It’s happened to us all. That sweet, intoxicating and almost indescribable feeling of elation and euphoria when you realise that you’re falling helplessly in love. It’s a time of magic when the colours and textures and sounds of everything in the world seem brighter and richer, somehow. And that’s exactly what happens when you visit Samui’s incredibly stylish new restaurant and lounge – 9Gems.
There are countless individual features of this absolutely stunning place that’ll cause your heart to skip a beat, but it’s the combination of them all that will capture it totally, as you’ll find out.
And to reach 9Gems restaurant and lounge is easy as it’s within 5 minutes’ drive of Chaweng Beach Road. It’s off the road which leads from the ring-road next to Bandon Hospital through to Chaweng, and it’s very well sign-posted so you can’t miss it. The road takes you on a winding route upwards until you come across 9Gems entrance and underground car-park where you’re met and escorted up the interior staircase. And it’s when you emerge by the side of the restaurant with an LED-lit white marble swimming pool to your left and the most amazing panoramic view of Chaweng Bay and the surrounding mountains straight ahead that you’ll first experience those flutters of the heart.
“There are countless individual features of this absolutely stunning place that’ll cause your heart to skip a beat, but it’s the combination of them all that will capture it totally, as you’ll find out.”
A smile will involuntarily form on your mouth as you wander around and take in the scene. Choose between sitting under the stars on the expansive decking amongst the frangipani trees around the pool and on the wide terrace (there are day-beds for lounging on, too), or opt for a table inside the contemporary-styled restaurant itself, with its Terrazzo flooring and white marble table-tops, transparent Philip Starck designed Kartell chairs, and fabulous floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls. Restaurants don’t come with more style and sophistication that this – anywhere!
And, as with the pool, the slowly changing colours of the LED lighting is also a feature within, as there’s a complete panel which forms the base of the bar and several projectors also sending off various hues around the room. The general design is minimalist, but with an occasional pleasing touch of local Thai art which blends perfectly.
It’s at this point that you realise that the tremendous attention to detail at 9Gems and the all-pervading atmosphere of warmth and friendliness must have been created by some special people – and you’d be absolutely right. And they are Samui-born Khun Lek (Khun Sathit Muangprom) and his Swiss partner, Peter Krebs, who have put their heart and soul into this unique place. On their travels to the finest restaurants and hotels around the world they’ve learnt exactly what works perfectly (and what doesn’t!) and, with that in mind, they’ve created what they refer to as, “An inspiration of a lifetime.”
Whilst Peter is the supportive ‘driving force’ within the partnership, Lek is most definitely the ‘artist’, as not only is most of the unique architecture and décor of 9Gems courtesy of Lek, but he’s also the highly-gifted and creative chef within the kitchen. And with a combination of many years’ experience of creating Thai dishes and an eclectic background of cooking in top restaurants in various European countries, it’s only natural and logical that the menu at 9Gems is Asian-fusion.
“…and restaurants don’t come with more style and
sophistication that this – anywhere !”
And when you actually taste the food, what began earlier as a serious case of infatuation turns into full-blown love! The oh-so-perfect combinations of flavours and textures from East and West will have your palate working overtime to fully appreciate the truly inspirational dishes. Highly recommended appetisers include a sensational Chicken Tandoori Salad with vegetable and fruits, and the mouth-watering Tagliatelle with Coconut Squid. And when it comes to main course recommendations, I’d have to say that both the Crispy Sea Bass topped with homemade curry, and the Tenderloin Steak with red wine chocolate sauce and pepper, are excellent examples of fusion cuisine at its finest.
Desserts, too, have been given Lek’s masterstroke of genius, with dishes such as the homemade Swiss Chocolate Ice-cream and fresh mango, and the original-recipe Tiramisu, making sure that you’ll be truly smitten. And it’s worth noting that not only are all the desserts homemade, but so are all the various breads, pastas, patisserie items and even the curry pastes! Oh, and there’s a wide variety of excellent New and Old World wines, too.
And, finally, before I totally run out of space and to reconfirm that this love affair isn’t just a passing fancy, not only does 9Gems have this superb restaurant, but on top of it there’s a rooftop tapas bar and lounge plus a private one-table rooftop (bookings 24 hours in advance required), with both having complete 360° views! I’ve fallen in love with 9Gems and am sure you will too!
9Gems is open from 4:00 pm until midnight Tuesday – Thursday, and from 4:00 pm until 2:00 am Friday-Sunday.
For reservations and further information telephone +66 (0) 7725 6125 or +66 (0) 936 659 636