Every single day of a holiday is a special occasion. And special occasions are best celebrated with a lovely meal somewhere equally special. But when it comes to celebrating a real special occasion when you’re on holiday, then you need to go somewhere really special. Somewhere such as the renowned Zazen Restaurant.
“Yes, Zazen Restaurant really is that special. So special, in fact, that it’s already received awards this year from Thailand Tatler, Wine Spectator, World Luxury Restaurant Awards and now the presitigious TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice – Best Fine Dining Restaurant!
Located in the peaceful far-western end of beautiful Bophut Bay within the fabulous Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa, Zazen Restaurant has been one of the leaders of Samui’s dynamically growing dining scene since it first opened over 15 years ago. And during that time it’s gone from strength to strength as it’s introduced exciting new culinary concepts and developed traditional ones to the highest degree in order to ensure that every single diner has a memorable dining experience every single time.
The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:00 am and many outside guests stop by to sample the unhurried beachside atmosphere whilst savouring the delicious healthy food. In fact, it’s become a favourite venue for local business people in particular as it offers a special Business Lunch set-meal (both Thai and Mediterranean cuisine that changes every week).
And for those traditionalists amongst you, you’ll be pleased to learn that afternoon tea is served on the first floor in the appropriately-named Le Salon de Ti. All manner of cakes and delicacies are on offer alongside a wide selection of the famous Dilmah teas. Le Salon de Ti is also available for Thai cooking classes, private dinner parties, and even wedding receptions. And venues for those events just don’t come better!
Most outside guests (they constitute over 60% of the restaurant’s diners!) come in the evening so they get to see the resort at night in all its illuminated glory. As this is when the candle lights from the car-park and main lobby leading through the resort to the restaurant take you on an almost magical journey through tropical gardens, over small bridges spanning lily-ponds and around the stunning super-stylish spa, Le Spa Zen, until the reach Zazen Restaurant itself where you’re greeted by smiling staff.
Pass by the reception area and take a glance at the glass panel in the floor on the left by the sofas. Through it you’ll be able to look down into Zazen’s unique wine cellar (Samui’s only one) where 1,000 bottles of 360 labels are perfectly housed – there’s even 26 bottles you can choose by the glass And you’re more than welcome to have a browse around there before you and the wine sommelier select your wine(s).
Choose between sitting in the romantic 80-seat restaurant itself (there are five highly sought-after tables along the open terrace which need to be reserved beforehand), in one of seven alcoves below (that are just one step up from the beach), or in the one beach sala (again, booking is essential) which has been the setting for countless marriage proposals over the years – and the ladies have all said yes, so it must be a romantic spot!
And so to dinner – and you can either go for Royal Thai or Mediterranean. Zazen is famed for both, so feel confident to choose either, or both! There are several carefully crafted set-meals of each available too and are well worth considering, especially the Royal Thai ones if you’re not totally familiar with this cuisine.
Both cuisines are in the excellent hands of Zazen’s brilliant new executive chef, Pedro Luis Rodriguez Serrano. Chef Pedro has a glittering Michelin-starred background in his native Spain and is the ideal person to keep Zazen right there at the top.
Before I give you some recommendations from the à la carte menu, a big mention (and recommendation) must be made of the all-inclusive 5-course Zazen’s Lobster Declination Menu.Comprising sparkling wine cocktails, four superb lobster dishes and finishing with a chocolate fudge with a creamy heart and raspberry jelly, there can’t be a better meal available for lobster-lovers – anywhere!
“… and the all-inclusive 5-course Zazen’s Lobster
Declination Menu is highly recommended “
And whilst we’re on a lobster theme, a perfect Mediterranean cuisine starter is the Lobster Twist– fresh pan–fried Canadian lobster with saffron fettuccine and a light lobster bisque cream sauce. Follow this with the delicious main course Á l’Ancienne – braised cheek and oxtail with mushrooms, fork-mashed potatoes with pepper sauce bordelaise and you won’t be disappointed!
A perfect Royal Thai starter is the Bophut Salad, comprising wok–fried mixed vegetables with ham and mayonnaise, and a favourite main is the classic Hoy Shell Phad Nor Mai Farang which translates as stir-fried sea scallops with green asparagus.
Desserts are a bit of a problem at Zazen though – it’s just too difficult to recommend just the one! And it’s for that reason that I’m recommending both the Chocolate Tube with iced mascarpone cream, a tasty ganache and coffee ice-cream, and also the ever-popular Lemongrass Crème Brûlèe (which is an especially popular dessert to complete a Royal Thai meal).
And if you want to have a complete Thai dining experience, come on a Thursday or a Sunday, for that’s when Zazen hosts a magnificent classical Thai dance and music show between 8:00 and 9:00 pm. The elaborate costumes and spellbinding performance will have you thinking that you’re in a Royal Thai palace!
Yes, Zazen Restaurant really is that special. So special, in fact, that it’s already received awards this year from Thailand Tatler, Wine Spectator, World Luxury Restaurant Awards and now the presitigious TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice – Best Fine Dining Restaurant!
Zazen Restaurant is open from 11:00 am for lunch and from 6:30 pm for dinner. The kitchen closes at 10:30 pm and the bar closes at midnight.
Zazen Restaurant at Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 5085 or 0 817 378 771.