Samui Wining & Dining
Beach Clubbing

Although in this case, The Beach Club is a restaurant – and you’ll find it at Chaweng’s Buri Rasa resort.


14-15-01Samui’s a small island. And even the busy focal point of Chaweng can’t claim to be big – Chaweng Beach Road is just over four kilometres, in fact. But when it comes to restaurants, then a whole different set of numbers comes into play. Firstly, for every eatery in plain sight out on the road, there are ten more hidden away. And, secondly, there are hundreds more outside Chaweng, on remote beaches and in secluded resorts. But it all depends on what you want. Seafood, for instance, is seafood. And it’s almost impossible to cook it badly. But it’s a lot harder to cook it really well, with a gourmet sauce and tantalising veggies. You really have to know where to look if you want a super meal, not merely a good one. And that’s where Buri Rasa comes into the picture.

      Buri Rasa Village is towards the southern end of Chaweng Beach Road, not so far from the turning to Laem Din market, close to where the one-way system turns into a two-way road. Many resorts draw heavily on Thai architectural styles. But here, as you stroll down from reception and through the grounds, there’s a strong flavour of the Mediterranean, with the whitewashed walls, wooden shutters and the blazing bougainvillea everywhere. You’ll emerge out into an open area with the pool and the sea in front of you, and the restaurant area over to the left.

      What’s in a name? Here on Samui the word ‘beach’ seems to appear everywhere – although that’s hardly surprising. But when you combine this with ‘club’, a whole new set of images come to mind. But in this particular case, you need to hold your horses! Because the actual restaurant here is (just a little confusingly) named ‘The Beach Club’. It’s very much family-oriented, this resort is quiet and serene, and the restaurant in particular will entice you to come back again.

      If you visit in the daytime, The Beach Club restaurant may not immediately grab your attention. It’s pleasant enough, with a Thai-style open-sided dining area attached to the kitchen. The furniture is solid and traditional and the tables immaculately laid. But this is one of those resorts that whispers, not shouts, and after a moment or two you’ll spot the subtly-repeated motif of the shutters – there’s a whole wall of them, sun-bleached and decorative, along one side.

     The restaurant fringes the broad and lawned open area that contains the swimming pool and ends with a broad terrace above the sand. There’s a shady beach bar to one side of this, and a connecting roofed-area between this and the restaurant. This forms a pleasant additional L-shaped exterior dining space, the terrace of which is about as close to the sea as you can get. During the day this beachside terrace isn’t used for dining – it’s just too hot. It’s at night, when the spotlights and under-lit plants cast their warm glow, that you’ll see tables set here, as well as actually down on the sand itself. All the dimensions here change when the sun goes down, and this is when the ambiance here really comes into play – it’s delightful!

      But a restaurant is nothing without fine food – the décor is really just an added extra. And the kitchens here at Buri Rasa have always been something of a trade standard, something that’s been better-known among Samui’s chefs than it has by the public at large. Just glancing around a restaurant, it’s impossible to know what your dining experience is going to be. But here at the humbly-named Beach Club, you’ll discover unique and individually-created dishes, an insistence on buying seafood and fish fresh from the local markets every morning, and the use of nothing other than prime imported cuts of meat from Australia and New Zealand. The à la carte menu is super.

       But there’s an added incentive also. Every Thursday, the resort holds a gourmet buffet evening on the beach – the ‘Gala Buffet Dinner’. There are tables laden with stainless steel servers, holding the hot dishes, a couple of live cooking stations so that you can order your meat or seafood cooked exactly to your liking, and all manner of sauces, dips and hot and cold side dishes, vegetables and salads, plus a trio of acoustic musicians who’ll serenade you gently during the evening.

         The greatest disincentive to a family dining in this way is the cost – who wants to pay full price for children with small appetites? Firstly, the à la carte menu is also available on the buffet evening. Secondly, children from six to 12 years can enjoy the buffet at half price, and under this age, free. Third, the prices on the menu already include tax, and that leaves you only to decide on the size of the tip you’ll leave. And finally – it might be gourmet food but the prices are astonishingly reasonable to begin with!

         I could talk about the happy hours, the excellent (and affordable) wine offerings, or go into details of the full daytime menu: alas, I’m out of space. And so, if you’re in search of a beach party, then skip this venue and look elsewhere. But if you’re hoping to find one of the best restaurants around, then head for The Beach Club restaurant at Buri Rasa!


Rob De Wet


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