Friday, 14 January 2011

Breakaway - Fantastic Feasts in Thailand

Yesterday. the Hubs asked me what I wanted for my upcoming birthday. Nothing came to mind, really. No material object, at least, like a watch or bag or book….not even – horrors! – a spot of bling! I find that as the years go by, what I’d rather pull out all the stops on are experiences rather than material things; I’m happier spending on a luxury holiday (the only way to travel!), exquisite meals, a party with close friends and family. If I could spare the time, I’d travel to eat as well – short little getaways in Asia to experience great food, like these which I would jump on a plane right now for!

First thing I wanna experience is the Treepod Dining at the Thai resort of Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, in Koh Kood on the east coast of Thailand. Eating in comfort up in the canopy of the trees, this definitely ranks high up on my list of dinners with a difference! You first get into the rattan ‘bird’s nest’ at the bottom of the tree and as you settle into the deep cushions, the pod, with you and your guests, is slowly hoisted up the 16 feet into the native massang trees, opening up a view of the sea and rocky shore below. Dinner is served by your host, Khun Lek, who gets to you via a zip line, and is always on hand whenever you need to add to your order. Lunch and breakfast can be served here too, but one can imagine how absolutely gorgeous a sunset dinner in candlelight there can be. Plans are afoot to enable guests to travel by zip line to the pod as well.

Tel: +66 (0) 2631 9777

At luxe resort, Napasai in Koh Samui, six chefs from as many regional Orient-Express hotels and resorts are getting together between 23-25 February for a three-day gastronomic event in support for charity. Serving up their interpretation of regional cuisines are Napasai’s French Executive Chef Gilles Galli, Alexis Voisin of La Residence d'Angkor, Cambodia; Nicolas Reynard of La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, Laos; Iain Murray of The Governor's Residence, Yangon, Myanmar; Bansani Nawisamphan of Ubud Hanging Gardens, Ubud, Bali; and Michele Greggio of Jimbaran Puri Bali, Bali.

The programme starts on 23 Feb with a five-course dinner of Asian specialties by the chefs, followed by one of the most diverse South-East Asian buffets ever served in Koh Samui, and ends with a gala dinner on the final evening. Prices of these events are surprisingly inexpensive – from US$37 for dinner, and US$56 for the gala dinner! Profits go to Thailand's Foundation for Slum Child Care, under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Galyani. The Foundation supports almost 2,000 disadvantaged children through daycare centres, homes and community outreach to slum babies and infants. A three night stay at Napasai in a Seaview Villa starts from approximately US$406 per villa per night, including tax and daily breakfast for two.

Tel: 66 7742 9200

Over in the capital, two-Michelin star Chef Koji Shimomura of French restaurant, Édition Koji Shimomura is coming to The Sukothai Bangkok from 9-12 March to spread some culinary love. He’s known for sophisticated, modern and light French cuisine, which combines a little Japanese philosophy. It promises to be a really unique experience, as his menu – if any – doesn’t list any dishes. He picks the best ingredients he comes across each day, and customizes it for every diner, so you’ll end up with different dishes for each person across the restaurants. This is the specialised form of 'haute couture cuisine' he is known for. Fun, huh? His signature dish is ‘matodai fritter’. Light, crispy Kadaif, a fine spaghetti-like pastry, is used as a coating for the fritter, with broccoli cream and lemon jam underneath. Reservations essential!

Tel: 66 (0) 2344 8888

- Ee Waun


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