Samui Wining & Dining
Come hungry!

Nora Beach Resort & Spa does beachside dining Samui-style.


14-15Could it be? Sitting at the bar, sipping a Nora Nana - a creamy Baileys and banana inspired concoction - the rasping voice of Louie Armstrong lured me to turn around. No, of course it wasn't the legend himself, but rather the entertainment for guests enjoying the beachside dining at Nora Beach Resort & Spa. Nonetheless, this duet enthralled diners with their renditions of tunes from yesteryear, and enthusiastic cheering resounded after each song.

    Beachside dining happens every Wednesday and Saturday evening at Nora Beach, in the form of a relaxed and casual BBQ. Start the evening at sunset, and enjoy a free cocktail around the pool between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Wednesday nights see guests savouring the 'Islands BBQ' with seafood, meats, salads and other buffet dishes. On Saturday evenings the menu features International as well as Royal Thai cuisines. On both evenings, the vast buffet selection costs 950 baht per person, including a complimentary cocktail. Executive Chef Khun Sitthichai and his staff prepare the BBQ on open coals in front of guests, so mouthwatering aromas waft across the tables laid out on the sand, alongside the pool. It's best to come hungry, but even if you're not, the olfactory overload of grilling goodies will get the stomach rumbling. The venue is casual, relaxed and suited to families as well as couples.

      On the night of my visit, the guitar-playing duet was preceded by a poi, or fire-dancing solo act, beautifully reflected in the expansive swimming pool. With heat from the fire show on one side, and from the glowing coals on the other, the gentle sea breeze at this prime location at the northern end of Chaweng Beach was most welcome.

        Deciding what to have first from the BBQ and buffet can be a little daunting, so it's best to try a little of everything, and go back again for your favourites. And again, and again, and again... Wednesday night's selection includes chicken, beef sirloin, pork loin, mackerel, squid, New Zealand green lip mussels, blue crab, king prawns and corn on the cob, all expertly grilled on hot coals by the chefs in crisp white uniforms. Don't fill up here, as the rest of the hot buffet offers fillet of salmon in wholegrain mustard and saffron sauce, boiled potatoes with leek and bacon, beef tenderloin with a pepper sauce, soup of the day and baked sunshine courgette rounds stuffed with cheese and tomato sauce. On the cold buffet, try the mixed sushi and sashimi table, or move to the salads, where there's a choice of caprese with buffalo mozzarella, caesar with bacon bits and parmesan shavings, tuna pasta salad with boiled eggs and crab meat, or make your own with a selection of ingredients and assortment of dressings. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the variety of fresh fruits, cakes baked by the Nora Group's own pastry chef, as well as ice-cream.

        As I tackled the buffet for round two, students from the local tourism university made their appearance for a tongue-in-cheek dance routine. From Hawaiian-style dancing girls doing the limbo with tipsy guests to the chants of 'How low can you go', to a chubby male dancer dressed as a bunny girl, the diners were laughing and snapping away with their cameras. Chef Sitthichai, previously worked in Singapore, so has mastered the art of not only Thai, but all Asian cuisine. He revealed that from November, Monday evenings will be known as Japanese night, with sushi, sashimi and other Japanese delicacies being served from the sala next to the bar and pool.great way to remember your Samui holiday is learning to produce that favourite dish when back home. Each time you prepare and enjoy it, memories of the great holiday will come flooding back. Chef Sitthichai offers daily cooking classes from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, when he teaches a three-course meal from scratch. Ingredients are authentic, and no MSG or additives are used. The cost is 1,500 baht per person, and the menu varies or goes by request. Fruit and vegetable carving courses are also offered.

      When romance is on the cards, Nora Beach Resort makes an ideal location, and private BBQs and romantic beach dinners can be arranged. With toes digging in powdery white sand, the Gulf of Thailand's clear water lapping at your table, sunset followed by candle light, good food and a balmy Samui evening, this might just be the spot to ask her that all important and life-altering question... or not.


Rosanne Turner



Copyright 2017 Samui Wining & Dining. All rights reserved Siam Map Company Ltd.