05 July 2012

Phuket July 2012 Part II - Food & Places

In this post, I'm just going to talk about food in Club Med and Phuket, and some places and activities in a random manner.

Since the package by Club Med is full board, we had most of our meals at Club Med itself, and thus most part of our stay, buffet. There's actually a fine dining restaurant where ala-carte menu is served, but we didn't manage to make reservations for that in view of our toddler.

Well, the buffet spread at Club Med was pretty substantial, ranging from international cuisine, to Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. But after a few meals of buffet, we got a little sick of it and craved for more local Thai food. Unfortunately, we were rather disappointed with the Thai spread at the buffet, probably tuned to suit the palates of the guests; the dishes were not authentic enough.

I managed to capture a few photos of breakfast and lunch only (it was too dark and crowded during dinner) as I was always in a hurry to feed dear son.

The restaurant was divided into two sections, one section features the cold food/appetizers and the other the hot/cooked food (with a central open kitchen concept).
The hot/cooked food section. As usual, the egg station is always popular. Other spread includes porridge, fried rice/noodles, the typical ABF stuff like sausage, bacon, hashbrown, baked beans etc.
This is the section where cold foods are displayed. For breakfast, there's salad, self-made bagels, bread and pastries, cereals, fruits, yogurts, juices etc.
We only ate lunch on the last day of our stay as we dined out for three of the days. Lunch spread was actually quite impressive, as compared to dinner. There was a special station where cold spring rolls were freshly made by the chef. In fact, similar stations were also set up for the dinners as well.
Pretty appetiser display, cheese stick with mango, cucumber and cherry tomato.
Sample plates of food were displayed at the central open kitchen and available upon order.

The cool Japanese section chef. His station was always one of the busiest, whether lunch or dinner.
Pretty display of fruits.
Several types of dessert were available. But I thought that they were mediocre only.

All in all, the buffet spread at Club Med was commendable, but we sworn off buffet ever since return from the trip. Buffet for every meal was just too overwhelming.
We went to Jungceylon Shopping Complex one of the days and decided to venture into Patong Street for authentic Thai food. Came across this eatery called No. 6 Restaurant which was very crowded and thus concluded that the food must be good.
Phad Thai - Stir fried glass noodles. Nicely fried, the glass noodles was smooth and cooked to the right texture. Taste-wise, slightly sweet, salty and sourish with a tinge of spiciness. Yums!
Tom Yum Soup. The staff asked us for the level of spiciness and we said the most spicy. She was taken aback and told us that it would be very spicy. Well, we said bring it on :) I must say the Tom Yum soup was really good, spicy, tangy, savoury, tantalising different depths of our tastebuds. We had Tom Yum soup back at Club Med the night before and it was nothing compared to this.
Stir fried morning glory, aka Kang Kong. Crunchy and fresh, just a tad saltish.
Deep fried fish in Thai Sauce. We ordered this particular dish as we were curious with the Thai sauce. Turned out to be very interesting piquant taste. Not bad at all.

In conclusion, No. 6 restaurant was really not bad; well we were definitely glad to have a chance to eat some proper thai food, given that we were in Phuket.
Ok, this seemed a little random. On the second day, we rented a motorbike so that we could explore the island just like what we did more than ten years ago. And one of the more memorable places we visited then was Laem Sing Beach, a very secluded secret beach, which had powdery white sand and pristine blue waters. Well, the place has certainly changed, for one there is parking charge now. The path leading to the beach is "upgraded" to a proper road with steps and at the beachfront there are a few eateries. Back then, there were only a few huts selling drinks.

The beach was also much dirtier and not as beautiful, could probably be due to the monsoon. Slightly disappointed that our secret beach is no longer the same as before, but then again it's ten years afterall.
The other place that we went to was Naiyang Beach. This beach is located at the northeast part of Phuket and very near to the airport. And we rode about 2hrs on motorbike just to reach this place! We had lunch at Naiyang Beach ten years ago and it was the most memorable meal we had then, sitting on the beach and dining under coconut trees.

The area certainly underwent tremendous changes, it used to be just wilderness. Initially we entered the beach through the wrong road and reached a guard house. The guard told us that there's entrance fee for entering the national park. We were like HUH? but paid nonetheless (not cheap, 200 baht per person) since we wanted to go to the beach area. Then we realised that the so-called National Park was just a small stretch with a few recreation activities and eateries. If we go further and enter from another road, we would reach the area that we were looking for without having to pay at all. Cheated of 400 baht! Oh well.

The place was similar to ten years ago but much more established and bigger scale.
Now they built this kind of huts for diners. Ten years ago, it was basically just mats and tables under the trees.
Grilled chicken. It was OH-SO-GOOD! The meat was so fragrant, chewy and juicy!
Papaya salad. Nicely done, crunchy, sweet, spicy, tangy, no complaints.
Grilled Saba dish. I don't usually like Saba fish but this was really nice. The fish meat was sweet and juicy and tasted even better with the special chilli sauce provided.
Tom Yum soup, yet again (yes, hubby's favourite and a must-order). If the Tom Yum soup at No. 6 was good, this was excellent. It was even better!
Pineapple fried rice. Not bad but nothing to scream about. Once again, our most memorable meal of this trip at Naiyang Beach.
This is a Thai massage place just opposite Club Med. 300 baht for 60 min foot reflexology.
The interior furnishings is a soothing green. The massage therapist I had was pretty skillful. For the price and the skills, it's worth every penny!

On another evening, we rented a car and brought dear son to Promthep Cape to catch the sunset. Beautiful but partially blocked by the clouds.
On certain nights, the talented GOs at Club Med would actually put up Circus Shows. On the last night we were there, they had a Water Circus Show, which was basically acrobatic acts performed over the pool.
Spectacular indeed, given these people are actually the full time staff with their own job scope in the day time and yet they have to perform at night!

Not sure if we would visit a Club Med property again, but I must say that the kids' club is a big draw for parents who wish to have some me-time during vacation. Thanks to the kids' club, hubby and I were able to sneak off to visit the places we wanted to go.

And this time round, we had the company of a great group of friends which made the trip memorable and enjoyable. Well, if the group decides to go on another holiday together, we would definitely be keen to join once again.


  1. Thank you nice article.
    your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. Will check out Surin Beach Hotel :)