Samui Wining & Dining
FAB F&B
The Bre-Eze restaurant is just a part of
Fair House Villas & Spa’s food and beverage operation.

 

FAB F&BLet’s begin with a lovely tropical island, basking in the sun. Add the expected palm trees and unspoiled beach, and already the mix is looking promising. But then stir in a spacious resort, sturdily built along traditional lines but modern and airy, too. And top it off with a wide and shady restaurant running along a wide expanse of beachfront. It’s an excellent recipe for an evening out. And it’s exactly what you’ll find when you go along to visit Fair House Villas & Spa.


Mae Nam, and its neighbouring strip of Bo Phut, now has more than a few quality resorts and restaurants. Many of the resorts thereabouts are prominent and impose their presence upon the ring-road, being situated on that convenient parcel of land that runs between the road and the beach. But Fair House Villas is tucked away. It’s a big resort, sure enough, and warrants electric buggies to get around. It’s secluded and private and well off the main-strip although it’s easily found if you continue around the sharp bend at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, coming away from the direction of Chaweng. A hundred metres or so after the bend, there’s a road to the right; it’s well sign-posted, follow this for a while and you’ll soon arrive at the resort’s imposing entrance.


The Food and Beverage (F&B) department is one of the mainstays of any good hotel or resort and, of course, it’s showcased in the restaurant. And the restaurant at Fair House is one of the more laid-back eateries that you’ll find in these parts. Going by the name of The Bre-Eze, it’s actually larger than it first appears and can accommodate over 100 people. And that’s not allowing for those occasions when there are tables set out on the beach. But it’s been thoughtfully designed to be in three linked areas and the space is broken up into a nest of smaller and more intimate spaces, including a large ‘sala containing the bar. Like nearly all restaurants in Thailand it’s open on three sides, but with the shady outer terraces here simply being simply ‘roofed over’, sala-style. The dark-wood furniture is sturdy-yet-comfy and is toned to match the solid timbers of the roof and columns.


The Executive Chef, Khun Santi Kittikhunphong, has been masterminding operations here since April 2009. He’s got an impressive track record, having been in executive positions in Le Banyan restaurant (now renamed La Colombe d’Or), Niran Grand Hotel, Pan Pacific Hotel and Miracle Grand Convention Hotel, all in Bangkok. But, not content to be a specialist amongst specialists, he’s also gained experience and fame further afield, at two 5-star restaurants in South Korea and additionally at the renowned Rendezvous Observation City Hotel, in Perth. Khun Santi is one of the most experienced chefs around and has been cooking up a storm for the best part of 40 years.

 

But, unlike many, Khun Santi’s only been influenced by his experiences rather than shaped by them. The menu at The Bre-Eze is based around familiar regional Thai fare, but with a comprehensive selection of International dishes and there’s just a few created with a hint of classical French fusion. There are soups, pizzas, pastas and risottos, lots of fresh seafood dishes including lobster, prawns, scallops and fish, and some splendid cuts of prime Australian beef. The sirloin particularly deserves special mention, as does the fillet. And one hugely important point: it’s all very sensibly priced. The 7-oz sirloin, for example, will set you back just 520 baht, and that includes all the trimmings. Additionally, if you’re not a carnivore, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a good range of vegetarian items available, too.

 

But, if you’re after Thai fare, the best way to go is with one of the several excellent set meals. There’s a wide selection to pick from and you’ll find that the dishes are clearly marked as to their degree of spiciness – a thoughtful touch. And the desserts, such as the ‘taro, pandanus and pumpkin dumplings in coconut milk’ are both delicious and unique.

 

That’s the main run-down about the signature restaurant, but the full F&B tale has yet to unfold. The atmosphere is all very relaxed at Fair House Villas, and snacks and drinks are continually being requested around the pool. This is mainly in the form of salads or sandwiches, as most folk don’t eat much in the heat of the day. But this option extends to in-room dining, too, and a full menu is available whilst the kitchen is open, from breakfast until around 10:30 pm.

 

The F&B aspect is extensive,” the resort’s Personal Assistant to the DMD, Khun Nattaporn Kaewchinda, explained. “We have to be able to cater for parties and wedding groups as well as romantic tables for two on the beach. And then there are the Thai cooking classes. We have a big vegetable garden here and guests get to see the organically-grown produce as well as picking it for their class. And the resort’s Pandanus Spa uses our home-grown lemongrass and pandanus for their welcome drink. They also use the herbs in the steam room, and coconut extract is used in one of the body-scrubs, pandanus in the facial treatments and aloe vera in the after-sun body-wrap. There’s a lot more to the overall F&B operation than meets the eye!

 

We’re offering a range of spa cuisine, plus vegetarian items, too, and a lot of these dishes use our organic garden produce,” Khun Nattaporn continued. “Our management team is constantly looking for new ways to attract guests here and so regularly changes the ‘specials’, running different weekly combinations of discounted menu items or two-for-the-price-of-one offers on selected cocktails or beers. And then there are the Happy Hours.” She paused thoughtfully for a moment and then added with a smile, “All things considered, maybe we ought to change the name to ‘Merry Hours’ instead.

 

Rob De Wet

 


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