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Dining in Koh Samui

Dining in Koh Samui is an undoubtedly rewarding experience. The island’s longstanding reputation for beauty and friendliness is now being matched by its reputation for culinary excellence. Thanks to the availability of top quality fresh ingredients, dining in Koh Samui can satisfy the choosiest gourmet.

The island’s imaginative chefs are blessed with all of the traditional cooking knowledge relating to proper use of the special Thais herbs and seasonings. This, combined with the variety of free-range meat, poultry, tropical fruits, vegetables, fish and crustaceans available on the island, ensures menus are endlessly interesting.

There are three main areas to visit when dining in Koh Samui. Easily the most popular is Chaweng beach. Cuisines on offer include French, Italian, Japanese, Royal Thai and many others. The Page, for instance, is a conceptual beachfront restaurant in the heart of Chaweng. Diners here can experience a fine variety of East-meets-West style meals that include dishes such as ox-cheek Massaman curry or stir-fried soft shell crabs.

Adding another slice of sophistication to the beach is the Eat Sense restaurant. An enchanting setting and the healthiest south Thai cuisine on the island provide a memorable dining experience. Sample dishes include roasted duck in red curry stuffed with rambutans and lychees.

Diners travelling to the north of the island will be rewarded by the fine selection of restaurants along Bophut beach. What was once a fishing area is now deemed the essential destination for foodies. The Full Moon is an alfresco Italian restaurant situated on an elevated terrace. The chef inspired and original creations include delights such as Szechwan dusted salt and flash-fried that tiger prawns with lemon cold pressed olive or red capsicum aioli, il and beetroot tabouleh.

Lamai beach – on the south of the island - is Koh Samui’s second largest beach. Because most of the restaurants here are Thai family-run affairs, eating out is a little less costly than elsewhere. There is still a huge range of choice so it’s well worth a visit. Salathai is a much-frequented restaurant on Lamai's Main Street. The food is what draws the crowd, and it’s easy to see why. The chefs reliably produce tasty, enticingly presented and affordable fare.

A little further out, midway between Chaweng and Lamai, The Cliff restaurant's hillside location gives it some of the finest ocean views on Koh Samui. This award-winning eatery offers tantalising Mediterranean dishes such as Portuguese piri piri chicken and clams in white wine sauce.

Other recommended areas for the hungry include Big Buddha beach and Maenam. Seafood-lovers should try venturing over to the south-east and west coasts to make the most of the fresh fish that are caught there.

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