Located in an Ayudhay style building in the heart of Chaweng, Baan Boran is a recent addition to the burgeoning trend for excellent Thai food in Koh Samui. The traditional wooden building is the ideal place to enjoy a family gathering or a romantic meal for two. Ian Kittichai, internationally renowned chef oversees the menu and has created a diverse range of Thai fare, many dishes featuring a modern twist.
The emphasis here is on presentation as well as taste. For starters, the Gai Hor Bai Toey marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves served with sesame sauce is a solid favourite, as is the Yam Woon Sen vermicelli noodle salad with minced chicken, peanuts and a preserved chili vinaigrette. This is when you realise how much thought has gone into styling the menu and that such an abundance of interesting and creative choices is unlikely to be found in many other Thai restaurants on the island. The pan-seared soft shell crab with garlic and pepper sauce is an excellent main course option and the pineapple braised short ribs in green curry with Thai eggplant and sweet basil is guaranteed to stimulate all your senses, not just your taste buds. The crispy whole fish with yellow curry sauce is another favourite.
For dessert try the banana spring rolls or the jasmine flan with sweet and sour fruit salad on jasmine rice. Both are absolutely delicious, very distinctive and at the same time reasonably healthy.
However, Baan Boran isnt just a restaurant. It takes the Thai cultural theme even further by providing twice nightly puppet shows, which are led by a troupe of traditional Thai puppeteers. The synchronised gestures are stylishly performed in combination with a medley of different stories from lively Thai folk dances. A special set menu is offered which has been carefully planned to fit around the puppet show. This makes for a very entertaining evening out.
This sort of dining experience isnt for everyone, as long talks and in-depth conversations have to cease while the shows are taking place. But if you would like some traditional Thai culture accompanied by superb, modern Thai food, then this is definitely an experience not to miss.
FOOD and PRESENTATION 8
DÉCOR and AMBIENCE 9
Restaurant guide rating for ALL categories is out of 10:
Very Good 7-6
Our highest score is 10
For a restaurant to attain 10 points it would have to have maintained the score of 9 for at least 1 year.
Note: For restaurants that have been recommended by others but have not been rated yet I have put TBR (To Be Rated) against the name.
Open 6pm-10pm dinner. Chaweng Beach Road, Bophut. Tel 077 962 001-5. www.baanboran-thaicuisine.com