Journey down Chaweng’s beach road – party central for some – to discover one of the island’s most sought after places to eat, Baitong Restaurant, and experience for yourself just why so many people like to dine in the complete harmony of this unexpected beachside idyll. Despite being so centrally located, the restaurant turns out to be a complete oasis. Set in the gardens of Banana Fan Sea Resort Koh Samui – you’ll need to walk down beautiful paths that take you towards the sea – it’s a restaurant that ticks all the boxes. Reasons why you should go? There are plenty.
If you enjoy the soundtracks and backdrops of nature, you’re in the right place. Dine directly on the beach and you’ll hear the lapping of the waves close by. And if you approach the restaurant from the beach, you’ll hardly see the restaurant due to the palm trees. Part of the fun is the extremely languid setting – whether you’re on the beach itself, the restaurant terrace or the open-sided dining room, it’s a bit like being in a cocoon. Sit back and enjoy being in a tropical setting that’ll delight all your senses.
A few decades ago, hotel restaurants didn’t need to worry about variety or even excellence. Nobody cared – Samui was hardly on the map, so people were happy to get whatever was going. That era has gone, so too have the restaurants that couldn’t keep up with the change. Baitong did. It’s got a cachet for great food and for satisfying diners who come from just about every country in the world. A heritage of excellent cuisine over the years means that all tastes are catered for, and the restaurant continues to bring its guests outstanding experiences, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner (it’s open daily with last food orders at 10:30 pm). The menu lists almost a hundred dishes, and covers a full spectrum of fare from international favourites through to Thai treats. You can choose a pepper sirloin steak, a perfectly-prepared filet of sea bass or enjoy the best of Thai dishes such as roasted duck curry or stir-fried blue crab.
Baitong ensures that all its ingredients are top quality and many come from Samui itself. Others are from nearby on the mainland or further afield. Some ingredients are of course impossible to find in Thailand, and these are imported from abroad. The idea is to keep costs down whilst guaranteeing maximum freshness. The culinary staff have a very dedicated approach to preparing the food, and make everything from scratch whenever possible. The results speak for themselves – across-the-board great tastes and satisfied diners.
Visit the restaurant for lunch or dinner and you’re more than likely to see the resort’s General Manager, Khun Sarawut Khotamee, more usually known as Khun Art, doing the rounds, and making sure that his diners are enjoying their food. He doesn’t just do this out of mere politeness; he’s ensuring that the restaurant is delivering the best quality meals. Since he’s talking to dozens of guests every day, he’s also well-informed about new trends in dining, and what further additions guests might like to see on the menu. An equally important aim is to provide guests with top-quality service. “Guests should be looked after just as a member of the family would be,” he says, “and this is the attitude of everyone here. We do our utmost to promote this kind of atmosphere in the restaurant, whether it’s welcoming and helping to look after children or seeing if our guests have any special requests.”
Many of the diners like to come here for a meal after perhaps shopping or swimming, while others use the restaurant as a springboard for Chaweng’s late night activities: it’s a cinch to head out of the tranquil restaurant and fifteen minutes later be in a bar, night club or other laid-back spot to enjoy the rest of the evening. Staff will order you a taxi, but many places are within walking distance.
Baitong Restaurant is run by people who care deeply, and eating here is a real treat. Equally good, prices are all affordable. Take the time to dine there and enjoy feeling at home in a wonderful tropical setting.
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7741 3483-6.