Triumphant Thai – Krua Bophut restaurant offers some of the very best authentic Thai food on Samui.

Krua Bophut

Krua Bophut is certainly one of the island’s favourite haunts when it comes to eating authentic Thai food in an equally authentic setting. Dining here is an experience in itself, whether you’re a newbie to Thai cuisine or an old hand. It garners rave reviews and is highly sought-out, providing satisfaction across the board.

The restaurant is remarkably different from most on Samui. It’s teak throughout, and though it was built only a few years ago, it faithfully follows the lines of traditional Thai architecture. Step inside and it’s like going back in time to the 1930s. Only the electric lights give the game away. Plenty of antiques can be found throughout the dining room, but there’s nothing faded about any of the architecture or decor. No stuffiness or museum feel of any kind. It’s also spotlessly, immaculately clean. Staff are professional to the core; your welcome and service couldn’t be better. Should you need help with anything, they’re by your side immediately, but they’ll never hover.

The restaurant’s location, in popular Fisherman’s Village, could hardly be better; it faces out to sea on the north coast, allowing you to see across the water to nearby Koh Pha-Ngan. It’s decidedly romantic, and above all, very, very relaxing. Naturally you can eat outside, too, either right on the sands, or on a terrace overlooking them. Palms sway gently overhead giving the entire setting a truly tropical atmosphere. Come for lunch or dinner; it’s open daily from 1:00 pm until midnight, with last food orders at 11:00 pm.

Krua BophutWhether you decide to eat indoors or outdoors, you’ll find that each table is set perfectly, with a white linen cloth, while evening lighting remains soft, encouraging an intimate atmosphere; at night each table has a large candle that burns in a glass cylinder filled with sand and large shells. Krua Bophut stands out when it comes to the island’s dining scene, but not just for the building alone. The food and drink are on par with the architecture. Popular with holidaymakers and residents alike, Krua Bophut has many draw cards that keep diners coming back repeatedly. One of the least apparent is that it’s run by Bo Phut Resort & Spa, a luxury resort just down the road, who have made their mark when it comes to hospitality. In other words, you’re in the hands of professionals.

Krua Bophut translates as ‘Bophut kitchen’, which is a rather humble way of expressing what the culinary team offer. You’ll be presented with the chance to indulge in a selection of the best of traditional Thai cuisine. Tuck in and you’ll understand why over the last few decades, Thai cuisine has become so favoured throughout the world.

Krua BophutThe team here have put together a menu that seems to showcase everything that Thais, and lovers of Thai food, appreciate when it comes to dining. More than a hundred dishes await; the menu’s certainly worth browsing at length. All sorts of treats are on those pages, and it may take a while for you to make your choice.

Staff can give advice if you’ve never eaten Thai food before – this is definitely one of the places to come if you’re experimenting for the first time. Worried about how spicy a mealtime can get? No need; the menu has notes on each dish, and these will tell you just how fiery each one is. You can ask for things to be toned down if you need them to be. A good few of the dishes are southern Thai in origin; very fiery in other words, though extremely tasty. Thai food isn’t all chillies, of course, and especially not at Krua Bophut; the chef here uses plenty of herbs, and you’ll find coriander, basil, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves are used in many dishes, all depending on the recipe. Wherever possible, ingredients come from Samui itself, to ensure maximum freshness. The culinary team are always out and about early in the morning, scouting for best quality. This especially applies to seafood, and the catch of the day is all-important when it comes to pleasing clients.

Krua BophutMany diners who come to Krua Bophut opt for one or other of the two special menus that are on offer. They contain some of the nation’s most loved dishes, and both are highly recommended. ‘Menu A’ starts with appetizers, then there’s Yum Goong, followed by a papaya salad, then a green curry with chicken and finally white snapper.

‘Menu B’ is similar, through with milder options; after the appetizers, there’s Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup, followed by a delicious salad. Roast duck comes next and is followed by Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts.

Both menus end with a dessert, and all the courses are mouth-watering. As with all options at Krua Bophut, you’re welcome to linger and there’s never any need to hurry. The menus are ideal if you’re new to Thai food, but it’s just as easy to choose individual dishes, and there are so many of these that you’d have to visit the restaurant many times before exhausting all the options.

Krua BophutFor seafood, you’ll find dishes with snapper, sea bass or barracuda, and naturally you can also ask if there’s anything seasonal on the menu. For meat, there’s a wide array of choices featuring chicken, beef, duck and pork dishes. The chef here is extremely creative and can prepare dishes in a variety of ways. You’ll also find plenty of great wines to go with the food. Even the house wines are of high standard here.

Krua Bophut is most definitely a fine dining restaurant apart from one thing, and one thing only: the prices. You’ll be able to eat to your heart’s content and when the bill arrives you’ll find that the total is very reasonable. Like many diners, you’ll probably find yourself making your way to Krua Bophut again – with food this delicious, and that’s never going to break the bank, you’ll be happy to dine here. One last thing – parking’s easy. It’s free, just a short walk away at The Wharf.

Dimitri Waring

For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7743 0030 or 0 7790 2888.
www.kruabophut.com