Dining in Samui
In recent years an international community of entrepreneur restaurateurs have brought to Samui the cuisines of Japan, Italy, Germany, India, Switzerland, France, Sweden and Mexico, among others. Good Western cuisine can now be found in almost every village on the island. Need a “back home” style snack or a fast-food fix? There are excellent bakeries, ice cream parlors, and the island’show it’s done? With the establishment of a modern Culinary Institute opened in 1998 especially for visiting foreigners, as well as cooking demonstrations at some of the island’s large hotels.
One of the things that makes Samui so appealing is the fact that you can still stop at a street cart for a 30 baht plate of Phat Thai or Fried Rice, while just around the corner a lavish buffet is being served on the beach. All the options are here, including several Thai vegetarian restaurants. Like to try cooking your own Thai food or learn more about how it’s done? You can! With the establishment of a modern Culinary Institute opened in 1998 especially for visiting foreigners, as well as cooking demonstrations are done at some of the island’s large hotels.
All restaurants and food vendors serve safe bottled drinking water, and most use clean factory-made ice cubes. Vegetables are washed in tap water but safe when cooked. You may want to avoid eating raw ones. Many seafood restaurants display their wares on ice for customers to see. When choosing fish, look for bright (not cloudy) eyes, and a bright crimson color under the gills. The fish should be firm to the touch. Don’t hesitate to smell shellfish for freshness before choosing it.
A final tip: If going to a buffet, try to get to there early. In a Tropical climate, the longer the food has been exposed, the greater the chance for contamination.
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