Interview with Barracuda: A Mediterranean feast in the tropics

Estimated read time 4 min read

Walk to the end of Bophut’s walking street, you will find a spacious, stylish restaurant that has been at the top of TripAdvisor’s rating, Barracuda @ The Wharf. Cosy ambience, impeccable service, skillfully prepared dishes are just a few reasons why the restaurant becomes popular. Wondering who’s behind this brilliant place? got in touch with Ferdinand Dienst, the owner of Barracuda, to find out his journey in Samui! Check it out!

Could you give us a short introduction about yourself and Barracuda?

I was born in Switzerland and raised in Munich, Germany. After high school, I left for University to study economics, as it seems something that everyone did. However, soon I realised that it wasn’t for me and joined InterContinental Hotel group for an Internship. That’s where I found my passion for food. I stayed with InterContinental for 5 years until I decided to do my own thing and followed my dream. – A restaurant in the tropics.

Ferdinand Dienst, Barracuda owner
“I decided to do my own thing and followed my dream. – A restaurant in the tropics.”

The first Barracuda opened in June 2010. It was a small cosy, charming places with only 9 tables and an open kitchen. The ingredients were all fresh with unique combination flavours, displayed on a blackboard at very fair prices. A concept that was still missing on Samui. Word spread fast and it became a huge success.

December 2014, The Wharf in Bophut opened. A prime location right along the shores of Samui’s most popular beach. This was the perfect opportunity for Barracuda to expand to a larger space and be right in the heart of it all. The concept remained the same and so did the success.

Barracuda @The Wharf, Samui
Barracuda @The Wharf, Samui

What got you started? Why Samui?

A simple dream to follow my passion and vision. I always enjoyed working with customers who are on vacation and have time to truly enjoy a dining experience. The tropics were always very appealing to me, an exotic warm place, which has an immense variety of fresh delicious produce to offer.

Samui itself was more of a coincidence. I came here on vacation in August 2009 and immediately fell in love with the island, people and its vibe. Also, back then, there was still a lot of potential on Samui. Only a few restaurants that were run professionally who offered higher standard cuisine. I realised that there is definitely a niche for what I had in mind.  March 2010 I was back on Samui with the plan to stay!

How do you find the inspirations for your dishes?

Inspirations come from everywhere. However, I truly enjoy strolling through the many fresh local markets that Samui has to offer and see what is new. I especially enjoy experimenting with different varieties of fruits and seafood and combining unique flavours.

Barracuda restaurant's dish
“I especially enjoy experimenting with different varieties of fruits and seafood and combining unique flavours.”

What are the challenges and what have you learned overcoming them

Samui has become highly competitive. Today there are many more professionally run restaurants offering higher quality cuisine. It’s essential to stay in front of the pack. Reinventing oneself and always moving forward. Who stands still dies!

What is the most fulfilling part of your life/business in Samui?

For my life, the many getaway places on the island to unwind and enjoy the tranquillity of nature. And for the business, it’s providing customers with a truly enjoyable dining experience at Barracuda.

What is the next step on your journey?

After 6 years on the island, I feel the urge to move on. Island life is great, however, business wise I feel that I am ready for a new challenge. City life is what I am aiming at. – A highly competitive market that gives me the challenge to compete with the best. We will see soon…

Where’s the next destination?

It will most likely be Bangkok.

A piece of advice to your 20-year-old self?

Dare to dream big at an early age.

Any words you live by?

I am the master of my fate.

Thank you very much.

Related: Cuisine & Culture: 5 Culinary Experiences in Samui

You can check out Barracuda @The Wharf, Samui

Address: 62/9 Moo. 1, Tambon Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

Phone: 077.430.003 | Mobile: 0 86.946.89 59

Email: [email protected]



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