Samui Wining & Dining
Club Grub

The Beach Club at Buri Rasa is very much a family affair.

 

12-13It has a certain ring to it. It sounds modern and hip. You’d probably expect a party atmosphere too, with lots of young people, and a DJ late into the night. That’s true for most places with the words ‘beach club’ in their name, and Samui now boasts some of the best of this genre to be found anywhere. But attach the word ‘restaurant’, locate it within one of the friendliest resorts on the island, make it very laid-back and family-friendly – and you’ve got a different sort of ‘club’ altogether.

      Buri Rasa is a name that commands respect from long-time residents on Samui, and can be numbered amongst the small and elite handful of long-established top-end boutique resorts here. Further, it’s situated in a prime position, slap bang in the centre of Chaweng Beach Road, close to where the one-way system turns into a two-way road. Wandering through from reception towards the beach is like flipping back to Greece or Italy – it’s not hard to feel that you’re in a tiny side street, which wanders between dinky two-storey Mediterranean houses with sun-bleached shutters and brilliant blooms. And then, as you emerge, you’ll find yourself next to the pool and alongside the extended restaurant that’s known as ‘The Beach Club’.

      If you come along in the daytime, there’s not a lot to hit you in the eye. But at night it’s eye candy indeed, and the whole dimension changes, with the glowing pools of light, and cunningly placed spotlights leading you right onto the beach – but we’ll return to that in just a moment. The main restaurant with the kitchens attached is the first thing you’ll come to, and no doubt you’ll also notice the continued ‘sun-bleached shutters’ theme! This is open on three sides, and forms a pleasant retreat when you want to get away from the glare of the sun.

      On the other hand – sun, sand and sea is the trinity that lures most of us here. And if you can’t resist the beach, then you’ll find these surroundings vastly more comfortable than most. Along with the usual sunbeds, there are low tables with beanbags around, plus a couple of flop-down sofas/day beds, and a scattering of big sun parasols for those who want them. There’s a daytime menu if you fancy a nibble, and the service is such that you’re most welcome to enjoy your meal on the beach; it will be served to you where you recline.

       As you might expect, what’s on offer during the day is neither extensive nor weighty: the team here has learned from experience that lite-bites and snacks are what people want. Thus you’ll be able to pick from a substantial range of salads and sandwiches (excellent sandwiches – each comes with side salad and some of the best fries around), burgers and baguettes, finger food plus a range of pasta dishes. And, as an alternative, some very well put-together wraps. Plus there’s a full menu of Thai dishes, too.

       I have a theory that most visitors to Samui tend to stay in their resort every day, unless they have a day-trip planned. It’s familiar territory – plus the fact that wandering off and into another resort for the afternoon is somehow to be frowned upon. Maybe it’s private or not allowed. But rest assured that at The Beach Club you’ll be made most welcome. You can lounge about on the daybeds or catch up with your email (free Wi-Fi). But, naturally, it’s expected that you’ll also order a snack or some of those much-needed drinks while you’re at it!

         But, the evening: ah! the evening! This is when the dimensions change, as the hard bright sky fades into the warm glow of the beachside lighting. The daytime menu changes into the dinner one at 6:30 pm each day – precisely matching the first happy hour when you’ll get cocktails, local beers and all spirits on a buy-one-get-one-free basis. (The other happy hour is from 10:30 to 11:00 pm, by the way.) And, unless it’s raining, all the dining activity shifts to the terrace overlooking the sand and onto the beach itself. Certainly, if you want to dine away from the others and inside the restaurant, then that’s a further option. But, for most, dining under the stars and with your toes wiggling in the sand is what holidays here are all about.

         Every evening there’s a beach BBQ, with your choice of meats and seafood cooked for you on the spot. The side-by-side à la carte menu here is as thoughtful as everything else: each item is coded with a different symbol indicating the degree of spiciness, whether an item contains nuts, and if it is a vegetarian dish. There’s even a kiddies’ section too. And on Mondays and Thursdays, there’s entertainment too, in the form of an acoustic trio featuring an outgoing female singer.

         You’ll find that there’s an included salad bar with a big selection of dressings and dips. There are soups and other hot dishes, including sautéed potatoes, French fries, grilled vegetables, fried rice, red duck curry and stir-fried chicken breast, amongst others. The meat includes imported grass-fed beef steak, ribs and pork steaks, and the range of seafood includes all the usual items that you’d expect in a quality BBQ. But worthy of note are the seafood sets. These begin at 550 baht, rising to the piece de resistance, the platter for two, which includes a whole Phuket lobster, mussels, crab, calamari, tiger prawns, a white snapper and . . . a bottle of one of their featured wines.

         The grub here is gorgeous, the service super, and the surroundings superb. And for those with families (particularly the ones in residence) this is one ‘beach club’ that doesn’t go on into the early hours of the morning. Everything winds down peacefully at around 10:30 pm, except for the bar, which glimmers on until 11.30 or so. Because here, at Buri Rasa, you’ll find that everything’s very much a family affair!

         

Rob De Wet


 


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