Samui Wining & Dining
 The Barge building at Nora Buri Samui Resort & Spa is home to two top restaurants.

The Barge building at Nora Buri Samui Resort & Spa is home to two top restaurants.


This place amazes. And in several ways. The Barge is one of Samui’s most iconic buildings, designed along the lines of a rice barge, of the type famous for plying the rivers and waterways of Thailand. It’s located a few kilometres north of Chaweng, as you head towards Choeng Mon. Seen from the beach this three-story building is striking; it looks like it’s about to set off to sea. However, it’s definitely firmly anchored, and welcomes not passengers but diners. Its appeal is widespread, more so as The Barge building houses two restaurants, both excellent: firstly, there’s Rice Barge & Terrace, which offers a full range of Thai food, then secondly, The Barge Restaurant, with an equally good range of international dishes. It’s a formula that works exceedingly well. You simply decide whether you’d like to eat Thai food or international and go to the appropriate restaurant. (If you’d like a mix of both, just head for The Barge Restaurant on the ground floor and staff will bring you both menus.)


Rice Barge & Terrace

Choose between an opulent air-con dining room which has not just tables and chairs but also the famous triangular ‘axe’ cushions. Enjoy music softly played on a traditional xylophone while you dine in style. There’s plenty of seating outside on the terrace, too. Wherever you decide to sit, you’ll be spoiled by the menu here. Open daily from 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, 80-2Rice Barge & Terrace is arguably one of the best places on Samui to feast on traditional Thai food in a deluxe setting – yet it’s all very affordable. Don’t forget while here to have a look at the amazing walk-in wine cellar, right next to the dining room. It contains a huge range of wines at various prices, but always value for money. Incidentally, when it comes to food, there are some great all-year round deals, which The Barge is justly famed for. Try the Thai set dinner (1,600 baht ++ per couple) for what amounts to a culinary tour of Thailand’s best-loved dishes.


The Barge Restaurant

  Just downstairs, and open daily from 11:00 am – 11:30 pm, The Barge Restaurant wows with its western menu. Enjoy a range of pasta and pizza, burgers, sandwiches and light bites or savour delights such as Australian rib-eye steak, rack of lamb and a whole host of barbecuestyle treats (the staff here are maestros when it comes to grilling). The restaurant is right by the beach and you can dine on a terrace commanding excellent views – this is a place for romance too, with staff specializing in wonderful romantic dinners.


The vibe at this all-day restaurant is very laid-back, and if you’re in the mood for a special evening out, then come for the Hawaiian Seafood Night on Wednesdays, starting at 7:00 pm. (If you come earlier, by the way, at 6:30 pm, you can enjoy complimentary cocktails.)80-3


Although all prices are very reasonable, you’ll find that there are some great promotions on during November and December. Think of them as feasts rather than dinner and you’ll have some idea of what you can expect. Enjoy the Chef’s Recommendation Phuket Lobster & Seafood Set. It’s 4,000 baht ++ per couple, and features a range of appetizers, such as marinated salmon with Thai herbs, golden prawns with plum sauce. It’s followed by a soup of chicken in coconut milk then a main course consisting of a massive basket of king lobster along with seafood delights such as tiger prawns, salmon fish fillet, squid, mussels and blue crab. Side dishes include fried rice with crabmeat in pineapple, stir-fried morning glory with oyster sauce and more besides. Desserts round off this tempting dinner with tropical fresh fruits or mango, icecream and sticky rice. If you’re more into meats, there’s a similar menu which features a main course of assorted grilled meats; beef tenderloin, Kurobuta pork chop, chicken and lamb breast. It’s 2,800 baht ++ per couple.


Sometimes it’s hard to choose between Thai food and western fare. But here you don’t have to make that choice. Sit back, relax and let the chefs here cook amazing delights for you. The brilliantly conceived Barge building with its double restaurants offers an outstanding venue for food, drink and atmosphere.


Dimitri Waring


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