[Ko Samui] Zazen – A Beauty

Greetings from Thailand!
To celebrate my new-found freedom, I am on a week-long trip in Thailand immersing myself in the land of smiles (not water, hopefully).

Part of this trip includes my virgin visit to Ko Samui – a welcomed change from my first love…Phuket. Like how the reviews say it – Ko Samui is indeed a lovely beach destination and not in any way inferior to Phuket. Last evening, I left Ko Samui with fond memories of the beautiful sea, Six Senses and Samui’s fast evolving culinary scene. Definitely worth a few blog postings but for now, I shall start with a nice restaurant we visited on Day 1 – Zazen.

Zazen Restaurant is a beachfront establishment located along Bhoput Beach, within Zazen Boutique Beach & Spa Resort. It was voted Best Restaurant in Samui for the past 4 years by Asia Tatler.


Although the restaurant features International and Thai cuisine, its decor is skewed towards the mediterranean theme.

[Amuse Bouche] THAI PASTA (ravioli) with spicy chicken, shrimps and peanut filling – Very similar to our “soon kueh” with the kind of “hei bi hiam” filling we find in our nonya kuehs. Great way to start dinner!

STARTERS DISCOVERY – The presentation of this dish is definitely one of the most creative ones I have ever seen! It is one of those dishes which you cannot help but let out a “Wow” when it was first placed in front of you.


[CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT]

SCALLOPS AND TUNA TARTARE WITH LEMON & OLIVE OIL – A good tartare but I wished I did not empty the bottle of lemon & oil as my tartare was a little too acidic it masked the sweetness of the seafood.
GAZPACHO WITH MIXED HERBS
SMOKED DUCK BREAST, CHICKEN LIVER PATE WITH BREAD
GRILLED PRAWNS WITH GREEN CURRY CREAM CHEESE DIP – I liked the smart creation of curry cream cheese and felt it went very well with the prawn. However, the prawns were slightly overcooked which is a pity given how fresh it was.

ZEN (TUNA SASHIMI WITH WAKAME SALAD, CRISPY PORK BELLY WITH APPLE COMPOTE,  SCALLOPS WITH MISO SAUCE & CUCUMBER SALAD) – except for the nice presentation, nothing in this dish stood out. Each of the components either had something missing or had some redundancy. However, the presentation of the dish itself is commendable.

TEA TIME SELECTION – A symphony of 5 desserts in tea flavors. This dessert platter is yet another eye candy!



[CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT]

FROZEN GREEN TEA PARFAIT – An interesting creation which I enjoyed – not too rich or sweet.
FRENCH TEA CREME BRULEE – this is probably my favorite…I always liked my creme brulee with a tinge of tea-bitterness to balance the sweetness.
EARL GREY MASCARPONE – this goes well with the green tea macaroon.
GREEN TEA MACAROON
ITALIAN ALMOND TIRAMISU

In Ko Samui, Zazen is where you want to be if you would like to take in the beautiful sunset while sipping a cocktail. Afterwhich, you proceed to a meal that comes with the most beautiful presentation. Although there are hits and misses in the taste of the dishes, the overall experience should still be a beautiful and memorable one.

Zazen
Tel: +66 7742 5085  (Reservations Recommended – especially if you would like to sit on the first row of tables by the sea)
Add: Samui Ring Road, Bo Phut, 177, Moo 1, Tambon Bophut 84320 Koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand
Opening Hours: 6.30pm onwards (I recommend you arrive before 6pm to watch the sunset while having pre-dinner drinks at the bar)
Spend: ~ $100 Per Pax (3 course meal + 1 cocktail)

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