Samui Wining & Dining
Everybody’s Fantasy

If the amount of food on offer at Prasuthon’s buffet doesn’t make your eyes pop then the show surely will!


p7What to do, what to do, what to do?” It’s a mantra that comes after a few days of being on holiday. You’ll have found your way around your locale, maybe been to a couple of bars and restaurants and have penciled in a few day trips. But, whilst dining out at night on Samui will always present lots of options, sometimes simply eating isn’t enough.

Most of the resorts on the island will have theme nights of some description during the week. And they can offer unexpected surprises and a chance to sample some dishes you otherwise might not try. I’ve been to more of these than I suspect most people have and, for my money, the team at Nora Beach Resort & Spa has it planned out and presented as well as any other place on Samui. They actually have ‘Happy Hours’ several times a day and a specific theme every night of the week in their Prasuthon beachside restaurant.

Located on a spectacular hillside, it overlooks the bay just north of Chaweng Beach and is just a short drive from the centre of town. It’s like a secluded little village with lush tropical gardens and there’s a terraced stream that flows all the way from the hotel lobby, down through the gardens and out into the waters of the Gulf of Thailand just by the restaurant. Many of the herbs and vegetables used in the restaurant are grown at the resort and if you happen to be there during the day you’ll see an army of gardeners tending to the grounds.

I recently popped along to their Friday night ‘Nora Fantasy’ evening which I hadn’t been to before. It’s an international buffet evening with both a live band and a cabaret show. You can follow a winding path from reception down to the beach or ask for a buggy to take you if you’d prefer. Prasuthon is a large open-sided Thai style restaurant but they also set up candlelit tables on the beach, on the decking and around the pool with an enormous buffet just inside the restaurant (and I’ll come back to the food in a moment). I’d suggest getting there around 7:00 pm and asking for a table with a view of the stage; you won’t see much of the show from the tables on the beach.

Over the course of the night I visited, there were around 100 people there and, according to Food & Beverage Manager Panus Malai, around half of them were guests staying at other resorts who’d come along for the night to enjoy the food and the entertainment. Starting off the night was a Filipino trio who played guitars and sang and I have to say they were very good with a broad range of popular and recent songs that I actually knew! On this particular night they also had a short 15-minute traditional Thai dance set before the ‘Christy’s Cabaret’ show began.

They perform a 45-minute routine of around ten numbers before they head off to do their two-hour show at the Christy Cabaret Club in Chaweng. And this is a wonderful opportunity to witness a very real ‘Ladyboy’ show whilst enjoying a great meal. It’s very entertaining and safe; you could take your mum without being embarrassed about anything but you will wonder whether the ladies were really ever men. They lip-sync and dance their way through the show with about half of the 15 dancers on the stage at any one time. When you see the costumes you’ll understand that they obviously have the knack of changing very quickly down to a fine art. At the end they all appear on stage together to sing and dance to the rather appropriately named ABBA tune, ‘Dancing Queen’, and you can then go up and have your photograph taken with them. And then, around 9:00 pm, the band comes back on to entertain you for the rest of the evening.

But let’s go back to the food and there’s no need to rush as you can pick away over the course of several hours making as many return trips to the various tables and serving stations as you wish. They have a big salad bar with dozens of ingredients and sauces so you can make your own. There’s also another table with four huge mixed salads: sautéed mussels and pasta; tuna Hawaiian; grilled pesto with seafood; and smoked chicken with green apples and nuts. And they surround a massive bowl of big, fat, freshly-chilled oysters with half-a-dozen condiments to go with them. There are also five or six soups to try and lots of different kinds of breads.

As for main courses, there’re two serving stations. You can help yourself to roast pork loin, a mild chicken curry with cashew nuts, fried squid with black pepper and an outstanding fillet of seabass with a mustard and dill sauce. There’re rice and vegetables that you can help yourself to and plenty of sauces. And then there’s also the live cooking station where you simply pick up some prawns, fish, satays and steaks from the chilled display fridge and give them to one of the chefs who will barbecue them for you ‘to order’ right in front of you. You may have to wait 10-15 minutes depending on how many people are there at the time and how you want your meat cooked but, as I said, what’s the rush? And you have a clear view of the stage from the buffet.

If you can manage it, they also have a nice selection of desserts and another ‘Happy Hour’ at the beach bar from 9:00 pm-10:00 pm (buy one, get one free). In all, it’s a very enjoyable night out with as much food as you can eat and a show that you’re not likely to forget in a hurry. And I, personally, had a most enjoyable evening down there.


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