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You’re in Thailand, so it makes sense to indulge all that authentic Thai cuisine goodness available at Koh Samui’s considerable number of casual restaurants. You might want to take a Thai food break every once in awhile, however, so our Forbes Travel Guide editors have included a few highly recommended spots serving gourmet international cuisine amongst our picks for the best places to eat in Koh Samui.
1. H-Bistro. The signature dining room at hip Hansar Samui resort on Bophut Beach, H-Bistro would fit right in with some of the best restaurants in major food centers like Paris and New York. This stylish spot has one of the better wine lists on the island, while the regularly updated menu is filled with inspired French-Mediterranean cuisine. Reservations are recommended.
2. 9Gems Lounge Restaurant. The views of Chaweng Beach and Chaweng Lake are incredible from this trendy rooftop restaurant and cocktail lounge. The tapas menu includes succulent light bites such as three-styles satay and parmesan and pesto mussels, while the full menu is laden with pan-Asian and European fusion cuisine like tagliatelle with coconut squid and beef tenderloin in Penang curry. Three- to seven-course tasting menus are also available, and don’t leave without tasting at least one macaroon.
3. Chef Chom’s. Situated among the many restaurants and bars packed into the popular Fisherman’s Village in Bophut, family-owned Chef Chom’s is arguably the best in the area — and maybe the entire island — when it comes to expertly prepared Thai cuisine. Pick and choose anything on the menu with confidence.
4. Ocean 11. A stunning setting right on Big Buddha Beach, well-curated list of wines and cognacs and immaculately presented cuisine made with fresh ingredients are three reasons why upscale Ocean 11 is such a consistent crowd-pleaser. This is the place to go for housemade pastas and Mediterranean-style seafood.
5. Spirit House. Though located on frenetic Chaweng Beach, Spirit House feels world’s away from the hustle and bustle of Koh Samui’s most-touristed area. A serene tropical oasis reminiscent of a Buddhist temple, this lovely restaurant serves classic Thai specialties such as massaman curry and grilled prawns in an impressive open-air dining room; opt for one of the private dining spots on the second floor to up the romantic ambience.