Samui Wining & Dining
Impiana Resort let us in on their big plans for change.


Sometimes change is a good thing. As lovely as Impiana Resort’s Tamarind Bar & Lounge is, the changes planned by management will put this relaxed restaurant on the map as the ‘place to go’ in Chaweng Noi. A chat with Resort Manager, David Xavier, and Assistant Marketing and Events Manager, Diah Intan Maulidya, revealed what we can expect from the new-and-improved venue, after renovations take place during the off-season of April and May.

      David plans to market Tamarind as a stand-alone restaurant, so that nonhotel residents feel as welcome as hotel guests do. The view from Tamarind is phenomenal and overlooks Chaweng Noi Bay. The plan is to make the most of this view by extending the restaurant with a deck, which will form the roof of the resort’s other restaurant below. The beach bar will also get a new upper deck offering guests elevated views from treetop level. This new extended restaurant will be a great location for weddings and other functions. Half will be under cover, and the open deck area will have the option of closing by means of a mechanical awning, in the event of one of Samui’s tropical showers.

But that’s not all that’s planned. A new show kitchen will take centre stage and showcase the planned new menu too. Here guests will be able to observe the chefs creating fusion dishes with a focus on good quality, fresh ingredients. Seafood is a main focus of the new menu, and with the ocean as a backdrop, this makes perfect sense. More on what you can expect from the new menu later…

        Tamarind offers cooking classes, and with the new show kitchen, workstations for cooking classes will make the learning process even more enjoyable. Classes last three hours, and start with a trip to the Laem Din market in Chaweng, where the chef will explain the ingredients he selects, so that ‘trainee chefs’ know not only what they’re eating, but also what to look for when preparing the dishes again back home. Traditional dishes such as tom yum (spicy soup), chicken green curry, and sweet and sour chicken or fish are prepared from scratch, and then enjoyed by the newbie chefs afterwards. The class is great value, at 1,250 baht per person, which includes a certificate signed by the resort manager and the chef, as well as an Impiana apron to take home. For those that want to try their hand at fruit and vegetable carving, classes are on offer too. Included in this class, is a signed certificate as well as your own carving knife – just remember to pack it in your check-in luggage, not your hand luggage!

          A big draw-card for Tamarind is their happy hour. Or should we say ‘happy hours’. The bar hosts happy hour three times a day – first from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, again from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (perfect sun-downer time) and lastly for those wanting a night cap, from 10:00 pm to pumpkin hour. And while you’re enjoying your buyone- get-one-free drinks, challenge a friend to a game of pool, darts or foosball. Or perhaps just chill on the super-comfy couches with a view of the sea below, and watch the latest sport on the TV.

          Right, so about that new menu! The style is fusion, and the focus is on fresh. A highlight is the ‘Maine Lobster Thermidor’. How could lobster from Maine be fresh, you ask? Well, these are. They are flown in fresh – and alive, weekly. The well-travelled lobster is baked with mustard, cognac, cream and parmesan, and served with homemade chunky chips and spinach.

          Another seafood main course worth mentioning is Impiana’s classic seafood bouillabaisse. It’s jam-packed with generous portions of local seafood in a light broth, and flavoured with garden peas, asparagus, roasted red peppers and saffron. Those preferring red meat would enjoy the ‘slow-cooked lamb shank massaman with scallion mash, roasted shallots, cooked in a Thai massaman curry sauce’.

          Topping the appetiser menu, you’ll find ‘spiced tempura chicken nuggets with oven-dried tomato, coriander fritters, sweet onion and mango dressing’. This dish has a distinct Indian flavour combination. And a great vegetarian option is the ‘blue cheese mousse, with roasted apple, asparagus, roasted onion salad, served with melba toast’. The sharpness of the blue cheese is perfectly paired with the sweetness of the roasted apple and caramelised onion. Oh, and pizza lovers, the new renovations will include the installation of a pizza oven next to the show kitchen.

          Samui is becoming known as a great place to ‘brunch’ on Sundays, and Tamarind is planning its own version with the revamp. It’ll include use of the pool and beach with lunch… details coming soon!

          With Samui having so much to offer in the way of dining experiences, it’s important for restaurants to stay ahead of the pack. Resort Manager, David, has realised this, and is looking forward to welcoming visitors to the new and improved Tamarind Bar & Lounge in the near future - not that it’s not a great spot already…


 Rosanne Turner


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