In Samui’s fickle dining scene, it’s quite something if a restaurant can simply hold on to its reputation for a full decade. Olivio has remained popular since 2003, and has always been one of the prime destinations for its authentic Italian and Thai cuisine.
Over the years, the restaurant, situated in the north of Chaweng, has gone from strength to strength, constantly seeking to improve on its already good reputation. Diners return to it again and again, and each time there’ll have been some or other new grace note added. This time, though, they can expect a lot more: rather than a spruce-up, Olivio has been given an entire makeover. Major shifts have taken place, and the restaurant is all the better for them.
The first thing that’ll strike you is that the restaurant now has three distinct areas. It used to be entirely open-air, but now has a large air-con section. It’s ideal for the hottest of days (and evenings on Samui can be almost equally hot, too) and also when there’s rain. Simply opt to sit here and enjoy the relaxed feel of indoor dining, and thanks to enormous glass windows, views out to the lush little garden just outside and the sea beyond. The central part of the restaurant is still open-air as is the part nearer the sea, now with beautifully decorated, romantic canopied seating. No matter where you choose to be
seated, Olivio’s definitely the kind of restaurant where it’s easy to simply sit back and relax.
And just as good, you can come here at just about any time of day or night; Olivio being part of Baan Haad Ngam Resort means that it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with anything that patrons may care to eat in-between.
Breakfast is sumptuous – and guests from outside are of course all welcome. It’s served from 6:30 am until 10:30 am and there’s a whole range of delicious possibilities, with both Asian and international dishes on offer. It’s basically a very generous buffet along with an egg station where you can order a range of omelettes as well as fried and poached eggs. Olivio has everything a breakfaster could possibly want, including cheeses and cold cuts, different kinds of bread, and all the drinks to go with this amazing repast. There are even slow-pressed juices to be had; simply select the fruits or vegetables that you’d like, feed them into the juicer, and you’ll have a wonderfully healthy drink.
Lunch stretches out over most of the day, from 11:00 am until almost sundown, at 5:00 pm. A wide variety of dishes are produced seemingly effortlessly from the kitchen. Watch for a while and you’ll see everything from pizzas, sandwiches and burgers through to Thai dishes such as green curries, pad Thai and fiery som tam. People come in off the beach, or maybe
they’ll have wandered down from the main road in search of sustenance. Some come just for a coffee or a snack. Olivio is a welcoming place, and staff are very friendly, making this an ideal place to come and linger.
Check out the current promotions – there’s always something on offer at Olivio – but be sure to try one of the four signature drinks that Restaurant Manager, Khun Kim, has specially created. Served in tall glasses, opt for a tea or
coffee that’s quite different from the usual offerings. For example, the ice-cubes may well be made from the drink itself, and then there’s the addition of whipped cream, maraschino cherries and so on. There are incidentally two different happy hours. The first is from midday till 3:00 pm and the second from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. You can indulge in cocktails, beers and non-alcoholic drinks on a two-for-one basis.
Dinner is from 6:00 pm until last food orders at 10:30 pm, with the restaurant finally closing at 11:00 pm. Evenings here are a real treat; watch the sunset over the bay of Chaweng and then feast on the plethora of Thai and Italian creations. Enjoy Toscana-style lasagne or a traditional Thai curry. Or anything from risotto, pasta and pizza to Thai salads, soups and
A particular recommendation is the antipasto for two; it consists of a range of delicacies including smoked salmon with rocket salad; marinated and grilled tuna with Italian tomatoes, grilled soft shell crab in a crust of polenta. Flavours are
created with balsamic honey dressing and fig compote, buffalo mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil and melon. It’s generously sized so you can also share with a small party of people, too.
Olivio also puts on their ‘Private Romantic Dinner’, where you can dine on the beach itself or by the swimming pool. A trio of menus makes this a truly special occasion, and the setting is extraordinarily beautiful. From your table, decorated with flowers and candles, you can look out to a maritime vista that encompasses the entire bay of Chaweng. Just remember to book a day in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
Thanks to its iconic blend of superior-quality Italian and Thai cuisine, friendly and efficient service and a beautiful setting, Olivio delights its many diners, and still manages to polish its performance. All of this, incidentally, doesn’t come at any big price tag. Despite all the great food, it’s all very reasonable, and you can still splurge without your conscience gnawing away at you. And if you’re a diner returning some months after your last visit, you’re bound to like the new look Olivio is now sporting.
For reservations or further information telephone 0 7733 2950-7.