length about the design concept and the layout. I could enthuse about the quirks of surprising style that pop up everywhere when you least expect them. Because it’s a complete fallacy that the borders of minimalist style makes everything easy, because all it needs is less of everything! This leads to a soul-less landscape that, in the worst instances, bring to mind post war Soviet architecture, or perhaps some high-security prisons. There’s no humour in it. But I’ll leave it up you, dear reader, to discover for yourself the myriad contrasts of visual charm that are The Library. The shy smiles of the hidden drawers of their restaurant (The Page) where the silver service cutlery resides, or the

array of alchemical retorts and unusual cocktail stuff that chuckles at you from behind the bar. Everything here is a voyage of gentle discovery, and all of it is there to be discovered. This place just doesn’t get the walk-in custom that it deserves. Firstly, its presence is deliberately shy and understated, relying more on reputation and word of mouth than the ‘Here I am!’ scream of neon lights (perish the thought!). You might spot the odd Thai TV celeb or bikinied chart-topper basking by the bright red pool, but they’ll singularly outnumber the curious incoming tourists. It’s probably because wanderers on the street outside don’t notice the low-key presence of the place – sadly, their loss. However, last year The Library came up with its first-ever shout. Right next to its uber-discreet (if not actually obscure) entrance with the white moulded and stylised life-size figure reading a book (a little bit south of McDonald’s) is a gigantic two-floor cube of glass bearing the legend ‘Drink Gallery’. In keeping with all else here, this is a combination of haute-style and maxi-culture, with the internationally-renowned mixologist, Dhasan ‘Golffy’ Prabhananda having set up the drink side of things, and now dropping in every month in-between stints in Hong Kong or Melbourne or Moscow to teach the resident shakers a new recipe or two. The food here is simply super also, and presented with an Alice-in Wonderland flair that’ll keep a bemused smile on your face. Plus there’s a drink-eat-drink-eat set-menu-special called ‘Pairings’ which is an entire sub-experience all by itself. And now you know where all of this is to be found, take your pick. Head directly for the glass cube on the street. Or navigate your way inside, past the high bamboo wall, though a mess of green lawns and sun-dappled massive fruit trees, past the geometric cubes of the villas/dwellings/houses, past the swimming pool with a floor of rose petals and towards the sand. There you’ll find 12 low tables with bean bag

seating looking out to sea, and discover a taste bud trauma of eats and drinks. There are 101 different cocktails, some of them mocktails. There are also ten so-called tapas offerings (but they’re big!) and another ten lots of ‘munchies’. The 10-dish nibbly side of things was put together by celebrity-chef Nokveeuz, who’s now off in Russia or somewhere bringing culture to the cognoscenti. The ten maxi munchies come courtesy of Sous Chef, Bird. And so altogether, you get 101 + 10 + 10. It has to be said, of course, that you’re not going to be paying fast food prices. But here’s the trick. Get there (the best time of day anyway) at around 5:00 pm. Flop out on your bag and hit the cocktails first – they’re big and they’ve got a real poke. There are 101 to go for, and they are 2-for-1 in the happy hour between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Give it a couple of goes and you’ll get the nibbles. The tapas and munchies are big portions and totally delicious. If you come on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, this part of the beach will be sectioned off with column lighting and have a very cool DJ who will be playing some really mellow grooves – not a thrasher anywhere amongst them – heaven forbid! The Library has always been more of a special sort of ‘Smooth Central’ – all you have to do is to find it! You can get there from the road or come in from the beach. Drink Gallery is a show stopper. ‘The Page’ is something you’ll want to write home about. But if you want to get yourself firmly rooted in the kindest kind of ‘Samui Today’, then it’s all to do with numbers. And in particular, the progression that goes – 101 + 10 + 10!

Rob De Wet For reservations and further information, telephone 0 7742 2767-8. www.thelibrary.co.th

Authentic Thai Cuisine California Cuisine Succulent BBQ Seafood 20 www.siamwininganddining.com


Silavadee Pool Spa Resort

Silavadee Pool Spa Resort presents a wide range of restaurants and bars featuring a variety of cuisines to suit all tastes. Premium cocktails and selected wines are also available in each outlet.

STAR

A stunning rooftop bar where you can sip our signature cocktails and enjoy some snacks while watching the sunset or gazing at the stars above. Open: 17.00-23.30hrs.

