Dining

Chef’s recipes, gourmet restaurants, exotic flavours, even street food

‘A Chef’s Tour’ A Phuket Must

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Produce Market Phuket

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti

In 2017 Phuket was crowned a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO and anyone who has ever experienced real Thai food will agree that it’s arguably one of the best foods in the world. A balance between sweet, spicy, bitter, salty and sour is the main reason why Thai food is so special. But in internationally renowned Phuket, you find there’s actually much more than Thai cuisine to tantalize your taste buds.

chinese doors phuket

Having lived and worked in Phuket for the past 11 years I thought I had experienced most of southern Thai food, as well as some of the dishes from the North. In my culinary journey, (which does make me sound like a foodie millennial) have tried chicken feet and chicken heart, fried silk worms, raw prawns in fish sauce, chili and lime (this is one of my favourites to order) and a bitter-tasting green vegetable thing that to this day I have no idea what it was, although it was disgusting.

In May this year, it was announced that the legendary Michelin Guide will now include restaurants from Phuket and Phang Nga. With all the accolades that Thai food has received and now with the car tire manufacturer’s marshmallow man in the picture I thought it time to jump on the food cart wagon and see what is out there in terms of food tours and adventures.

Old Town Phuket

A CHEF’S TOUR

There are of course some fabulous cooking schools in Phuket that will teach you how to cook an authentic Pad Thai or a Green Curry, but isn’t it better to get out of the TV kitchen and hit the streets? I wanted to eat and drink with the locals. So, along with my friend we chose to go on A Chef’s Tour, which is a boutique tour that gives you a true flavor of food in Phuket and as you will find out, this tour gives you a whole lot more.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • 4-hour guided walking tour of Phuket Old Town
  • Tastings at hidden “street eats” and local restaurants
  • History and culture lesson on southern Thai cuisine
  • Great photo opportunities
  • Drinking water and Thai refreshments
  • Private fully-licensed (foodie) guide

red Chinese lanterns Phuket

On the steps of one of Phuket Town’s largest indoor markets,

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Bento, yakitori and sushi in Bali

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You have to love a cuisine that managed to invent another flavor. Umami refers to that extra layer of deliciousness that defies description.

Japanese food has infiltrated the far corners of the world, satiating our interest as well as our appetites. Read on to discover Japanese restaurants and places to order sushi in Bali, Indonesia.

Sake no Hana

contemporary Japanese

Sake no Hana may be new in Bali but they come with a serious reputation in other parts of the world, most notably in London’s fashionable Mayfair. Described as contemporary Japanese, Sake no Hana’s Executive Chef travelled from London to create this menu and it is filled with temptation and flavor. From their signature menus, which offer exotic imports like Kobe beef, Hamachi sashimi and Alaskan king crab, to bento boxes to a scale of signature menus, this is worth the splurge.

Overlooking the sparkling new daytime destination, Omnia, on the Uluwatu coast, Sake no Hana is filled with light by day. At night, as the club closes, it becomes a sophisticated destination restaurant. With a refreshingly different menu of bespoke cocktails alongside some wonderful wine and sake selections, Sake no Hana adds sophisticated new flavours to Uluwatu. 

Top tip: leave room for desserts, which are beautiful, creative and delicious.
Cover image credit: Sake no Hana. 

Ryoshi

sushi, yakitori and jazz

Ryoshi’s owner, Sagon Togasa, opened his first Ryoshi in Seminyak to house his two great loves; sushi and jazz. It still does that and more. With Ryoshi now in Sanur, Ubud and offering welcome respite to shoppers in Galleria, the menu has expanded alongside the empire.

At heart is the sushi window, with chefs slicing sushi and sashimi to order, fresh seafood is also part of the philosophy. There are grills, braises and rice bowls. A range of delicious kushiyaki, grilled food on sticks, and some delicious vegetarian options.

Agadashi tofu is a hit here as is the Japanese steak, the traditional fried chicken and steaming bowls of udon with your choice of toppings. Best of all it’s ultimately affordable.

Top tip: Monday night is the most popular night as the jazz is always world class, head upstairs and take a seat in the restaurant or hang out at the bar.

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Irresistible Thai Desserts

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thai dessert wedding villa shanti

Sometimes, it’s just easier to say yes to that extra snack or dessert, because frankly, it is exhausting to keep saying no.

– Michelle Obama

If you have a sweet tooth, then Thailand is the place to visit. Most Thai desserts are a sweet filling snack rather than a light and airy Western-style dessert. There is a vast array of sweet desserts in Thailand and it can be rather overwhelming to know which ones to treat yourself to. Here are some of the most common Thai desserts that you must try. Discover them at our private villas or out and about, where local street vendors and market sellers are everywhere.

We need warn you though: some of them are very sweet. Many authentic Thai desserts are made from healthy whole foods like rice, coconut and fruits, but the sugar content can be very high. It’s also worth mentioning there can of course be artificial flavours and other unseen ingredients, too. Condensed milk is everywhere, from convenience stores to street coffee makers who load up your coffee with so much cream and sugar that you wouldn’t even realize you are drinking any coffee.

