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  • Writer's pictureHin Fah

New Restaurant and Bar Openings on Koh Samui

Updated: Mar 5

Koh Samui, with its seductive blend of sun-drenched beaches and lush tropical landscapes, is no stranger to the whispers of wanderlust, beckoning travelers and food adventurers alike to its shores. But beyond the postcard-perfect vistas, there's a new buzz cutting through the humid air – a wave of fresh restaurant and bar openings that promise to redefine the island's culinary map. From hidden gems tucked away in the maze of narrow streets, serving up explosive flavors of local Thai cuisine, to chic bars where mixologists conjure up concoctions as mesmerizing as the sunsets, Koh Samui is on the brink of a gastronomic revolution. It's a scene ripe for exploration, each new establishment a chapter in the island's unfolding story, inviting the curious and the hungry to dive headfirst into its vibrant, ever-evolving tapestry of tastes and experiences.




CHARM


Renata Winters, a name you might recall echoing through the hallowed halls of MasterChef UK, has staked her claim in the bustling heart of Koh Samui’s Fisherman's Village. But she’s not just opening another restaurant; she’s launching a culinary crusade, a bold fusion of Asian zest and European tradition. Her place, Charm, isn't just a restaurant; it's a cross-continental journey that grabs you by the taste buds and drags you through the humming, neon-lit streets of Asia, all the way to your plate, brimming with stories of innovation welded with tradition. This is where Thailand’s vibrant flavors shake hands with the culinary greats across Asia, and yet, for the wanderer craving a taste of the familiar, there are burgers and pizzas—elevated, of course, because Renata doesn’t do mundane.



The kitchen here is a temple, and the chefs, its devout monks, crafting each dish with a reverence only true passion can evoke. Whether you're flying solo or rolling deep, Charm’s got you covered, offering everything from tapas-style plates that beg to be shared to solitary servings for those contemplative moments with a cocktail in hand. Speaking of libations, the cocktail game here is no afterthought; it’s an art form. Each drink is a masterpiece, designed to sing in harmony with the symphony of flavors Renata’s kitchen conjures. So, pull up a chair, let the ambiance wrap around you like a warm embrace, and prepare to be charmed. Because at Charm, it’s not just about eating; it’s about experiencing, about savoring the moment, the flavors, and the sheer joy of good company.


 

PARMA BY MOZZA


If you've got an itch that only an authentic Italian scratch can reach, then you're in luck. Parma by Mozza, smack in the pulsing heart of Koh-Samui (that's Central Festival Chaweng, Ground floor, if you're navigating), is where your search ends and the real journey begins. This isn't just Italian dining; it's a teleportation device to the very soul of Italy, crafted with a kind of love that's usually reserved for nonnas and their wooden spoons.



Kick off this culinary odyssey with an antipasto platter that's a veritable map of flavors, or dive into a plate of bruschetta that's so fresh it whispers tales of Tuscan fields. And then, the main event: a pizza, its crust blistered to perfection in the embrace of a wood-fired oven, each slice a love letter from Italy to your taste buds.


Pasta? They've got it, twirled around forks and steeped in tradition, alongside a parade of specials that the chef dreams up with what I can only assume is a wizard's hat on. The vibe? Imagine the kind of cozy, welcoming embrace that makes you think of laughter, clinking glasses, and the kind of meals where time takes a backseat. Whether it's a casual lunch where the afternoon lazily stretches before you, a dinner with sparks flying across the table, a family gathering where the stories are as rich as the food, or a night out with friends where the world outside fades to black, Parma by Mozza is your scene.


 

HOUSE OF SUZY


Nestled in the vibrant streets of Lamai, this cocktail and dim sum bar breathes new life into a charming, renovated old wooden shophouse, merging the rich heritage of its architecture with a contemporary culinary concept.


House of Suzy is a true gem waiting to be discovered. This hidden gem offers an intimate escape into a world where traditional Asian flavors meet innovative mixology, all within the warm, rustic ambiance of its historical setting. The original wooden beams and vintage tiles tell stories of the past, while modern lighting and artful decor infuse the space with a chic, inviting atmosphere. It's a place where history and modernity dance in harmony, providing a unique backdrop for an evening of gastronomic exploration and relaxed socializing.



As you step through the threshold, the air fills with the enticing aromas of expertly crafted dim sum, each piece a bite-sized testament to the culinary prowess of the chefs who skillfully blend traditional techniques with unexpected, contemporary twists. The bar counter, a focal point of the space, showcases a selection of exquisite cocktails that draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of Asian flavors, promising an adventure for the palate. Here, every sip and bite is an experience to savor, offering patrons a taste of the old and the new, perfectly paired and presented in an ambiance that's as inviting as it is intriguing. This cocktail and dim sum bar stands as a vibrant meeting spot for those who appreciate the art of food and drink, served with a side of history.


 

CAPYBARA COFFEE


Tucked away near Big Buddha, there's a spot that's doing something completely off the wall – Capybara Coffee. This isn't your run-of-the-mill java joint; it's a place where the world's largest, most disarmingly chill rodents are part of the ambiance. Walking in, you're hit with this vibe – it's like the best parts of a laid-back café scene have been mashed up with a zen garden inhabited by these giant, friendly capybaras. The place has this cool, understated elegance, with a décor that's all about bringing the outdoors in, making you feel like you've stepped into some kind of modern-day oasis.



Here, it's not just about gulping down your coffee and running. No, it's about slowing down, savoring that meticulously brewed cup of artisanal coffee or tea, all while these capybaras do their thing, lounging or wandering about, totally unfazed by the human spectators. It's an experience that hits all the senses, pulling you into a moment of connection with the natural world right in the midst of your daily hustle. But Capybara Coffee is shooting for more than just serving up your caffeine fix in a novel setting. It's on a mission to flip the café experience on its head, making a case for spaces that aren't just about consumption, but about conservation and well-being. For anyone who's ever wanted their coffee with a side of environmental consciousness and a heap of animal therapy, this place is like finding your tribe. It's a sanctuary for the capybaras, sure, but also for anyone looking to break from the grind and soak up a little serenity – and maybe, just maybe, take a piece of that back into the world.


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