The Height

Sun Deck

Wine and Cigar Lounge

Oering an extensive menu of delightful Thai cuisine, the restaurant has both air-conditioned and open air seating options, all with stunning views of the surrounding sea. Open: 17.00-22.30hrs.

Exclusive dining on the deck with breathtaking views.Enjoy International delights in a romantic setting with your loved one. Please reserve in advance.

Refreshments, cocktails and snacks with a selection of premium wines and cigars to enjoy the breathtaking view.

Open:18.00-22.30hrs.

Open: 17.00-23.30hrs

Silavadee Pool Spa Resort 208/66 Moo4, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84310 Thailand Tel: (+66) 077 960 555 Fax: (+66) 077 960 055 www. Silavadeeresort.com www.siamwininganddining.com

21


Future Wine Trends

What does the future look like for the global wine industry? Being a wine enthusiast, I like to keep up with the latest trends. And at the moment, change is definitely in the air. Here are a few of the big issues brewing, which I believe, could have a significant impact on the future direction of the wine industry. 1. Wine consumers are getting younger. In hip European cities, like London and Paris, new wave wine bars are popping up like daffodils in spring. In these yuppie-led oases and other cool watering holes that are inhabited by the young, wine is becoming increasingly trendy. And it’s a fashion that looks set to continue, but very much on the terms of these fledgling wine drinkers themselves. These are consumers who prefer the adventurous to the traditional, want individuality in their drinks, and take their cues from broader lifestyle and cultural references, rather than listening to old-school wine trade jargon. And as such, they are changing the rules of engagement, and shaking up the whole wine trade. London is typical of many capital cities, in that a new breed of imaginative, unstuffy independent merchants, restaurants and bars are helping fuel a scene that is thriving on pop up wine events, communicated via blogs, and wider social media. It’s all a little disconcerting to the conservative middle-aged wine enthusiast, who struggles to keep up! But inevitably, it will continue to enrich wine with a dash of much needed cool, as far as the young are concerned anyway.

2. Supply and high demand. While doom laden headlines predicting a “global wine shortage” are rather off the mark, many big players are predicting that global supply and demand will continue to gravitate towards a better equilibrium, at least in the short term. Wine consumption is increasing, and it has been outpacing production for more than six years, with global inventories now 7.5 million litres below the highs reached in 2007. Somewhat surprisingly, that’s a drop of approximately 40%. However, global supply and demand is moving towards balance, as almost all industries eventually do. While it is predicted that consumption will continue to dip in mature European markets, the slow but steady growth in a host of populous countries, including the US and emerging territories such as China and India, will further ease the global glut. And bulk wine prices, unfortunately for the consumer, will continue to rise. Further ahead, plantings coming on line in the southern hemisphere, and China’s own fast expanding production, will be likely to meet and exceed the projected growth in global demand. 3. Going green. Far from dying a death, the organic wine movement has eased up on some of its earlier religious like fervour, and instead become accepted as something of a canary in the wine cellar. Now, organic wines can be found on

many, otherwise mainstream, wine lists. Such wines have highlighted the need for greater sustainability across all wine production, due to their obvious popularity with consumers. And thankfully, the sometimes ridiculous arguments about terminology are becoming less and less relevant. The question for wine producers will increasingly not be “are you organic and sustainable” but “why aren’t you?” Consumers are coming to expect producers to provide good environmental and social credentials as the norm. In what at first, appears to be a counterintuitive development, those best placed to meet this green criteria will emerge as being the bulk shippers and bottlers, along with the big multiple retailers. With the ability to lead the field, by cutting down on carbon emissions and waste, through the efficiencies of in-market bottling, with alternative packaging, plus their economies of scale of distribution, their contribution to cutting wine’s carbon footprint will become increasingly apparent.

4. Chardonnay spearheads a cooler climate New World white wine revival. In a reversal of fortune from the “Anything But Chardonnay” days, it will continue to win back converts as both trade and consumer catch up with the new wave of leaner, cooler climate examples. Australia is driving this trend, with its poised, complex Chardonnays from Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and

