EXCLUSIVE: Get A Taste Of Koh Samui At Barracuda Restaurant

View Gallery 8 Photos

Unanimously recommended to any traveler.

If there’s one restaurant in Koh Samui that’s unanimously recommended to any traveler, it’s Barracuda. And travelers can thank chef and owner, Ferdinand Dienst, for bringing exceptional fine dining to Thailand’s tropical paradise.

Dienst, a five-star hotel trained chef originally from Germany, came to Koh Samui and fell in love with the island.

I came here on vacation. The idea was always tropics and this climate and working with people who are on holidays, who appreciate food, who have time for it, who aren’t in a rush. Those were always the criteria. And I came here and I just loved it. I love the place, I love the people, the markets, the produce you can get here daily, fresh.

I opened in 2010 in Maenam which is the next village from here. Very small place, bad location on a side road. I came here with a low budget. It was very charming. 9 tables, open kitchen like it is now. People absolutely loved it. And then it took a good year to get known with the location. It wasn’t easy to find.

Dienst envisioned a very simple dining concept. He wanted to prepare local seafood, meat and produce with a just slight Mediterranean twist. He wanted the flavors of the ingredients to speak for themselves.

It’s a very small menu. Everything is in and out fresh daily. We focus on seafood, fish of course. But we also do have meat options. That’s pretty much it. A lot of it is locally based, especially the protein. I change the menu quite frequently. It’s a Mediterranean, Asian influence. Sometimes it’s a bit more Asian, sometimes a bit more Mediterranean. So it change, usually every 3-4 months.

You’ll see it on our plates. I like it very straightforward, very simple. Let the product speak for itself rather than me trying to hide something, make it something it’s not. You will see it’s not highly complicated food but it’s very pure and high quality and that’s what we’re doing.

Each dish is prepared minimally and neatly in order to maintain and accentuate the flavors of the main ingredients. Yummy starters this winter include spicy crab rolls prepared with a simple and delicious red chili mango and pineapple salsa. The watermelon gazpacho is also simple and flavorful featuring mixed vegetables, watermelon and seasoned with jalapeño and coriander.

As for mains, I was personally obsessed with the sea bass. The filet of sea bass is perfectly charred and crispy on top, soft and moist on the bottom with parsnip purée, coriander and carrot pappardelle and passion fruit sauce acting as complementary garnishes around the fish. A bestseller is the duck breast with mouthwatering dried cherry sauce with bokchoy and pomme purée, also meant to bring out the flavor of the duck more than anything else.

With a simple dining concept, high-quality ingredients and professionally trained staff, Barracuda quickly became THE restaurant to go to in Koh Samui. People traveled from all over the island to experience it and the restaurant was turning tables 2-3 times a night.

After 5 years in Maenam, Dienst felt it was time to grow. He found his opportunity in the new shopping area being built in Bophut next to Fisherman’s Village. In the newer, larger location, Barracuda expanded from just 9 tables to 50 tops. But thankfully the restaurant retained all the characteristics that make it exceptional: the charming décor, small menu, open kitchen and professional service.

The ambience is perfectly relaxed, elegant and unassuming. The interior is just as simple and natural as the food. One immediately feels comfortable and at home among the dark wood hues with natural light flooding in. It’s incredibly charming and homey, as if you’ve been invited to a dinner party at the house of a stylish friend.

I don’t like to rush things. So call it slow food or what you want, but I really want them to enjoy it with a bottle of wine. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy the service, enjoy the food and most importantly enjoy their holidays and the time they have here.

For those who take the time to go, eating at Barracuda will no doubt become one of their most memorable experiences in Koh Samui. One feels the quality all around, from quality food, quality service and quality time. Taking in the grand simplicity of Barracuda’s good food and lovely ambience is quite magical.

In the future Dienst sees himself moving the restaurant to Bangkok, where slow food and quality time are things people of the bustling city definitely need. Wherever he goes from here, whoever gets to experience Barracuda’s charming dining concept next are in for a lovely treat!

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features and online via JST's social media platforms. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

Jetset Times in your inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.