All-you-can-eat Treats – Zico’s Brazilian Grill & Bar is beyond generous when it comes to top-quality, affordable dining.


After a long, lazy day, a favourite place to head for is the exotic world of Zico’s. Here you can spend an entire evening enjoying the very best of Brazilian food. It’s definitely a place to linger, but in this case you’ll need to because the food is literally never ending. It’s one of the few restaurants on the island that offers as much as you can eat, and no matter how large your appetite, you’ll find it satisfied here. And the quality matches the quantity too – this is barbecue-style food at its very best. But we’ll come to that in a moment. First the venue, which looks striking and modernist enough to have stepped out of Brasilia itself, channelling the spirit of maestro architect Le Corbusier. A lot of love and attention has gone into the architecture and exactly the same goes for the food and drink here.

Step inside the ample portal and you’ll be shown to a table with comfy seating. From here you’ll be able to see the salad bar, the first of the treats that are in store for you. And just at that first sight, you’ll realize that the management are totally into wowing their guests. The salad bar is enormous, and offers dozens of items and many different kinds of dressings, providing hundreds of possible combinations. It’s hard not to hold back, even if you’re not particularly into salads. There’s also a selection of grilled vegetables, which are equally mouth-watering. Naturally, you can make as many visits here as you’d care to. There’s also a fully-stocked and cooled wine cellar awaiting your perusal, and here you’ll find something to suit every pocket.

Zico'sFor the main course, no further need to leave the table, as roving waitresses come round with skewers of meat and fish treats. The word ‘skewers’ conjures up pencil-length offerings, but this is entirely misleading. These skewers are as
long as the average sword, and indeed look pretty much like medieval weapons. Each waitress carries just one and it’s loaded with just one type of meat. If you’d like some, she’ll carve you some – whatever meat it is, it’s fresh from the
glass-sided kitchen where you’ll see everything being prepared. It may seem an alarming way to serve up food, but it harkens back to the gauchos of southern Brazil who cook like this. The waitresses are extremely friendly and welcoming,
and you don’t even need to attract their attention by calling or waving. Instead, they have a nifty idea which makes everything a lot easier; when you’re first seated, you’re given a large disc, green on one side, red on the other. Place it on the table green side up and the waitresses will bring you food. Red side up of course means that you’re left undisturbed. It couldn’t be easier.

Zico'sOrdering is also easy. Choose the ‘Classic Carnivore’ option and you’ll be brought tiger prawns, Norwegian salmon, pork filet, neck and loin, barracuda, honey ham, chorizo and chicken. For just a little more outlay, you can choose the ‘Famous Carnivore’ option, which includes all the above, but also with Wagyu and Argentinean beef, beef tenderloin, duck breast and Australian lamb. With this option you can also get a special deal on a whole lobster. Either option allows you all the half dozen side dishes too, visits to the salad bar and free dessert.

It’s all too easy to go strong on the mains, but aim to hold back a little, as the desserts are truly awesome. Examples of delights on offer include the Super Sticky Fudge Brownie, which comes served warm with ice-cream, or a moreish crème
brulée, dusted in sugar or the over-indulgent lava cake, where the molten chocolate core is complemented by delicious ice-cream. You can instead have a simple platter of fruit or a Brazilian equivalent of an Irish coffee, which is strong on Pampero rum and whipped cream.

Zico'sCheck out the bar upstairs, one of the coolest on the island. The architecture is again resolutely contemporary, with plenty of space. There’s a graffiti wall that will put you in mind of the colourful streets of Brazil; it’s a bright and light place to be. Enjoy the many premium spirits, local and international craft beers, and of course, this being an honorary outpost of Brazil, some of the world’s finest rums.

Every night of the week, there’s a different theme at Zico’s, which may feature, for example, a special deal on Mojitos, a wine buffet, discounts on bottled beer, a rum night or a promotion on sangria or sparkling wine. Zico’s is open daily
from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, with the bar closing at midnight. The restaurant is located in the heart of Chaweng, just opposite Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui. (If coming by car, you can use the free parking here and just walk across the road to Zico’s.)

Zico’s is quite different from anything else on Koh Samui, and has been popular with both residents and holidaymakers since it first opened its doors. Surprisingly, given its fame, it still keeps the prices entirely reasonable. Both the restaurant
and the bar are ideal for everyone: couples, families and groups of friends all love coming to Zico’s. The fabulous grill-fest has been going strong for over a decade now and is set to continue for years more.

Dimitri Waring

For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7723 0500.