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A Delicious Tale of Cooking, Learning and Feasting in Koh Samui

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It was a dinner to end all dinners – the perfect introduction to authentic Thai food, served with panache.

It began when our professional dinner host, Joe Sambataro , an American by way of Argentina, taught us how to make cocktails that would keep us happy for the rest of the evening. We started off by grinding limes using a muddler, a contraption resembling a mortar and pestle. “So, we just push and twist and get the juice out. But don’t push too hard because if you do that, you’ll break the skin and that will make your lime juice bitter. So think about something that makes you mad but not too mad, haha,” quipped Joe. We each got to choose our drinks; mine had rum and mango and tasted like a sunny day at the beach.

Joe then asked us how spicy we wanted our dishes to be. “Can I get a show of hands, who likes spicy food? Who likes mildly spicy food? Who doesn’t like spicy food at all?” he asked. “Do you know the best way to communicate your preferences to the staff at a restaurant? I’m going to help you out here. I’m going to teach you some very important phrases that will come in handy. If you don’t like spicy food, you should order your food ‘mai phet’ which means not spicy. Don’t forget to copy my rising intonation! That’s very important!

And if you are okay with a little bit of spice, you can say ‘phet nit noy’ which means mildly spicy. If you want your food medium spicy, you can say ‘kon kaang phet’. And if you like your food very, very spicy, you can order your food ‘phet maak maak’ which loosely translates as spicy very very.” He also cautioned us when we were making our own sauce, “With Thai chilies, take it easy. If you don’t like spice, don’t add spice. If you like a little bit of spice, start with two pieces and try it first. If you like mild, go with four. If you like a whole lot, add as much as you want, but just remember today it’s all fun, but tomorrow, ring of fire!” he added cheekily.

The dinner commenced with three starters, based on traditional Thai recipes.

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Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn Just Crowned

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Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn was crowned Saturday, May 4, 2019.

“I shall continue, preserve, and build upon the royal legacy and shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the people forever,” the King announced.

66-year old King Vajiralongkorn assumed the throne 2 years ago. On Saturday, during a televised ritual from the Grand Palace, he took his crown from the country’s chief Brahmin, a Hindu priest. The ceremony was a mixed Buddhist-Hindu ceremony, observing the country’s main religions.

 
 
 
 
 
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#ขอพระองค์ทรงพระเจริญ

A post shared by Lan-laCafe.rimtang (@ls.nookie) on May 4, 2019 at 5:18pm PDT

King Vajiralongkorn became Crown Prince and heir apparent in 1972. He studied in Australia and the UK. He has two daughters and five sons. Last week, the king wed his new queen, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya.

 
 
 
 
 
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#ขอพระองค์ทรงพระเจริญ 🙏🙏🙏#เรารักสถาบันพระมหากษัตริย์ไทย🇹🇭

A post shared by Duangjun Phunniam (@phunniam) on May 5, 2019 at 8:52am PDT

We are honoured to join the kingdom of Thailand in celebrating the auspicious occasion of the royal coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Long live the King.

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Treat Mum To Mother’s Day in Bali, Phuket and Koh Samui

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She’s the one who made sure your food wasn’t hot enough to burn your tongue and put a band-aid on your knee when you fell down. She’s the one who fed you when you were hungry, cared for you when you were sick and gave you an allowance. She helped you with your homework and made sure you wore the perfect dress to your first dance.

 

She’s the first one who cheered you on and made sure you grew up happy and able. Most of all, she’s the one whose hugs made you feel like everything was alright, and that nothing bad would ever happen. Why not give her the getaway of a lifetime? Take her on an unforgettable trip to Bali and Thailand. Here’s what you can do when you’re there:

Bali

Give Her Breakfast in Bed

Spoil your mum first thing in the morning on 12 May by giving her breakfast in bed. Prepare a basket of freshly-baked French butter and almond croissants. Add some elegant macarons to the mix for a real indulgence. Get them and more delicious treats at Monsieur Spoon, a bakery run by two Parisian cousins. The bakery has shops in Canggu, Petitenget and Seminyak.

Take Her To an Authentic Balinese Cooking Class

Venture to the market in Ubud to pick vegetables and meat. Chat with local farmers and observe the townsfolk going about their daily activities. Then, take an authentic Balinese cooking class inside a traditional Balinese house. Discover the way the local live – and eat. Enjoy the food you and your mom have made for lunch and dinner. You can do all this at Eat With.

