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‘A Chef’s Tour’ A Phuket Must

in Dining/Recreation by
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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Koh Samui’s magic rum

in Tips by
Cocktails in Koh Samui

Idyllic destination, exciting new experiences, exotic food and summery cocktails all day, right? You bet. Our Koh Samui villas offer exactly that and a whole lot more. Although, when it comes to domestic Thai spirits worth drinking, the selection in Koh Samui is underwhelming. Unless you know this: there is magic rum on this island.

magic alambic rum samui

IMAGE FROM MAGIC ALAMBIC RUM

Of the few distilleries in Thailand, Magic Alambic Rum is the only one producing a Caribbean agricole-style spirit and they offer a true island experience right here in Koh Samui – local rum tasting.

Located on the southern tip of Koh Samui, this rum distillery was founded in 2003 by entrepreneurial couple Elisa and Michel Gabrel. Elisa, originally from Martinique, and Frenchman Michel experimented with brewing alcohol from the abundance of locally-grown tropical fruits available. Unsuccessful at first, they decided to make rum in the agricole style, a process that uses distillation from freshly-squeezed sugarcane, which is readily available in North Thailand. This facility is the first French distillery in Thailand. 

koh samui fruit market

SAMUI MARKET – IMAGE FROM VILLA WAIMARIE

AGRICOLE SUGARCANE RUM

While most industrial rums are made from molasses and additives like caramel, rum agricole is an exception because it originated in the West Indies where the French government strictly controlled its production.

Agricole-style rum is made from a single ingredient: 100% pure first-press sugarcane juice, which gives it a dynamic and delicate earthy taste and a high alcohol content. Here’s how: raw sugarcane stalks are pressed to extract fresh juice, which is naturally fermented for two to three days before being distilled and put to rest in stainless steel tanks or aged in wooden barrels.

IMAGE FROM MAGIC ALAMBIC RUM

RUM TASTING IN KOH SAMUI

Visit the Magic Alambic Rum distillery in South Koh Samui for a fun memorable experience. We recommend renting a car for a leisurely day trip to this remote area. Make sure not to drive under the influence after a tasting.

Visitors are greeted by Ludovic or Martial Leplutois (owners since January 2014) with an invitation to see the rum production facilities and sample the final products in the tasting area surrounded by beautiful palm trees.

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Irresistible Thai Desserts

in Dining by
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

in Dining by

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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8 Bali restaurants for romantic dates

in Dining by
Ultimo dessert

Bali is recognized as one of the most romantic places on earth, so when a special occasion comes around, there is no shortage of beautiful places to celebrate.

Bali romantic restaurant
#1 Room4Dessert.

If chocolate is the food of love then Room4Dessert speaks the language fluently. The softly-lit interior with it’s atmospheric long bar and soundtrack of blues tracks played on a turntable, is the ultimate in romance for those who like to play it sweet.

Owner/chef Will Godfarb brings a New York state of mind to haute couture desserts and some of the best cocktails on the island. If something more savoury is required, the Spanish wine garden at the back makes for a fine place to start or finish.

Address:
Jalan Sanggingan, Ubud, Kedewatan, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561

Hours: 
Monday closed
Tuesday-Friday 4PM-12AM
Saturday-Sunday 12PM-12AM
Phone: +62 812-3666-2806

#2 Mozaic.

Nothing says romance like fine dining and few places do it better than Mozaic. Another highly regarded chef, Chris Salans, is behind this innovative menu that brings a taste of Indonesia to classic French favourites. 

The romantic candle-lit garden is the perfect place to celebrate love, while divine degustation menus make for memorable dinners. A list of fine wines, classic cocktails and seductive desserts set the scene for celebrations of all kinds.

Address:
Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571

Hours:
Monday-Sunday 6PM-11PM
Phone:  +62 361 975768

#3 Mejekawi.

The ocean speaks volume to romantics. KuDeTa and the restaurant upstairs Mejekawi are well practiced in the romance languages. Watching the sun set into the horizon with some classic cocktails is the perfect way to begin a night of romance.  

Head upstairs to Mejekawi and take a table for two overlooking the ocean while the talented team of chefs take you on a culinary journey that is as crisp and polished as the dining room. Service is professional and personable and the views are legendary. The menu changes regularly and never fails to impress while the wine has been carefully considered to create a perfect match.

Address:
Jalan Kayu Aya No. 9, Seminyak, Kuta Utara, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361

Hours:
Monday-Sunday 5PM-12AM
Phone:  

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