Indulge in levantine magic at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui’s ZA A’TAR culinary experience

Friday, December 8, 2023


In the kitchens of Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Executive Chef Ruslan Shipunov and his culinary team are weaving enchanting tales from the Levant. At the Beach House, nestled in the tranquility of a private cove with expansive views of the Gulf of Thailand, they present a pop-up promotional menu that brings Middle-Eastern magic to life. Mezzes, salads, and sizzling kebabs fresh from the grill pay homage to the Levantine people and their culinary preferences, promising a riot of flavors and fresh produce.

As night falls, the unobstructed views of the glistening sea create a celebratory atmosphere with open-air dining and the rhythmic sounds of Arabian tunes. Director of Restaurants and Bar, Branka Novakovic, envisions a friendly and family-oriented setting on the expansive outdoor deck, perfectly suited for groups and celebrations.

Novakovic, drawing on her coastal upbringing along the Mediterranean, reflects on the diversity of Mediterranean flavors, emphasizing the region’s renowned hospitality and generosity in culinary traditions.

Chef Shipunov delves into the rich history of the Levant, influenced over thousands of years by Ottoman Turks, Egyptians, and North Africans. Levantine food, he explains, is now a romantic celebration of the heritage of Syria and Lebanon, embodying finesse and feasting.

Named after the exotic spice blend of sumac, oregano, thyme, marjoram, and sesame seeds, ZA A’TAR, the pop-up menu, showcases sustainable practices by sourcing spices from the Middle East and core ingredients locally in Thailand. Chef Shipunov recommends the locally sourced seabass in harra sauce, emphasizing the freshness of Gulf of Thailand flavors.

Chef Shipunov’s expertise in working with exotic spices and herbs shines through the curated menu, reflecting the Levantine culture of hearty communal meals. The focus on olive oil, fresh herbs, and seafood aligns with the region’s reputation for robust and healthy cuisine, positively impacting cholesterol, blood sugar, and heart health.

Bar Manager I Made Dwiki Pragoya highlights the beverage concept, featuring non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic cocktails influenced by various parts of the Levant. The menu offers complexity with drinks like Moroccan tea-infused Casablanca and caramelized pineapple-flavored Hidden Madinat. To complete the Levantine dining experience, a selection of rice puddings, baklava, and kanafeh, adorned with toasted pistachio and honey, awaits at ZA A’TAR.

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