Samui Wining & Dining
Love, the Farmer, and The Sea

To discover the connection and find out what’s going on at ‘The Sea’, read on!

 

15‘The Sea’ is a quiet and elegant resort. It’s modern and luxuriously low-key. It simply doesn’t need to shout about how good it is – and it’s all good. The style and décor is designer-minimal, with lots of gentle water features, textured concrete and natural timbers and fabrics. The accommodation is simply luxurious, and ranges from extensively-fitted single rooms, to family villas with separate show-kitchens. The dedicated Vara Spa offers everything you could wish for. The fitness centre is excellently well-out. The dining experience is first-rate. And here you’ve got several options.

      But I’ll go into the enticing and unusual details of these in just a moment! First of all you’ll need to know exactly where to find the place, as it’s all too easy to go sailing past. It’s in Bang Por. Looking at the map it’s on the ‘top-left’ – Samui’s north coast, on the western part. Heading in the direction of Nathon, if you get to a sudden sharp Z-shaped kink in the ring-road, just before the Health Oasis Resort, you’ve already passed it! The Sea is on a quiet and residential part of this coast,

surrounded by small private villa estates, many of which have the word ‘coconut’ in their name. Its slate-grey frontage doesn’t immediately jump out at you, although the frontage includes the Vara Spa and the Café Lebay. Which neatly brings us back again to what’s happening on the culinary front in this excellent small resort.

     ‘Café Lebay’ is the resort’s enclosed and air-conditioned main restaurant. As with everything here it’s gently understated, but everything oozes quality. And that goes for the à la carte menu, too. This comes to you courtesy of the internationally experienced Executive Chef, Khun Pramoun Polee – also known as Chef Moun. There are dual menus of Thai and International dishes; the latter featuring some mouth-watering mains, such as the Australian tenderloin with a choice of sauces, including a superb gently spiced massaman curry, or the ‘Roast Duck with Soi Sauce, Shaoxing Wine and Broccoli’. And yet another highlight of the culinary experience at The Sea isn’t to be found here at all. It’s down on the beach.

      Khun Yongyuth Singnon is the resort’s friendly and approachable manager, and he has a shrewd sense of what people want. “We’ve introduced two dining experiences here, both of them very special, and both on the beach,” he told me. “We’re on a tropical island,” he continued. “So people don’t want to sit inside at night. They want to be out under the stars, with the sound of the sea, and the sand between their toes. But every beach resort offers some sort of dining on the beach. So we’ve come up with something you can’t find anywhere else!” And I have to say that he’s right. There’s nothing quite like this anywhere else I know around the island.

       Both of these ideas tap into the traditional and unique culture of the northern Thai regions. This is where the quintessential pad Thai originates, along with the Thai staple of som tam salad. More than classical Thai dancing, more than Royal Thai Cuisine, these are the elements that 90% of Thai folks will relate to straight away. These are from the rural north, the farming region, – and there are more workers here on Samui from this area than from any other part of Thailand, native Samui-folk included!

       And so, first to the innovative and romantic ‘North Meets South’. This is ‘romantic dining on the beach’, but with a difference. You won’t have a table and chairs. You’ll find that there’s a pair of low teak tables, pushed together, along with a scattering of those triangular cushions (known as mon Thai) which can be extended to make a narrow base-pad with headrest. The lighting is notable, too. Firstly there’s a circle of holes in the sand, all around the tables, each of which contains a lighted candle. And then there are the hanging tubes of light – known as thoong – made of the same stretched paper as the fire balloons (of which you also get a free one, to sail up into the sky at your leisure).

The menu is simple but typically comprehensive – it’s a kantoke set with enough for two people. The traditional Lanna kantoke is a large tray with a wide selection of different dishes. It’s an offering of respect or a gesture of hospitality. Here, at The Sea, it’s not only both of these things but also a super way of enjoying a wide range of traditional Thai dishes all together. And the package, which costs just 3,000 baht for two, also comes complete with complimentary sparkling wine and that already-mentioned fire balloon. What a super and unusual way to celebrate an anniversary, or that special last night on Samui!

      And the other one-of-a-kind enticement is the regular ‘Farmers’ Night’, which occurs every Monday from 7:00 pm. This is an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet with no parallel. Still calling on the rural elements from the farming north, the highlight here has to be the hard-to-find Thai herbal liqueur, ya-dong. At one time a ya-dong stall could be found at every temple fair but, alas, it all seems to have faded away in the last few years. This is a rare treat indeed. And to complement this there are just two dishes – pad Thai and som tam – not much of an offering, you may be thinking . . . Except these come with a twist. The pad Thai can be with noodles, penne, spaghetti or fettuccine, and combined any way you fancy with chicken, pork or shrimps. And the som tam, too – a salad-bar-mix of cucumber, carrots, tomato or long beans, in a ‘pick n mix’ approach. Add to this the ‘movie of the week’, with a group of sunbeds all facing the sea and a big projector screen, plus the (every day) happy hour from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm (all drinks at half price). Then top it all with a cost of just 599 baht per person . . .

      . . . and you end up with ‘love, the farmer, and The Sea’, all combined together. It’s unique. It’s quintessentially Thai. It’s the North, down here in the South. On the beach. At Bang Por’s The Sea Samui. Get it while you can!

      

Rob De Wet


 


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