Banyan Tree Samui Appoints New Sous Chef

Written By: Colin Hinshelwood/ CPA Media

Banyan Tree Samui has announced the appointment of a new sous chef, Mr Kitja Muakin, at its signature Thai restaurant, Saffron, a move complemented by the news that the fine-dining venue has been recognised in the 2024 MICHELIN Guide for Thailand.

Kitja, known affectionately as Chef Bobby, joins the team at Saffron, after working his way through the ranks at Banyan Tree, where he began his career in Phuket in 2012 after graduating in Kitchen and Restaurant Management at Dusit Thani College in Bangkok.

He worked as commis and demi-chef at Banyan Tree Bangkok and Banyan Tree Macau, respectively, before transferring his skills to Banyan Tree Krabi for the opening of its own Saffron restaurant in 2020.

“Khun Bobby is an exceptional chef who strives to deliver intricate innovations and unique tastes to our guests,” said Director of Food & Beverage and Cuisine Rainer Roersch “He has excelled at various Banyan Tree hotels in Asia, and brings a wealth of culinary flair to the kitchen.”

Saffron, which specialises in authentic Thai cuisine, is an elegant dining establishment, perched on a hillside above the lush Banyan Tree Samui resort, commanding spectacular sunset views across the sea.

Renowned for combinations of flavours through a delicate blending of Thai herbs and spices, this award-winning restaurant serves signature specialties such as Khong Wang Ruam, an appetiser for two featuring freshly prepared crisp rice noodle-wrapped prawn, grilled tender chicken breast satay, fried floppy seabass rice noodle rolls, and pomelo salad with tamarind sauce; as well as Pu Nim Thod Yum Lychee Nham Sawaros, a palate-tingling dish of crispy soft-shell crab, lychee salad, mint, lemongrass, and spicy passion fruit dressing.

Apart from recognition in the prestigious MICHELIN Guide, Saffron has received a Best Restaurant Award four times by Tatler Magazine, and was presented a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor on numerous occasions.

Opened in 2010, the 88-key Banyan Tree Samui is a luxury all-pool villa resort, with a pristine beach, blissful spa escapes, exquisite dining offerings, a personal Villa Host concierge, and unparalleled views of the Gulf of Thailand. The 38-acre property is rich in flora and plant life, and its private beach is flanked by coral reefs.

The resort hosts three restaurants, a spa with Banyan Tree’s signature Rainforest hydrotherapy facility, a fitness centre, a kids’ club, a meetings and events centre, and a library.