As food reviewers, we do rely a lot on referrals from the public who have had a good experience somewhere and let us know. We then follow it up and if it is of a good standard, then we will go back again for a formal review. This was certainly the case with Samis International Restaurant, which was passed on to us as being well worth our while to look at.
The restaurant is situated well into the “Dark Side”, so you may need the GPS coordinates if you do get lost, though being on a main thoroughfare between Nernplabwan and Huay Yai (Map Yai Lia, Soi 28) it is not that difficult to find. Simply go down Nernplabwan till close to the bottom and turn right at the large sign for Tara Pattana and then go straight on and it is about two km from the turning, and on the left hand side. But you will have to look.
It is not a large restaurant, in fact just a single shophouse frontage, but the tables extend well into the forecourt and there is seating for 20 persons. On the tables is a container with pepper grinder as well as the usual condiments and sauces, plus some orchids. Chairs are fairly basic, but do have cushions for the bottom. I also walked through to the toilet, which was very clean, and oversaw the kitchen, which is also of good restaurant standard hygiene.
The owner (Samis) is an interesting person, having worked in high class restaurants for many years in Pattaya before opening his own restaurant eight months ago. It is obvious that he has been trained in the hospitality industry, and the standard of service is far greater than one would expect from a small establishment such as this.
We ordered a house white while perusing the menu. Very drinkable and B. 70 a glass! Not huge goblets, but very cheap drinking.
The menu begins with soups (B. 55-65) with Goulash at the top end. Appetizers cover mainly prawn and salmon (B. 110-210).
Spaghetti dishes are B. 89-110, followed by salads coming in at B. 50-120. Next up are the grills (B. 159-280) which all come with your choice of potatoes. There is also a group with Schnitzel (B. 159), Cordon Bleu (B. 179) and all with your choice of many different sauces, and another group called Specialties (B. 169-280, so again the prices are more than reasonable.
For parties, Samis restaurant will also provide for fondues at B. 350 per head, and similarly a paella (B. 350/head) but 24 hours notice is required, as well as indicating the total number of diners.
The menu does not finish there, as there are a couple of pages of Thai dishes with the vast majority under B. 120.
Beverages include the usual local beers and some inexpensive wines, and there are desserts as well.
Between our initial foray the week before and then the formal review, we tried many dishes, both European and Thai. I must mention in particular the Gaeng Gari Gai (yellow curry chicken), which was the best I have tasted in Thailand, and the degree of spiciness was as I had asked. The portion sizes tend towards large, and the chef (Samis’ wife) is adept at both Euro and Thai cuisine. Another Thai dish we tried was a Gaeng Kheo Wan (sweet green curry), which was indeed “sweet” and not overly spicy at all. We also tried the goulash soup, which was excellent, and the lamb chops and the pork chops were also very good and not tough. We were all in agreement that each item was not only good eating, but also very cheap.
This restaurant fulfills all the requirements for success. Good food and very reasonable prices. You would not expect such excellent service either, from a small ‘local’ restaurant. This review comes with a very high recommendation. Do try, especially if you live on the ‘Dark Side’.
Samis International Restaurant, Map Yai Lia, Soi 28 (next to Paradise Village 1), telephone 088 522 7318, open six days, (closed Wednesdays), hours 12 noon until 12 midnight. Roadside parking.
GPS: N 12’ 92’23.8″ E 100’93’00.7″.