Samui Wining & Dining
DOUBLE DRAWCARDS
The Rice Barge & Terrace at Nora Buri Resort & Spa showcases excellent Thai food,
while its sister restaurant wows with a Hawaiian theme night.

The Rice Barge & Terrace at Nora Buri Resort & Spa showcases excellent Thai food, while its sister restaurant wows with a Hawaiian theme night.Upon arrival at The Rice Barge & Terrace, you’ll be given a warm welcome by the dedicated staff, and you’ll probably not even notice you’re inside one of Samui’s most iconic buildings – the restaurant’s exterior has been designed to evoke a rice barge, one of those riverine workhorses that used to ply the Chao Phraya up in Bangkok. A few of those rice barges have actually been brought to Samui, but this is actually a lot more than they could hope to be: this is one of the best places on Sami to enjoy authentic Thai specialties that come from all the different regions of Thailand. Whether you’re a foodie whose focus is primarily on Thai food, or a complete newbie, The Rice Barge & Terrace will win you over.

          

The restaurant is big enough to be divided into several sections, and is open from 2:00 pm until 10:00 pm, with the bar open still later. Rice Barge features a contemporary design, along with hand-carved wood, giving it a unique blend that’s both easy on the eye yet laid-back at the same time. Choose between the air-con section, which also includes a large wine cellar, or the adjoining open dining terrace, with its beautiful view looking south to Chaweng Bay.

          

The chefs here, under the guidance of Khun Chalermkiat Suwannasri, Nora’s Food and Beverage Director, have put together a fantastic menu which features the very best cuisine from around Thailand. The menu consists of appetizers, salads, soups, curries, and rice and noodle dishes, along with a section of the most familiar Thai dishes. It finishes with a range of excellent desserts.The Rice Barge & Terrace at Nora Buri Resort & Spa  showcases excellent Thai food, while its sister restaurant wows with a  Hawaiian theme night.

          

However, if you’re not sure what to choose, don’t worry as you’ll also find two best-selling set-menus, each featuring two appetizers and three main courses plus dessert, then tea or coffee. Each of the menus is just 1,600 baht for two people – exceptional value for money.

          

Downstairs, just a few steps away, you’ll find a further restaurant, simply called The Barge, which is right by the shore. Open for both lunch and dinner, this is a great place to come for all manner of western treats, and there’s an entire range of these, from pasta and pizza, all manner of burgers and sandwiches to the more substantial evening fare of grilled seafood and steaks along with enticing accompaniments. The atmosphere at this all-day restaurant is very relaxed, and if you’re in the mood for something special, then come for the Hawaiian Seafood Night on Wednesdays, starting at 7:00 pm. (If you come earlier, by the way, at 6:30 pm and you can enjoy the complimentary cocktails.) Everyone’s welcome but it’s strongly recommended to call in advance to book your seat. The evening is set right by the shore with a line-up of some of the yummiest food around. Enjoy the freshest seafood barbecue, featuring a plethora of both Thai and international treats, all grilled to perfection, along with a choice of salads, sides and scrumptious desserts. There’s not just fish either, but meat too. Live cooking stations feature prominently, and staff are exceptionally attentive. It’s an outdoor evening, and as the evening deepens to night, the terrace and beach are great places to be. Usually the weather is balmy,The Rice Barge & Terrace at Nora Buri Resort & Spa showcases excellent Thai food, while its sister restaurant wows with a Hawaiian theme night. but later on you’ll forget about that entirely as you’ll be mesmerized by the spectacular fire show that takes place. It’s like something from a circus, with fire-breathing pyromaniacs trying to do their best to set the night itself alight. It’s all quite safe, of course! Children love it. And there’s live music too, courtesy of The Barge Band. Per person, this costs 1,290 baht, with children up to 12 years being half price.

          

Naturally, it’s possible to mix menus between the two restaurants; staff will be happy to bring you both the Thai and international menus. Combine the two to create a dinner that will be exactly to your liking.

          

No matter what you’re eating, it’s not just the excellence that’s guaranteed; you’ll find that everything is great value for money. The architecture, design and relaxed feel of these two restaurants make them both outstanding. Better still, all the cuisine is superlative when it comes to taste and presentation. Dining here is always an experience that guests are happy to repeat.

          

Dimitri Waring


 


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