Samui Wining & Dining
OH!-CEANSIDE DINING AT ITS BEST
Bandara Resort and Spa’s Chom Dao restaurant has perfected the beach BBQ buffet.


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Monday nights are worth keeping open. That’s when Bandara Resort and Spa in Bophut (just outside Fisherman’s Village) hosts its weekly beach BBQ at Chom Dao restaurant.

      Let’s first set the scene. From around 6:00 pm, the beach starts transforming. As sun-loungers are packed away, the sand is swept and tables are positioned on the beach. The waiters align the tables so they sit evenly in the sand and place electric cables out to the buffet counters and lighting, being careful to cover all wiring with the soft white sand. White tablecloths are whisked into the air and carefully smoothed over the tables, before polished glasses and silverware are set out. While this is going on, chefs in starched white jackets and tall white hats set out buffet tables, and start bringing out the food. And the food just keeps coming.

       The ‘room’ doesn’t need much dressing other than tables and a few lights strategically positioned to highlight the delicious food… more on that later. An interior decorator couldn’t create a better setting. With the sun setting

over Bophut Bay and boats returning for the evening, it’s a perfect backdrop, particularly when the moon comes out. No air-con is required, as being right by the beach, there’s always a gentle breeze.

        At 7:00 pm, dinner is served. Passers-by look on in awe, deciding whether to join for dinner. But if they haven’t booked for the beach BBQ, chances are there won’t be a table available, as this weekly event has become so popular - so be sure to book in advance. The price is reasonable too considering the spread. For 1,100 baht per person including service and tax, you get to each as much as you like from the buffet.

          But where to start! With table upon table of scrumptious-looking dishes laid out, you’ll soon realise that it’s impossible to try them all. The decision will torment you. So take this advice: Before you even pick up a plate, have a slow walk past, and select your favourites. Try those first so you don’t fill up on others, and go back for seconds, or as many times as you like actually, sampling a bit of this and a bit of that. Right, so walking you through the buffet, here’s a run-down on the highlights, which will surely get your mouth watering…

          Get your ‘greens’ for the day from the salad buffet by either making your own from bowls of chopped ingredients, or try those prepared by the chefs such as salad nicoise, or a Mediterraneaninspired grilled vegetable salad. Next to the salads, grab a few fresh oysters, kept cool on ice, sushi or the tuna with lemongrass appetiser.

          Pasta can be filling. Don’t skip it, but be sure to ask for a small portion at the pasta station, where you can choose from a classic tomato sauce, bolognaise or pesto. And there’s a soup of the day too, accompanied by fresh bread.

          Kept warm in shiny stainless-steel servers, you’ll find chicken turmeric, roast duck in honey, slow-cooked beef stew, massaman beef, sweet and sour fish and roast beef.

          And what would a BBQ be without food plucked right from the coals? Choose from (all have them all) grilled king prawns, fish, beef or squid, and don’t forget a jacket potato and corn-on-the-cob to go with that.

          Somehow, no matter how much you’ve eaten, there’s always space for dessert. And that’s a good thing, as here you’ll find individual portions of jam rolls, rich chocolate brownies, cheesecakes, smooth vanilla crème brulée, tiramisu and cupcakes, as well as pancakes, fresh local fruits and an assortment of icecreams.

          If you arrive early to catch the sunset, you can join the Monday night cocktail party, with free cocktails and snacks for hotel guests, as well as anyone pre-booking the beach BBQ dinner. Be careful of filling up on those snacks though, as now you know what’s to come. The atmosphere is festive as families, groups of friends and couples enjoy the BBQ and buffet, and a guitar-playing duo provides lowkey entertainment. You don’t need much more, as with the pictureperfect location, you wouldn’t want a distraction. Here the focus is on good food in an ideal setting.

          Should you not be able to make it on a Monday night for the BBQ, non-hotel guests are welcome at Chom Dao any other time too. For something special, book the ‘Seafood Basket Romantic Dinner’, where they’ll set up a private table on the beach, candles and all. The highlight of this dinner is not one, but two king lobsters, as well as king prawns, mussels and sea bass, all grilled on the BBQ. Not to mention an appetiser, soup, and some tiramisu to end it off. They’ll even present you with a ‘lucky balloon’ also known as a ‘wish lantern’, which you can set off from the beach to remember the evening by. The cost of this seafood extravaganza is 3,500 baht for two people, inclusive of tax and service, with only drinks being charged extra.

 

 Rosanne Turner


 


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