Where Dining Is a Symphony

Diving is a passion for Mikko and for many years Koh Samui was his favourite diving destination. One day a Norwegian friend who managed a hotel on Samui asked him “why don’t you open a restaurant here? I have a suitable room you may rent!”
        The Norwegian was well aware that Mikko was a brilliant cook with 20 years of experience from hotel kitchens and high end restaurants. Mikko thought about it and then took up the challenge.
        The first stumbling block was finding the perfect name for the restaurant. Simply calling it Mikko’s Bar was not fair to the culinary delicacies he would produce in the kitchen. He did want the name to signal that the owner was from Finland. However it should still be easy to pronounce for people of other nationalities and preferably be something they already knew of.
        Finally he decided for the name Sibelius, the famous Finnish composer. And since Jean Sibelius also had close relations to France it was a suitable name for a gourmet restaurant. 
        The location in the Nordic Complex in the Bophut was good for a start. Mikko and his wife Krista could refine their culinary skills on the local people and build up a group of regular guests.
        Only one year later it was, however, time to look for another location with more people traffic. The regulars would probably follow them to the new location. What the needed was for more first timers to try out their food because they were conveniently located in their neighborhood.
        They went for Chaweng Beach where people are milling about every night after dark in the high season and found a location where another restaurant had previously been located.
        Between the Bophut location and the Chaweng location Krista gave birth to the next generation of Finnish restaurateurs on Koh Samui. So while she for half a year took care of little Alex, Mikko was working on decorating the Sibelius the way he wanted it to look and feel. 
        Now, everything is reeady for the high season and the regulars can look forward to coming back to their new home.
        At the new Sibelius, you will mostly find Mikko in the kitchen where he enjoys “giving birth to new dishes” as he calls it. Krista on the other hand likes to listen to the customers’ comment on her husband’s creations so she will be around in the restaurant making everybody feel at home. 
        “Our kitchen is high quality international style, but we do also serve regular Thai food,” they explain.
         It is a must for both of them that the food served is as pleasing to the eye as to the palate and the nose so Mikko puts great effort into the presentation of the dishes. This is a heritage from his days as a hotel chef. With Sibelius music flowing all around you, even the acoustic impression has been taken into account.
        Dining at Sibelius feels like being part of an orchestration with Mikko as the culinary director, his little son’s voice may still be a bit rusty, but Krista play her part flawlessly. Sibelius wrote Finlandia and now even Koh Samui has a blue and white homestead to offer.

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