I covered off the swimming and sandcastle building component of our Koh Samui stay in the last post, so now it’s time for food, glorious food………… and of course cocktails!
As I mentioned in my last post, we were spending the second half of our holiday at the Mai Samui resort. It was a very pretty resort and we definitely weren’t slumming it for our 8 nights. Like the first half of the holiday in Khao Lak, we had bought a cudo voucher for the accommodation. We got breakfast included every day and the breakfast was very good, even if we were a bit over buffet breakfasts by now! Certainly the kids were happy to eat their fill of buffet goodness and occasionally sneak icecream for breakfast (only special occasions though, like my birthday, or a our last day, or a day we couldn’t be bothered arguing!). Waffles, eggs and the never ending variety of hot foods were also a hit. The hot food variety here was even better than the Mai Khao Lak resort with several different options daily that weren’t repeated for another week. The egg chef was also pretty good, and did excellent poached eggs and omelettes as well as freshly cooked waffles.
There was also a good selection of cake and bana fritters for breakfast, cappuccinos with cinnamon sticks on top and the option of bloody mary’s. Anto resisted the alcoholic breakfast options but we ate our body weight in carbs!
The only problem was the breakfast restaurant was beautiful, but entirely surrounded by water, water to get into the restaurant, water around all the tables, and water to get to the buffet area. A little dangerous for small kids, luckily very picturesque! …. and no one drowned. Might have been a bad combination with the bloody mary’s though.
For lunches we were usually pretty full from breakfast, but we had an ample supply of snacks we had purchased in town, plus we would grab a few spare yogurts, fruits, pastries or some meat and cheese from breakfast for the kids to snack on. They were more than happy to have balcony or hotel floor picnics for lunch.
Like the first resort, our voucher had a couple of included dinners. We had one ‘Thai Set’ dinner at the pub style restaurant that we had on our second night. It was pretty underwhelming and we are glad we weren’t paying for it. The kids didn’t seem hungry that night, which was lucky since there wasn’t much food and the vegetarian option they rustled up for me was a plate of very bland and overcooked green vegies and some steamed rice. We had eaten at the same restaurant (off the menu) on our first night at the resort since the kids were very over-tired and we weren’t keen on venturing out. The food that night was better but still not great, and not good value. They were really our only ‘bad’ dinners in our couple of weeks away so we shouldn’t complain. I didn’t manage to take photos either night since Soren was being ‘special’ and the food really wasn’t exciting. The restaurant was quite pretty though!
Our other included dinner was a ‘seafood platter’ at the fancy fine-dining restaurant overlooking the pool. We decided to do this dinner about mid-way through our stay. The restaurant is beautiful, and surrounded by the ‘big’ pool. It is also terrifying to eat at with small children. No railings, 2 storey drop into the pool, or onto concrete, and shiny lights and stairs everywhere! Luckily we got there early before the terrors were too over it. We were given the big comfy table with lounges for laying on, rather than sitting on. Great when I wore a dress! Fun for the kids to play on/nap on during dinner though.
Both kids love seafood so were weren’t worried about them getting fed. I was thoroughly over stir-fried green vegies in soy sauce so asked for something different in place of my seafood platter. Protein for dinner would have been a novelty! The chefs must have seen the slightly starving look in my eye (OK I was not starving after breakfast buffet cakes and afternoon cocktails, but I was seriously in need of decent dinner). They ended up doing lovely spring rolls, a tofu coconut soup and tamarind tofu and vegies. It was delicious. The others did well with chicken things on sticks (and dipping sauce that made the kids excited), giant prawns, crispy skin fish and mussels. There was also enough salad and bread to feed several small countries.
With nice food, some very strong cocktails – the waitress seemed sympathetic to my over-tired parent in need of alcohol look and made them super strong for us – and beautiful views, it was a pleasant evening! Even if the kids didn’t want to sit still. They didn’t end up falling in the pool though so we were doing well.
Most of the other nights of our stay we headed down to the beach to one of the pubs and beach restaurants. Unlike in Khao Lak, there was less choice. There were 3 options within walking distance There were several options in town, including the fisherman’s village on Friday nights, which is supposed to excellent, but we weren’t keen on taking the kids in taxis without car seats . We tried one restaurant on my birthday and the food was OK, nice and cheap but there were no cocktails and everything vegetarian kept appearing with prawns, so I didn’t get the most awesome dinner. We did get amazing sunset views and there were dogs to entertain the kids (who were being totally feral that night) so it wasn’t a total loss.
For our next beach adventure we headed to Beryl’s Bar. It was slightly further to walk but had a good menu (still no cocktails) and we ended up with masses of really good food (there was even a vegetarian option that contained something other than green vegies. The bonus was that Beryl’s had a donkey, several suncure parrots, a budgie, some dogs, cats, and a huge fish with amazing markings……… and a back-flipping squirrel! The kids had a ball. Oh and there wan an amazing sunset. Of course that was the night that Anto had convinced me not to take the camera! We had intended to go back another night but didn’t end up making it so no pictures of the back-flipping squirrel, sadly. It was certainly a novel dinner experience though.
The other nights we did beach dinners we headed to PJs Bar, which was between Beryl’s and our hotel. It was a slightly more upmarket environment than Beryl’s, and nicer views out onto the beach. The food was also really good, and they had great cocktails. The kids really enjoyed it there (the undivided attention of the staff helped). They could also run and play on the beach while waiting for dinner.
There wasn’t a back-flipping squirrel but there was a cute squirrel with it’s own little sleeping hammock that kept the kids entertained. There was also an adorable (and tiny) 6 week old puppy that Astrid thought was fabulous. The kids seemed to think a variety of animals to play with should be the standard for dinner entertainment.
A few nights before we headed home we decided we were over Thai food and opted to have one of the beach buffets at the resort. This was the dinner option they offered aside from the pub restaurant or the fine dining restaurant. Some of the nightly buffets were really expensive but that night it was a pasta buffet and was not too awfully priced so we went along for something different. It was much smaller than the similar buffets we had done at the Khao Lak resort but the food was really good, lots of options for everyone, lovely freshly cooked pasta, lasagne, salads, pizza and heaps of calamari that Soren went nuts over. Astrid and I were also a bit partial to the freshly cooked pineapple fritters. There was a nice sunset (as we’d come to expect) and it turned out to be a good dinner option for something a little different.
As you can see we didn’t starve to death in our week (these pictures are only a fraction of the food, and drinks!). The swim-up bars got a good workout during happy hour and we managed to graze on snacks all day long. We were looking forward to not having to go out for dinner though, and something other than 9 million options for breakfast every morning. Oh how hard it is after only 16 days away!
I’ll wrap up our holiday in the next post with some more pics and a review of the resort and a little about our trip home.