Samui Wining & Dining
Going Native

21 

Joining the locals down on the south-side of the island at The Fisherman’s Outlet.

 

I often get recommendations of local restaurants around the island. And this month’s featured Thai restaurant, The Fisherman’s Outlet, was suggested by a good pal of mine, Stuart Collins, who owns and runs Jordans Sports Bar in Maenam. An excellent cook in his own right, he spends as much time as I do looking for good out-of-the-way places to eat. And he’s come up trumps with this one.

Owned and managed by Khun On and his wife Khun Teow, it’s in a brilliant spot down on the south side of Samui. No doubt you’ll take a day or two out away from the beach or pool to explore the island whilst you are here, and this is a great stopping-off point. Coming from Chaweng, head south past Lamai and after Hua Thanon you come to a sign for the 4170. It’s also signposted for the Tiger Zoo and Samui Aquarium. Take this left turn and after 1.7 kilometres take the left-hand turn signposted for the Butterfly Garden. Go along this track for 400 metres and just before Samui Orchard Resort turn right. Follow this road for 700 metres and the restaurant is on the right and there’s plenty of space to park beside it.

Khun On built the restaurant himself and its very traditional in style; not something you’ll see too much of in Chaweng. Before going into the restaurant from the car park, take a good look at the huge wooden table and chairs in front of you. Khun On built those using reclaimed wood from an old fishing boat. It’s beautiful and is something that would sell for huge amounts of money back home. All around the restaurant you’ll see lots of trees, plants and flowers and it feels like the middle of nowhere; very peaceful and tranquil. With your back to the restaurant, look over to the right and you’ll see a dirt path that leads on to a deserted little beach with great views. All around this part of the island there’re countless paths and tracks that lead to quiet beaches. And don’t worry about getting lost, all the side roads either lead to the sea or back to the ring-road.

Inside the restaurant, all the tables are covered in tablecloths and the cushioned seats are made to be comfortable; there’s no rush here. Down one side of the restaurant you’ll notice a water feature and a couple of small pools. Take a close look among the foliage and you’ll see more than 20 black-shell tortoises that Khun On breeds. Just so you know, they’re rather partial to watermelon.

Once you’re seated, I’d suggest ordering a drink first, as the menu (in English) runs to hundreds of dishes and you’ll want to take your time. Beers start at just 50 baht, cocktails from 110 baht and a reasonable wine is 100 baht per glass, 250 baht for a carafe and bottles start from 790 baht. There’s also plenty of fresh fruit juices and shakes and all the usual soft drinks. Appetizers are 100 baht and you can choose from spring rolls, satays, grilled squid, prawn cakes, tempura, seafood and grilled beef salads and lemon pork with chili sauce. It’s one of those restaurants where the more you read the menu the more you want to order.

They have lots of dishes that you’ll recognise, such as chicken, beef or pork with garlic and pepper, sweet and sour, all kinds of curries, rice and noodle dishes and, as the name suggests, a large selection of seafood. Khun On is a keen fisherman and has his own boat. He goes out night-fishing several times a week and his catch goes straight to the restaurant. The ‘recommended’ section of the menu is filled with dishes like barracuda steaks, tiger prawns with ginger, fresh mackerel, mussels, lobster thermidor, king crab and his own personal favourite, the ‘Seafood Boatman-style’. It’s a large mixture of the night’s catch served on a sizzling platter with a sweet tomato sauce and buttered rice.

They can also do pasta dishes, burgers, pizzas, sandwiches and even fish and chips. And that’s fine if you’ve got the kids with you and they want something simple and familiar. But it would be rather remiss of an adult to go here and order a burger. In addition, they’ve put together four Thai food set-menus if you can’t make up your mind. And, at just 300 baht for two people, they’re an absolute bargain. There are 20 staff working here and the restaurant can seat more than one hundred people, which tells you how popular it is.

After much debate, our photographer, Khun Krit, and I ended up ordering four dishes. It was far too much food but we like to sample different things and we were taking our time. We had a prawn salad with garlic bread, a barracuda steak served on a sizzling platter with a tangy sauce, chicken with garlic and peppers and the highly recommended ‘Boatman’. As you’ll see from the photographs, the look alone sells the dishes and the aromas were mouth-watering. Needless to say, we hardly spoke during the meal apart from the occasional approving grunt and we almost cleared our plates.

I love the location, the food was great and Khun On, Khun Teow and their staff couldn’t have been more welcoming. Even if you’re not planning to tour the island, you should go out of your way to eat here sometime during your stay. Just don’t leave it until your last day; you’ll probably want to go back again.

 


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