Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, whole grain, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood. Poultry is more popular than red meat, when red meat is used more often than not it is lamb. Dishes contain copious amounts of garlic and olive oil and are often seasoned with lemon juice. Olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavors found in the Lebanese diet.
Generally Lebanese foods are grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil, butter and cream are rarely used. Vegetables are often eating raw or pickled.
In Lebanon it is very rare that drinks would be served without some sort of snack, and similar to Tapas in Spain, Lebanese food is often served as a mezze, an array of small dishes that create an array of colours, flavors and textures as well as aromas.
Lebanese cuisine is an ancient one, and part of the Levantine cuisine that includes Egyptian, Palestinian, Israeli and Syrian cuisines. Many of the dishes can be traced back to Roman and even Phoenician times.
The only place you will find in Koh Samui where you can sample Lebanese cuisine is at the Nadimo’s restaurant at the Prana Beach Villas in Bangrak on the north shore of the island. The dishes and Nadimo’s are prepared by a Lebanese Chef with over seventy percent of the ingredients imported from the Lebanon, it is hard to imagine finding dishes more authentic. The vast, and incredibly reasonably priced, menu has a fantastic selection of the most famous Lebanese dishes such as Tabbouleh – chopped parsley and tomatoes with a fresh, zesty citrus overtone, Baba Ghanoush – a smoky grilled eggplant dip, Hummus – silky mashed chickpeas with seasame paste and Kebab.
The first Nadimo’s restaurant was founded in 2009 by Mr. Khatter and Mr. Richard Al Ghoul who had both been living in Thailand for some time. The duo created a small restaurant from where they enjoyed real Lebanese food with family and friends but very soon it became a local attraction for both the residents and visitors to Bangkok. In both 2010 and 2011 Nadimo’s was awarded Best Lebanese Restaurant in Bangkok as well as gaining an excellent reputation as a superb dining experience.
Nadimo’s now has two locations in the city, Baan Silom soi 19 and Sukumvit soi 24 and thankfully or the residents and visitors of Koh Samui they now have arrived in Koh Samui.
The location of Nadimo’s is quite sensational. There could not be a more perfect spot for indulging in the rich tastes and flavors of the Lebanon than from the beach front restaurant at Prana. There are both indoor and outdoor dining terraces, spectacular and uninterrupted views of Bangrak bay, the ocean and Koh Phangan and the modern and contemporary surroundings transform into a warm and romantic dining experience after dark. Another vital aspect that no visit to the Nadimo’s will go unnoticed is the service you receive there. The staff are attentive but not invasive and they have a vast knowledge of the menu that is extremely useful if you are not familiar with Lebanese cuisine. They are also extremely friendly and deliver a genuine warm welcome.
The menu at Nadimo’s is really exciting and so completely different to anything you will find anywhere else on the island, it is nothing if not unique and it’s a culinary journey not to miss out on.
After you have made your choice from the drinks menu, give yourself plenty of time to study the food menu, and don’t hesitate to ask the staff to give you some help and advice in choosing your dishes. Once the dishes arrive help is also on hand to make suggestions about which dips go with which foods that all lead to incredible taste sensations.
If you fancy enjoying the wonderful views in the morning, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy an American, Continental or Asian breakfast, French toast, pancakes or cereals and toast accompanied by hot or cold beverages.
From the starter menu it is hard to resist the Tabbouleh salad that is fresh and crisp and delivers mouthwatering flavors as well as other salads that contain clever combinations of fresh ingredients as well as herbs and dressings.
For meat lovers the Kebbe Nayeh – minced filet of prime lamb, mixed onions, fresh mint and crushed wheat should satisfy your taste buds or perhaps the Kafta Nayyeh – prime lamb meat minced with fresh parsley, onions, spices and herbs.
From the cold meza menu it would a crime not to choose the Hummus that is rich and creamy and hard to leave alone after the first taste. If you fancy a variation on this popular dish try it mixed with pickles, parsley, spring onions & garlic, or with sesame sauce and fresh spinach, with mixed nuts and chili or with sesame sauce and mushrooms.
The musakaa is a rich and sumptuous dish and if you really want to treat yourself order a portion of Labneh – soft white cheese with fresh mint and olive oil, or if you can prefer you can enjoy garlic Labneh. Another excellent choice for cheese lovers is the Shanklish – aged cheese with herbs served with tomatoes and spring onions. The Warak Enab Dolma – Vine leaves stuffed with vegetarian rice will delight vegetarians and non vegetarians a like and the Mohammara – crushed walnuts with pomegranate sauce is a dish well worth trying.
The hot mezza section of the menu is equally impressive and has mouthwatering spicy potato, Hummus topped with lamb or chicken shawarma, Makanek – pan fried sausages with lemon juice, Sujuk – spicy homemade lamb sausages with fresh tomato sauce, the falafel is out of this world and the assorted mixed puff cheese rolls with samusa meat, samusa spinach and vegetables are a great choice if you want to enjoy a variety of tastes and flavors.
Anything from the grill will more than satisfy your desire for classic Lebanese dishes that are bursting with flavors, and have been grilled to perfection. However which dishes to choose can be difficult when you are faced with a choice of Chicken Tawook, Grilled lamb skewers, Kabab Kafta, Khachkhach, Orfaili, Ezmali or Istambouli. For lamb lovers the chops are a must and if you can’t make your mind up then there are a couple of mixed grill options that will cure your dilemma as well as delighting your taste buds.
For a real taste of the Lebanon try one of the Shawarma dishes of either chicken or lamb or both if you can’t decide. Other traditional dishes that are well worth a try are the Daood Bacha meatballs, Lamb Ouze that is served with cardamom rice or Siayadieh – pan fried red snapper filet on a bed of brown onion rice. Of course no Lebanese dish would be complete without fresh pita or mankushe straight from the oven.
The menu also has some superb fresh fish dishes and again if you can’t decide then there is a mixed basket option that has baby octopus, calamari, cuttlefish, shrimps mussels all pan fried and served with coriander basil sauce.
Rice, pickles, vegetables and sauces can all be found on the side menu selection along with soups and pizzas.
If you are not bursting at the seams after indulging in Lebanese luxuries then the dessert menu offers Riz-B-Halib – rice milky pudding, Namoura – a chef special semolina dessert, ice creams, sorbets, mixed fruits and decadent crème caramel, Mouhallabieh – milk pudding with rose syrup or a devilish chocolate fondant. The menu also features a well thought out wine selection.
What is so fabulous about Nadimo’s, other than the sensational cuisine is the price, this menu is scandalously affordable especially when you consider the restaurants setting overlooking the pool, that dining not residents are welcome to use during the day, and the ocean. To make your visit extra special plan to go on a Wednesday or a Saturday when you can also enjoy live jazz, but like any day of the week, being such a popular dining spot, booking a table is highly recommended.
To make a reservation call 077 246362 or 080 086 4634Stay updated with Samui Times by following us on Facebook.
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