Olivio Restaurant - Koh samui
Chaweng Beach Restaurants & Dining0
Olivio Restaurant is located in Baan Haad Ngam Boutique Resort toward the northern end of Chaweng Beach. Heading down through the grounds of the resort, the closer we get to the sea the more attractive things become. Taking an al fresco table by the infinity pool in Olivio, the resort's restaurant, it's striking just how beautiful this little spot is.
The far-reaching vista out over Chaweng Bay is framed by palms swaying in the warm evening breeze while one by one, the first stars of the night appear in the sky like silver flecks on indigo velvet.
Brick pastel-hued walls on the inside offset by dark brown wood finishing and fittings, white tile floors with off-white tablecloths make a pastel backdrop to the jutting palms and turquoise sea just outside the eatery.
Garden dining is complemented by an adjacent infinity pool and luxuriant grass underfoot. Lattice woodwork supports lush bougainvillea and what was once a coconut grove is a compact, tastefully appointed and colourful little slice of Italy.
One important factor of Olivio's atmosphere is that it is busy. No empty, characterless hotel outlet this… the 60-cover place fairly buzzes with resort guests and outsiders eager to try the delights here. Whoever chose the music at Olivio certainly has taste as quality jazz along with some genuinely throaty blues is the musical order of the day here.
Olivio has enough touches to remind one of a Sicilian trattoria and the international crowd certainly helps along an all-too-willing suspension of disbelief. Go ahead; it does no harm to pretend you're in Italy once in a while.
A decent wine list with labels ranging from 1,000 to 3,500 baht – very reasonable for Thailand. A handsome selection of wines from Chile, California, France, Australia, South Africa and of course La Bella Italia does the restaurant proud.
We enjoy a tasty and lusty Wolfbass Eaglehawk Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia and it's the perfect match for the food. Olivio has monthly wine promotions with four red and four white labels on offer, and that can't be a bad thing.
The 'compliments of the chef' welcome dishes change daily and his clever choice of cantaloupe with speck, a juniper-flavoured prosciutto from South Tyrol, works very well.
The antipasti dishes are varied and rich featuring pan-seared tuna, smoked salmon, sweet focattio and soft shell crab while main dishes such as beautifully rich lasagna, leg of lamb and a snowfish filet underscore the traditional elements in Olivio's refreshingly modern Italian cuisine.