Samui Wining & Dining
Tropical Tranquility

Although being just minutes from Chaweng’s busy night-life, Samui Natien Beach Restaurant is an oasis of peace and calm.

74Blaring music. Hustle and bustle. Beeping taxis. Chaweng’s well-known for its vibrant nightlife which starts up as soon as the sun sets. However, there are times when you’ve had enough of this frantic pace and need to kick back a bit for an evening. And the good thing is that even in the most raucous parts of Chaweng, paradoxically, you’ll find some genuine oases of peace. One of the best being Samui Natien Resort, in the northern section of Chaweng Beach

You wouldn’t guess from the location that it would be particularly quiet. After all, the resort’s entrance is right on Chaweng Beach Road, just 100 metres north of the busy junction with the Chaweng Lake Road. You’d be forgiven, therefore, for thinking that eating at a restaurant in this area would be a stressful experience with too many diners, loud music, slow service and, in short, the kind of place you’d only eat at if you didn’t know where else to go. But the fact is that it’s unexpectedly quiet and relaxed at Samui Natien Resort.

And if you’re driving, parking is easy there because the resort has its own car park, right in front of the entrance. Once you’ve gone through the small lobby, where you’ll be greeted by the friendly receptionist, you simply follow a path that leads you straight towards the sea. It meanders slightly and at night it’s lit by lamps, adding to the romantic impression of the resort. Lush greenery presses in on all sides creating a tunnel of tropical vegetation. And right at the end, by now far away from the madness of the Beach Road, you reach the lovely restaurant overlooking the beach.

It’s so close to the sand, in fact, that tables and chairs have been set up just a few metres from the water; so, if the weather’s fine, you can dine under the stars with the sounds of the lapping waves adding to the overall calming atmosphere. Or you can sit on the terrace, which is graced by the presence of old trees that were planted long before the actual resort came into being (one of them, according to the sign pinned to it, is at least 83 years old). And away from the terrace there’s plenty more seating in the open-sided sala which forms the main part of the restaurant.

The waiters and waitresses are all genuinely service-minded at Samui Natien, as well as being courteous and friendly. You’ll be given a warm welcome and to start off your evening it’s always nice to enjoy a cocktail or long drink before you decide what you’d like to eat. Of which there’s plenty.

And the menu includes some great choices at terrific value-for-money prices. Be prepared for a feast, by the way, as the portions come large-sized! The dishes arrive quickly – there’s no waiting around for hours on end – but you won’t feel that you’re being rushed either. This is a place to linger and savour every tropical culinary moment. And no matter what you have at Samui Natien Beach Restaurant, you’ll be dining in a peaceful atmosphere, making this an ideal spot for those times when you want to simply sit back and relax. Plus it’s a great place to bring the family, too.

The fare is Thai and International, with a concentration of ‘favourite’ dishes from both cuisines. And there’s a wide selection of starters, including a particularly delicious ‘Chicken Satay’ with four large slices of prime chicken in tasty sauce or deep-fried shrimps with tartar sauce. Salads are equally generous, with the ‘Chicken Salad Hawaiian’, served in a half-pineapple with the middle hollowed-out, being highly recommended. And you or your children may well be tempted by the hamburgers or the interesting variety of pizza and pasta dishes on offer.

If you fancy an International main course, then there’s also plenty of choice. The steaks are highly tasty – they come cooked exactly as you request. And if you’re a ‘surf & turf’ fan, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the restaurant does a ‘Grilled Fillet Steak’, with tiger prawns with lemon, garlic and herb butter, that’s worth writing home about. Again, expect big portions!

But, since you’re in Thailand, you may well wish to go for the local Thai cuisine. And this part of the menu has different sections featuring rice, noodles, soups and curries. It’s a list that includes all the best-loved Thai dishes, including ‘Fried Chicken in Garlic and Pepper’, Baked Steamed Rice with Shrimps’, as well as the famous ‘Green Curry’. But if you’re still undecided, just turn to the section simply called ‘Popular Thai Dishes’ and you’ll see other favourites, such as ‘Mixed Vegetables in Oyster Sauce’ and ‘Minced Pork (or Chicken) with Chili and Basil’.

For desserts, try the restaurant’s classic “Pineapple Pancake’ and you won’t go wrong, or opt for one of the variety of ice-creams, including a delicious and slightly retro sundae that looks like it’s just stepped out of a 50’s ice-cream parlour.

And at this point, the wine list also deserves a special mention. It’s a selection of reasonably-priced mostly New World wines, with the highly recommended Braided River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc being just about the perfect accompaniment to a meal in a tropical environment if you’re looking for a good value bottle. It’s light, crispy, with classic Sauvignon gooseberry flavours. Also worth trying are the Australian Sunnycliff Shiraz and the Italian Sovini Soave.

After such a relaxing and laid-back evening spent at Samui Natien, as you head back through the resort and reach the busy Chaweng Beach Road again, with all its dust and noise, you’ll realise there’s more to a great night out in Chaweng than being amongst thousands of others.

 


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