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Chef’s recipes, gourmet restaurants, exotic flavours, even street food

A Delicious Christmas and New Year in Phuket

in Destinations/Dining by

You’ve come to Phuket for the sun, the emerald ocean, the fabulous nightlife and your luxurious villa. But did you know that you can also enjoy decadent Christmas and New Year feasts outside your villa? If you want to step out on Christmas or New Year instead of letting your in-villa chef create a magical meal for you, we give you the lowdown on the best that the island has to offer. Ask the Elite Concierge to book a table for you at the earliest.


Café del Mar Phuket is a classy outpost of Ibiza’s world-famous venue. Located at the northern end of Kamala Beach, with beach cabanas and great beats, it is a place to see and be seen at. The club offers a Christmas Eve Scandinavian Dinner by Chef Daniel Isberg with the first seating at 6-8:30pm and the second group at 8:30-10:30pm. The menu includes breads, cheese, seafood such as Smoked Salmon, Gravlax, and Home-Smoked Prawns, as well as salads including Potato and Red Beet. Meats like Christmas Ham, Roast Beef, Swedish Meatballs, and desserts such as cheese, Brownies and Candies complete the meal. The price for adults is THB 1950 while the price for children 12 and below is THB 750.

A fabulous New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner buffet comes out to THB 9950 per person including half a bottle of champagne or 2 persons at THB 21900 including one bottle of house wine and one bottle of Taittinger champagne or 4 persons at THB 49990 including including one bottle of house wine, one bottle of Taittinger champagne, and one bottle of house spirits. The buffet includes cold cuts, caviar, Caesar salad, parma ham, lobster, oysters, smoked crab, smoked salmon, sushi, sashimi, lamb chops, pork chicken, mussels, scallops, prawns, barracuda, Alfredo and Bolognese pasta, prime rib, duck a l’orange and a whole lot more.


Catch Beach Club in Bangtao is enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike. Delicious food, good cocktails and a fantastic wine list are some of its top draws. International DJs spin by the swimming pool and keep you grooving to top beats all evening long. Catch celebrates with a Christmas Eve menu at THB 2,500++ per adult and THB 1,500++ per child.

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Chef du jour: Villa Chada

in Destinations/Dining by

Four stand-alone pavilions hug the edge of a cliff, standing tall against a stunning backdrop of the emerald-coloured Arabian Sea. Named after a Thai traditional ceremonial headdress, it is apt that Villa Chada’s interiors are adorned with Thai artefacts and curios, while the outdoors boast water features amidst lush tropical gardens. Stealing the show, a 16-metre freeform pool snakes around rocks and the large deck which is dotted with sun loungers. There’s plenty of space in its six ensuite bedrooms, some with astounding sea views, and others framing verdant gardens. Warm villa staff and an exceptional Villa Manager ensure that your every need is met.

Grand, yet surprisingly cosy, the villa’s enchanting rooms are distributed across pavilions, offering privacy and luxury. A haven ideal for relaxing, Villa Chada also has a path that leads down to a private beach where spectacular sunsets abound. But if you don’t want to make the effort, the master suite’s wraparound terrace offers the same enviable sunset hues, best enjoyed with a chilled beverage in hand.

The food at Villa Chada is every bit as exceptional as the residence itself. Here’s an excerpt from our talk with Chef Pu, who loves crafting delicious meals for the villa’s guests.

Elite Havens: What is your cooking background?

Chef Pu: Prior to working here, I was the in-villa chef at Villa One Waterfall Bay (another elite haven). I’ve also worked part-time at Restaurant Blue-Manow for many years.

EH: How did you learn how to cook?

CP: I gained valuable experience when I was a helper. The owner of the villa hired a chef to train me and my colleagues in the art of Thai and western cuisines. I consider myself very lucky to be given this opportunity.

EH: What qualities do you think mark a good chef?

CP: Paying attention to your cooking and loving what you do are the two most important qualities. Cleanliness is at the heart of cooking and so is punctuality – food must always be served on time and there shouldn’t be too much of a gap between courses.

EH: What did you cook for us today?

CP: Wing Beans Salad is on the menu today.

EH: Why did you choose to make this dish for us?

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Ultimate Christmas and New Year Feasts in Koh Samui

in Destinations/Dining by

Sun, sand, surf and an inspiring tropical vibe – Koh Samui is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Though your in-villa chef can prepare a memorable feast just for you, if you do decide to step out on Christmas or New Year’s Eve, we’ve hand-picked some of the best, most festive gatherings on the island.


