Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Places to go


 Fisherman's Village walking street.

I like to walk. And here in Samui there are just not many places where you can actually walk. Or to be exact - to walk and enjoy it. I cannot bring myself to walk in Chaweng or Maenam along the road where we do have sidewalks for pedestrians, but these sidewalks are just so bad, and level of pollutions from old bikes and songtaews is so high, (add sewage smell in Chaweng to it), so I don't enjoy it at all, let alone going there with a baby in a stroller.
So, you can imagine how happy I was when a few weeks ago Nathon and Bophut suddenly decided to have a walking street once a week. No cars, no bikes, just walking people. Pure bliss! And I can actually take my baby in the pram and don't need to worry about traffic and pollutions...
I haven't been to Nathon yet, but last Friday I went to Bophut's Fisherman's Village and had a great time.
To be honest, we can actually walk in Fisherman's Village anyway, it's one of the best places on the island for casual walk, but it is just not the same with bikes and cars around you, and also the atmosphere is different.
The walking street in Fisherman's Village  starts at 5 pm and goes on till 10 pm or even later,  as people enjoy it a lot and don't really want to go home.
I have a shop in Fisherman's Village, and my staff kept telling me for a couple of weeks already that I must get a table to set up outside of the shop. Everyone else does it on this day, allowing visitors to have a better shopping experience. Tables are set up along the street, selling different goods (clothes, souvenirs, jewellery, food, basically  everything).
And while their parents were busy selling stuff, Thai kids settled comfortably on the Bophut pier, enjoying themselves.


So, I was there before 5pm, to help my staff to arrange our table. Then it was time to go for a walk with my hubby and my baby Jake.
The food was everywhere. I knew I was going to try everything, so I skipped the dinner at home (We did feed the baby though :-)...)
The food was great, such a variety of everything - salads, soups, seafood, meat, fried rice and noodles, fruit shakes, sweets, you name it..
Eating streetfood is Thai national pastime. They love it. And so do we. Here is how it looked like:




My son wasn't too happy- he couldn't have all these delicacies. He is too young for spicy salads :-)



 So yummy!!!





We had a real feast, and hey, our son scored a banana from a local vendor and really enjoyed it!



After we sampled literally every kind of food on the street, we decided to stop and have a rest in the newly opened place on the Bophut beach, called Coconut, which sells ...guess what?....everything made from coconut - coconut ice-cream, sorbet, shake, jelly, some other things (sorry, cannot remember everything - too many) - so, we settled for an ice-cream, which was absolutely delicious, served of course in a coconut shell, and cost only 60 Bt.
Considering that you are sitting right on the beach with a view to die for, eating this really tasty ice-cream, freshly made just seconds ago, I think it's a pretty good value. Here are a few pictures from "Coconut" - I highly recommend it. Total chill-out place, even with a restless baby :-)










I am so looking forward to next Friday already! I am really glad that someone came up with this great idea to give local people and tourists an opportunity to have an enjoyable evening in a village with a great atmosphere, a chance to try so many Thai delicacies in one evening, buy some interesting things, listen to live music at the pier, and basically just have a very very good time! 
See you there on Friday!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Restaurants


Amala restaurant at Prana resort

Here on Samui we are not very spoiled with good vegetarian food. There are a few great vegetarian restaurants in various health resorts, and of course Thai places always have something on offer,  but still, trying something new wouldn't do any harm... And being a veggies lover, I am constantly searching for something new... 
So, yesterday we and some friends of ours decided to have a dinner in Amala restaurant at Prana Resort. I heard about it from some friends of mine, and those who live on Samui have probably seen somewhere their unusual logo with multicolour asparagus, which is easy to recognise.


Prana is a small, smoking free, vegetarian boutique resort, set on the beautiful spot of Bangrak beach, great for watching sunsets. They also have a happy hour from 4 pm to 7pm every day, all drinks - buy 1 get 1 free, plus you get complementary tapas (on the picture)




They also have a special tapas menu, tapas are great for those who doesn't want to have a full dinner, but still want to eat a bit more than complementary plate...


So the best way to do it - come there about 5.30 pm, when the heat goes down, have a cocktail and a few bites, watch a beautiful sunset, and then proceed for dinner...It's pretty romantic - candles on the tables, Al Fresco dining...They move a few tables out to the pool, so you are sitting really under the stars...

This is the day shot of their restaurant, just to give you an idea...



And this is us, drinking and waiting for food, honey is busy taking pictures for me... :-)

 

This is Prana's very own hydrophonic garden (picture is provided by chef Jonny Large)


They actually grow there lots of different herbs and other veggies, everything is organic and tastes really good.

And this is the chef Jonny himself :-)



He has created the yummy menu,  and executed all the dishes perfectly,  I am going to show you what we had for dinner, what it's called, and how much it cost.. I copied the description from the menu - I would have never been able to remember exactly what it was after I left restaurant...

For starters we shared:

ETT 140 Bt -  from tapas menu.
Crumbed and fried eggplant, Tempe,
tamarind sauce, chilies and cashew nuts 




Rice Paper Rolls 180 Bt
Rice paper wrap of carrot, basil, asparagus, peppers,
beanshoots, Sarawak pepper, sesame plum dressing
and vegetable ribbon salad.

 

Then for mains we had:  
                
Spicy Bean Burrito 220 Bt
Burrito with kidney and pinto bean chili
   with smoked cheese, taromole, salsa and tomato salad
 



Pumpkin and Curry 250 Bt
Pumpkin and sweetcorn coconut curry, brown
rice, puppodum



Mushroom Tagliatelle 280 Bt
Homemade tagliatelle with mushrooms, quail’s eggs,
basil, rocket, parmesan and truffle oil



Saffron and Artichoke Ravioli 270 Bt
Inside one ravioli is an artichoke, smoked cheese, pine nut and pesto mix, that's going with a tomato salsa and a waldorf salad

 


And we were too full up for dessert, so we just had this one to share...There were few others which cought my attentions, home-made brownies with ice-cream, and tropical crepes for example, but I will try them next time I am there..

Dragon Torte 180 Bt
Orange, lime and almond torte, dragon fruit and
lemon sorbet 
 


We liked everything, altough burritos were just a bit too spicy, but if you don't mind spicy - then it's perfect. The prices I given here are from the menu, before VAT and service charge, which is 10% and 7% so it will be a bit more in the end, but if you are not a meat-eater or you just like veggies, then it's well worth it, so I really recommend this place - nice location and great food.