Pamper Her in the Spa

What better way to say ‘This is your day’ than a pampering at the spa? From reflexology to a scalp massage and even hair colour to brighten up those roots, Therapy has it all.  Want something more off- the-beaten-track? Take mum to a bar-cum-salon. Blow Bar is an alternative bar where you can sip on a martini as you get a manicure, perched on a bar stool. Dad can enjoy the popular Scotch & Shave.

Have a Heart to Heart Over Tea

It’s your turn to listen to mum.

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Splendid Samui for the Whole Family

in Destinations/Families/Recreation/Tips by
elite havens official launching party - 18-03-2018 (229)

It is astonishing how much the charming tropical Thai island of Koh Samui has changed just over the last 10 years.  Expansion of the airport and direct flights from cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore have transformed the island from a backpackers’ haven to a sophisticated and vibrant resort island with leading international 5-star resorts, fabulous restaurants, and a wide choice of private holiday villas all over the island.

Holidaymakers looking to rent a villa in Samui are spoiled for choice by the Elite Havens collection which offers a superb range of luxury beachfront residences on some of the islands most beautiful beaches, spectacular hillside retreats with jaw-dropping views and palatial pleasure palaces with every  imaginable luxury, available for rent.      

There’s nothing quite like a villa stay for those who want to relax and be themselves among friends and family, where you have the flexibility and total freedom you never quite get in a hotel. 

In Samui, whichever villa you decide on, the relatively small island – you can drive around it in just over an hour –  means you are never very far from anywhere.

It’s an easy island to explore and fall in love with.    

Villa Neung is a chic designer villa with beachfront access to the idyllic Laem Noi Beach – an unspoiled white sandy stretch on the north-west coast, fringed by coconut palms and washed by a shallow blue sea. 

Designed for luxury tropical living, the villa has its own 15-metre beachfront pool, three ensuite double bedrooms and an airy, open-plan living and dining pavilion with stylish Thai-inspired interiors, making it an appealing beach holiday escape for families or small groups of friends.

Villa Nueng - Stylish villa facadeVilla Neung

The villa’s own staff will take care of absolutely everything, preparing delicious Thai and western meals to order, booking spa therapists, organizing tours and activities, perhaps setting up a picnic or candlelit dinner on the beach, and even watching over the young ones while you take a break.

For a change of scenery, a number of rustic beachside restaurants and bars are just a stroll along the beach and it’s only 20-30  minutes’ drive to the chic boutiques, trendy restaurants and nightlife of Maenam, Fisherman’s Village in Bophut and Chaweng.

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Thailand’s Sweet Indulgences

in Culture/Dining/News/Shops/Tips by
Chocolate

“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”

– Katharine Hepburn

Thailand is world-renowned for its amazing street food, exotic tropical fruits, and delicious sweet desserts. But for those visiting Thailand who need their chocolate fix, there is one artisan chef in Phuket who is the go-to guy when it comes to anything dark, milky or white.

Thailand does not have a rich history of chocolate unlike some of its Southeast Asian neighbours such as Indonesia, which grew almost no cocoa before the early 1980s when production took off like a rocket. Now, Indonesia is the world’s third leading producer of cocoa beans. Cocoa production in Thailand fell out of favour decades ago for rubber, but lately there has been a resurgence with a small number of growers and producers emerging in northern and western Thailand.

Thai cocoa is finally getting the recognition it deserves, with two Thai chocolate producers placed high in the 2018 International Chocolate Awards show.

Paradai brand took silver for their Belize dark milk 63% bar in the ‘dark milk chocolate’ category and Kad Kokoa won bronze in the ‘plain dark chocolate bar’ category for their Chiang Mai single origin bar. They also opened Bangkok’s first bean-to-bar café in Sathorn earlier this year, offering all things chocolatey, from desserts and hot chocolate to cocoa butter soap.

English award-winning Pastry Chef Peter Webber trained at School Le Notre in Paris to study pastry and chocolate and started work at The Inn on The Park, London and The Savoy Hotel, where he gained his first Executive Pastry Chef position and was honoured by being sent to do promotions at The Okura Hotel in Tokyo and The Oriental Hotel, Bangkok. He was also involved in many special events and competitions in Europe.

Chef Peter moved to Asia to the famed Oriental Hotel, Bangkok as the Executive Pastry Chef where he would stay for more than a decade, even pleasing the taste buds of the Queen of England during official state visits at The Grand Palace.

Chef Peter now owns and creates chocolate masterpieces at his patisserie, Les Diables, inspiring and serving a loyal clientele with the utmost attention to taste and detail. They specialise in cakes for special occasions,

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