AUTHENTIC THAI DESSERTS

Kalamare

This is the most common dessert served at Thai wedding ceremonies. The texture of kalamare is sweet and sticky which symbolises a sweet marriage in which the lovers stick together as one. The process of preparing kalamare takes time and you need to be patient. For this sweet dish, sticky rice, shredded fresh coconut and sugar are stirred until all the ingredients are blended very well together. The end result is really chewy and perfect with afternoon tea or coffee.

sweet mung bean cakes

Mung Bean Candy

These candies are almost too pretty to eat. Mung bean paste is sweetened and smashed into perfection before being glazed and formed to look like small pieces of fruit.

Thai ice cream at Villa Shanti

Coconut Ice Cream

Ice cream is a favourite dessert to chow down in Thailand’s tropical heat and here it’s made with dairy as well as coconut milk. Most vendors have a wide variety of toppings to choose from, including peanuts, sweet corn, yes sweet corn, and sweet syrups to drizzle on top. Oftentimes, coconut ice cream is served in your own personal coconut husk that has been scraped out to become a bowl.

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Top Seven Samui Restaurants

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Koh Samui has an array of dining options for you to venture to, combining the local ingredients and traditions of authentic Thai cuisine with contemporary culinary techniques and some of the island’s most scenic locations. If you want to try fresh local seafood or you are a steak lover, or even if you are making sure you live a fresh organic life there is something for everyone on Thailand’s third biggest island, Koh Samui.

 1

Sa Being Lae
THAI SEAFOOD

Sa Being Lae Restaurant is one of the most well known and established restaurants in Koh Samui that serves mostly Thai seafood dishes. They offer traditional fresh seafood in a classic Thai style.

Owned and run by Mr.Amnart and his wife the restaurant has been open since 1990, they have strong family connections to the local fishermen, and everything that is sold here is fresh off the boat each day, with absolutely nothing being kept to sell-on again tomorrow.

The range of fish to chose from is extensive and the southern Thai cuisine is characterized by the number and variety of curried dishes on the menu. If you have a sweet tooth the kluay buad shi (bananas in sweet coconut milk) can’t be missed. Unlike other seafood restaurants in Samui, Sa Being Lae is affordable and might come in under B1,000 for two.

+66 081 538 7045

2

2 Fishes
ITALIAN AT FISHERMAN’S VILLAGE

2 Fishes is a brand new fine dining Italian restaurant  which offers a range of traditional and modern dishes. The Chef Leandro Panza has over 25-years experience working at some of the best restaurants around the world from London, Sydney, Singapore and Melbourne.

The team are very inspired to use fresh local produce and mix these with classic ingredients imported from Italy. 2 Fishes is a warm and welcoming restaurant with professional staff and a great open kitchen so you can watch the chef make the handmade pasta and the classic homemade Italian Desserts.

2 Fishes offers friendly, hospitable service and a top-notch menu, and we didn’t even mention the amazing signature cocktails and fabulous wine list. They are located in the heart of Fisherman’s Village.

OPEN FROM 18:00 (Closed Mondays)
+66 0992 819 973

3

Krua Bophut
THAI RESTAURANT ON THE BEACH
(IT’S OUR COVER IMAGE)

Krua Bophut is an authentic Thai restaurant located in the beautiful Fisherman’s Village on Bophut Beach and is surprisingly one of the few Samui restaurants that specialize in traditional local cuisine,

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Bali restaurants and party venues for groups

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La Laguna

Bring a crowd. Bali loves a party and whether your crowd is 10 or 100 people, some of Bali’s best venues are happy to host and do it brilliantly. Here are our top picks.

Bali restaurants for groups

 La Laguna La Laguna

La Laguna

Spread out over a large garden, with views over the long stretch of beach from Kuta to Canggu, La Laguna on Kayu Putih Beach, is a fantasy. The whimsical restaurant and garden bar is festooned intimate corners, where creative moments are coloured by tumble-down chic. Choose your space, your menu, drinks and they’ll even lay down a soundtrack just for you. Villas Zelie and Avalon are right next door.

La Laguna
Jl. Pantai Kayu Putih, Berawa, Canggu
Monday-Sunday 9AM-12AM
+62 0812-3638-2272
lalagunabali.com

 Ling LingsLing Lings Ling Lings

Ling-Lings has brought Asian-fusion to a whole new level of delicious. The menu is a mix of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese street food, and the cocktails almost steal the show. The animated restaurant has a large terrace overlooking the street, a long bar, booth seats indoors and a funky backyard just made for parties. Choose from a la carte or cater for a crowd with finger food, sushi platters and canapés. Cocktails by the jug or served in real fruit containers add colour and fun to any event. Check their VIP room for a more intimate setting.

Ling-Lings
Jl. Petitenget No. 43 B, Kerobokan
Monday-Sunday 12PM-1AM
+62 819-1641-7867
linglingsbali.com

Da Maria Da Maria

This modern Italian restaurant will soon have you speaking Italian and dancing through their cocktail menu. With great wine, and great design, Da Maria turns on the charm from lunch to late dinner! Known for its Neopolitan pizzas (and the handsome pizzaiolo), and hand crafted pasta, Da Maria sings for its supper. Book tables inside, take over the bar or throw a cocktail party in the Capri-inspired entertaining space at the back.

Da Maria
Jl. Petitenget No.170, Kerobokan
Monday-Sunday 12PM-2AM
+62 361 9348523
damariabali.com

 
Bali party venues

Waterbom Waterbom

It’s not just for kids anymore. Waterbom has teamed up with one of the island’s top caterers,

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