Turning a New Page – Fine dining at The Library, a minimalist resort in the heart of Chaweng.

The Library

A library is defined as; a place set apart to contain books, periodicals and other material for reading, viewing, listening, study or reference. A room or set of rooms or buildings where books may be read or borrowed. A library is a quiet place that invites you to sit with a book in quiet contemplation and thought.

And that’s exactly what The Library is. Set against the alluring and irresistible backdrop that is Koh Samui’s Chaweng Beach, The Library is an extremely unique and bold beachfront resort with a back cover that reads of unparalleled individualism and unmatched luxury. With a collection of just 46 studios, suites and pool villas, with room numbers as page numbers, spread over 12,800 square meters of land, this minimalist resort provides plenty of quiet space to read, roam, and reflect. And of course, it really does have its own library!

This stunning and remarkable space was designed and created especially for those who appreciate art. Creative thinkers, architects, interior designers, graphic designers, photographers, artists and those who lean towards art in any form. The open and spacious lawn area is littered with huge, shady trees and ten contemplative statues of book readers. It feels so totally calm and serene that you just want to sit down and join them.

The LibraryThe ultimate statement piece in the resort is most definitely the pool. The tiles are a kaleidoscope of red, orange and yellow mosaic tiles. When the sun is overhead, the red absorbs and the yellow reflects, the result is a play of light over the pool, giving it a luminous sheen. With blue skies above and turquoise sea behind, it is most definitely planning to be noticed!

In a prime location, smack-bang on the beachfront in Chaweng, sits The Library’s symbolic restaurant; The Page. It’s the perfect name. Liken it to a crisp, unmarked, new sheet of paper. White, clean and serene, with stories yet to be written and memories yet to be stored. You can sit beachside, on the deck or in the restaurant itself. The menu now offers more Thai dishes, many of which feature rare, old-kingdom Thai cuisine, not found elsewhere, even in Thai restaurants. Old, hard-to-find original recipes have been re-worked with a decidedly modern and creative presentation, yet still offering a glimpse into a previous age. On the menu, these dishes are labelled ‘RARE’. Other symbols enabling you to choose wisely are; a star for signature dishes, a chilli if it is very spicy and a leaf for vegetarian options. And don’t worry, the menu still retains the ever-popular international fare that The Page is renowned for.

The LibraryExamples of the intriguing rare old-kingdom Thai offerings are; Savoury Crab Crepe Bites with seasoned coconut and shrimp, Red Onion and Ground Beef in coconut cream, Rice Salad with fish flakes and toasted coconut or Grilled Smoked Mackerel and Mushroom Pudding. The lunch menu now also introduces the concept of ‘going back to basics’ with Kin Hor. This three-course lunch of five dishes is served in a pinto, a set of stacked containers that you may see Thai people eating
their lunch from. The idea originated at gatherings, before there were any restaurants on Samui. Each family would bring their best dishes to the feast, to share with the entire group. This is a set menu for two people and includes a salad, three main courses with rice and a dessert, served with tea or coffee. It’s a great way to share a leisurely lunch with family or friends in fantastic surroundings.

The LibraryThe new dinner menu now introduces the Thai concept of sharing dishes with ‘Samrab Thai’. This eight-course ensemble of 11 dishes combines the eight distinct flavour and texture profiles of traditional Thai cooking into a majestic dinner feast. From sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, nutty, crunchy and smooth, the complete Samrab Thai brings distinct yet complimentary tastes into a single shared extravaganza of a feast. Some of the dishes come from the ‘rare’ collection and are only found on this menu. An example is the Thai Fermented Sweet Rice. This is a cold, fermented black rice which tastes like vodka and is meant as a palette cleanser. Without giving much more away, the mains come in four sections; soup and curry, grilled and roasted, stir and deep fried and relishes which add some crunchy textures to the other dishes. There is also a Samrab Thai menu complete with wisely chosen wine pairings to complement each course.

The LibraryIf you are strictly an international food kind of person, don’t worry, all the old favourites; steaks, Wagyu beef, lobster, surf and turf and pan-seared Australian kingfish with foie gras are still there!

The Page is keen on creativity and all things out-of-the-box. Relax and indulge at Samui’s trendiest beachfront restaurant with unique offerings available from sun-up till sun-down. Start your day with ‘breakfast in bed’ right on the beach whilst watching the sunrise. Yes, they bring an actual bed with crisp white sheets onto the beach for you. Breakfast is served to you from the breakfast buffet or a la carte menu, whilst you relax and watch the dawn turn to day! This is a ‘must book’ extravaganza and advance reservation is necessary.

The LibraryFancy a relaxing and sophisticated afternoon tea by the sea? A choice selection of teas, savouries, pastries, exotic fruit and scones is an elegant highlight to anyone’s day. Want to bypass the tea and head straight for the cocktails? The Beach Bar has become an institution in Samui, offering over 100 drink selections coupled with flavourful tapas and snacks. Try a Bashful Grissini Dipper or a Tom Yum Rum. Happy hours are from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm when there is often live music to help soothe the transition from day to night.

With a menu of Thai and international fusion and a host of “Original Experiences” found nowhere else, The Page has inevitably made its mark on Samui’s upscale dining scene. Opening hours at The Page are daily from 7:00 am until midnight, and The Beach Bar from 11:00 am until midnight.

Always keen to try something new, innovations happen first at The Library. There will always be more pages added, so keep on turning them; you don’t want to miss out!

Karan Ladd

For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 2767-8.
www.thelibrarysamui.com