What exactly are you looking for in a restaurant? Something a little out of the ordinary, perhaps? Well, if you fancy enjoying an intimate carefully created dining experience which offers innovative contemporary Japanese cuisine that’s cooked with imagination and passion, then I have just the place for you. And its name is Namu.
“…The views from here are amazing, but when you go through the short passageway into the lobby and come out the other side, you’ll be completely knocked out by the simply stunning panoramic scene ahead.”
Just take the ring-road from Chaweng and through Bophut, then turn right just 200 metres past Zazen Boutique Resort (it’s well signposted so you can’t miss it). Follow this road until you reach the very end, about half a kilometre along, and you’ll arrive at W Retreat & Residences. Head left towards the Retreat and the road will lead you up to the car park and reception.
The views from here are amazing, but when you go through the short passageway into the lobby and come out the other side, you’ll be completely knocked out by the simply stunning panoramic scene ahead. Looking across a huge circular ‘lake’ (complete with round ‘floating’ seating areas) you’ll have a view stretching across the whole of Maenam Bay on one side to Bophut Bay on the other with the island of Koh Pha-Ngan straight ahead. And from up here you’ll see Namu restaurant sitting serenely in the perfect position on the beach at the apex of both bays.
An electric buggy will take you on the short ride from the lobby to Namu with its huge square stepping stones and high walled individual entrance. Pass through and the area completely opens up with the expansive open-air Sip lounge and bar leading off to your right and Namu on your left with the bordering palm trees and ocean beyond.
Entering through its striking entrance surrounded by water, the restaurant enjoys stunning views through its floor-to-ceiling windows. And sticking to its Japanese roots, the interiors are sleek and minimal, with subdued lighting, creating that hard-to-find intimate atmosphere that only the best restaurants manage to attain. You have the choice of sitting outside on the beachside terrace, at one of the tables inside the restaurant, or at one of the six sought-after seats at the open kitchen counter where you’re able to watch Chef SK (Sin Keun Choi) and his team work their creative magic.
The innovative young chef has had extensive training in Japanese cuisine from the distinguished Japan Hottori Culinary School and lengthy experience working in renowned Japanese restaurants in the United States, South Korea, and Japan. And the unique techniques he’s picked up along his global culinary journey perfectly matches the spirit of Namu.
Since arriving, Chef SK has added to Namu’s innovative dining experience with two new concepts. Firstly, he’s united both food and beverage into one harmonious tasting menu – simply called ‘Chemistry’. Every month, Chef SK works closely with the hotel’s skilled ‘mixologurus’ (highly-trained bartenders), and using only the best local (wherever possible) and international ingredients creates a different five-course tasting menu paired with various beverages, such as craft beer, champagne, sake, a cocktail or even tea. Sometimes these drinks are infused with flavours to match the food thus creating a chemistry between them.
The second exciting concept at Namu is their new ‘D.I.Y. Sake Infusions’. And this is where you get the chance to create your own tasty sake, selecting from a range of herbs, spices, fruit and even seaweed. You can make it hot or cold and be as creative as you like. And if you need a bit of guidance regarding what ingredients go best with another, the expert mixologurus are always there offering a helpful hand.
But before I end, I had better give you some food recommendations from the à la carte menu, so you have an idea of what to look forward to! From the starters, both the Seared Tuna with crispy shallot, onion and truffle garlic ponzu, and the Flat Bread Pizza of Tuna Carpaccio with truffle oil and onion are great ways to begin the dining experience.
“…What with the unrivalled location, the super-innovative cuisine and the sense of fun and adventure created at Namu, this restaurant comes highly recommended and should be on any true food-lover’s short-list of places to dine in style on Samui.”
Next we have some excellent main course recommendations with the Maine Lobster and stir-fried Udon noodles and chili, and the Konro Wagyu Beef 7-8 with spring onion being exceptional dishes.
And finally, to round off the dining in a sweet way, we have Marinated Strawberry Gratin with torched sabayon and almond ice-cream, and the Molten Chocolate and Chestnut Cake with vanilla bean ice-cream.
What with the unrivalled location, the super-innovative cuisine and the sense of fun and adventure created at Namu, this restaurant comes highly recommended and should be on any true food-lover’s short-list of places to dine in style on Samui.
Namu is open for lunch (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only) from midday to 4:00 pm and every day for dinner from 6.00 pm,
with last orders at 10:30 pm.
For reservations and further information telephone +66 (0) 7742 7524
Namu at W Retreat Koh Samui