Tasmania. And it is joined by similarly restrained wines from diverse vineyards including the cooler spots in Chile, Argentina, California, South Africa and New Zealand. Subtle use of oak will continue to play its part in the best wines. This Chardonnay revival will in turn assist these and other producing regions to highlight their more aromatic and elegant styles, again often from cooler coastal and higher altitude vineyards. Conversely, the more mainstream examples of Pinot Grigio, and to a lesser extent Sauvignon Blanc, will begin to fall from grace as drinkers realise that there is a middle path to be negotiated, between wines of little character and two-dimensional explosions of aroma and flavour. 5. The Chinese will buy all the best wine. Actually, this is one thing which won’t happen. The market for fine wine in China will continue to cool in the face of a series of setbacks, including government austerity, and the general economic slowdown, which has seen cuts to gifting already. There have been problems with counterfeiting, other types of fraud, and high Bordeaux pricing for less than excellent vintages. However, leading importers in to China remain optimistic about the long-term future of China’s market for imported wine, pointing to an evolution that will sustain growth into the future. Home-grown wine is set for a boom and, as with all things Chinese in the new millennium, the scale is truly enormous. The

Noodle Specialties from all over ASIA

at Akyra Chura Resort open noon - 22.00h reservation 077 915 100 www.theakyra.com www.facebook.com/Theakra

22 www.siamwininganddining.com

A truly remarkable experience for all the senses Location: Ban Taling Ngam Reservation: 0 7742 8200 E-mail: reservation@thesunsetbeachresort.com www.thesunsetbeachresort.com

projected huge future demand, from increasingly affluent young Chinese wine drinkers, will be balanced by industrial scale production in China’s vast wine growing regions near the Gobi desert. And hopefully, they will eventually add something new and innovative to the wonderful world of wine. But whatever happens, as I see it, wine has a bright and assured future, as long as civilized people remain on this planet.

Peter James


Serving an exciting variety of Thai, Italian and seafood from our open, show kitchen with genuine pizza oven. Choose from open air seating on the first floor with ocean view or air-conditioned seating on the ground floor. Live music every night.

Open daily from 5 pm till 11 pm Located on Lamai Beach Road opposite Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort Reservation: 077 424 420 www.siamwininganddining.com 23


Monday - Cowboy Steak Night Assorted BBQ Meat Buffet Entertainment: The Barge Band Tuesday, Friday and Saturday Lobster Basket Set: 3,300 for 2 persons Seafood Basket Set: 2,300 for 2 persons Inclusive of Salad, Soup and Side dishes Entertainment: Duo Band Wednesday - Hawaiian Seafood Night Variety of Fresh Seafood & BBQ Meat Buffet Entertainment: Polynesian Dance and The Barge Band Sunday Chef Creation Set Dinner and A La Carte Menu

No visit to Samui is complete until you have dined at The Barge

Rice Barge Authentic Thai Cuisine

Fine Beach & Hillside Dining at Samui's Newest Venue Quality Thai, Seafood & International Dishes The Ultimate Samui Dining Experience!

The Barge Nora Buri's Signature Restaurant Chaweng North For Reservation Tel: 0 7791 3555 E-mail: thebarge@noraburiresort.com www.noraburiresort.com

Chaweng Beach Road Chaweng North

It’s all happening at Nora Beach Resort & Spa Tuesday Night - Local Samui Buffet. Enjoy fresh barbecued seafood plus a variety of special dishes created by our culinary team. Price THB 850 net per person. Children 6-12 years old half price. Entertainment: Mariposa Duo. Wednesday Night - Antipasto night. Price THB 350 per person. Entertainment: Phang Thon Blues Band. Thursday Night - East Meets West. Enjoy our chef’s special buffet creations. Price THB 950 net per person. Children 6-12 years old half price. Entertainment: Polynesian Show & Mariposa Duo. Thai Cooking Class Learn how to cook 3 authentic Thai dishes with our Thai Chef. Price THB 1,500 per person Inclusive of chef hat, apron, certificate and recipe. Fruit Carving Class Price THB 1,500 per person. Inclusive of chef hat, apron and certificate. Daily Happy Hour Beverages Special offer 50% off (Except liquor & wine by the bottle) Pool Bar 1.00 pm - 2.00 pm. Prasuthon Restaurant 5.00 pm - 7.00 pm. Lobby Lounge 6.00 pm - 7.00 pm & 9.00 pm - 11.00 pm. Romantic Private Dining Dining on the beach with private chef and waiter/waitress. Thai menu THB 5,000 per couple. International menu THB 6,000 per couple. Advance reservation required

For further information please telephone 0 7742 9400 E-mail: reservation@norabeachresort.com www.norabeachresort.com 24 www.siamwininganddining.com


May 2014