Handcrafted cocktails, all-day dining and epic sunsets. Thus goes the tagline of The Social in Koh Samui, a relaxed and aesthetically-pleasing restaurant and beach club, located close to the airport. The Social Samui’s drink selection is often regarded as the best on the island. Sunset are also spectacular here, and the music is peppy. The Social will be offering a traditional Christmas dinner this year. Guests may choose from two available sittings: 12pm to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm. The three-course dinner is THB 1900 per person and includes Smoked Salmon Mousse, Traditional Roast Turkey, Slow Braised Beef Cheek, Herb Baked Sea Perch, Pig in Blankets, Traditional Christmas Pudding and Caramel Panna Cotta. Dinner with free-flowing wine, beer and select spirits costs THB 3200 per person.


Nikki Beach Koh Samui is renowned for its incredible food, cocktails, VIP experience and events. The beach club offers personal touches that are signature to the Nikki Beach lifestyle brand. You can relax on a sunbed, listen to music played by famous international DJs and live musicians and get lost in the heady tropical-island vibe of it all. Experience the best of the island this Christmas at Nikki Beach’s Christmas Eve Dinner that begins at 7pm. Enjoy a seafront Christmas supper with a fireshow and live music. The club’s Christmas Day Brunch begins at 11am the next day, and includes music and entertainment by resident DJs,

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Top 7 Fine Dining Restaurants in Phuket

in Destinations/Dining by

The best menus in Phuket can be found at these restaurants, all of which use only the finest and freshest ingredients. Whether you’re looking for an exquisite seafood dish or a perfectly-grilled steak, Thai or European food, you’ll have plenty to choose from.


The first and only restaurant in Phuket to receive a Michelin star, PRU restaurant at Trisara encourages a sustainable approach towards food. Chef Jimmy Ophorst and his team cultivate a close relationship with local suppliers, also growing vegetables and foraging local roots, flowers and herbs on their own farm. Dress up and go – expecting to be served multiple courses featuring seasonal ingredients. A dining experience par excellence.


An acronym of sassy, unique, authentic and yummy, Suay has garnered great acclaim for its skillful balance of Thai and western flavours. With two outlets on the island – one in Phuket Town and one in Cherngtalay, it is popular with discerning tourists as well as locals. Standout dishes include Foie Gras with Betel Leaves, Tom Yam Lobster Bisque, and Grilled Sous Vide Duck Breast in Hot Basil Sauce. Both restaurants are upmarket, yet cosy and intimate, with indoor and alfresco garden seating.

Siam Supper Club

Siam Supper Club is a chic bar and grill located near the entrance of Laguna. A great place to network and socialise, the dark wood walls and leather upholstery lend it a gentleman’s club vibe. Its long bar is usually packed, while soft jazz music plays in the background. Meats, fish and pizzas feature on the menu, hinting at an easygoing experience, despite the exclusive feel of the restaurant. A classy affair.

The Boathouse Restaurant 

Five different seating options at The Boathouse offer you the chance to decide whether you prefer a romantic sea view meal or an elegant dinner with live music within air-conditioned environs. Western and authentic Thai culinary traditions come together in a heady mix at The Boathouse. Healthy gourmet food featuring ingredients sourced locally is served with as much style as fresh seafood and prime cuts of meat.

Mom Tri

Mom Tri’s Kitchen and Mom Tri’s Wok Gallery Kitchen are designed to satisfy every food craving.

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The Best Afternoon Eats in Bali

in Destinations/Dining by

Hankering for a cup of coffee this afternoon? Or perhaps you’re looking for some delectable tapas to fulfil a craving? Prefer something more sensual and relaxed, like a French pastry? Look no further than our list of Bali’s top casual tea and coffee venues. These are the perfect places to head to when you aren’t quite ready for a heavy meal.


Bali might seem like an unlikely place to find great French pastries, but Rafi Papazian and Gregory Guerguerian profess that it was the creativity and passion they found in Bali that charmed them to stay and share their dream. It’s been 7 years since they decided to leave Paris and set up Monsieur Spoon on the Island of the Gods and they haven’t looked back since.


High tea and tarot card readings feature in this inspired 150-year old teak joglo that is part bookseller, part tea salon and part antique dealer. Biku has an incredible array of teas on offer along with old-school style classic dishes like scones with jam and cream and club sandwiches. Its the perfect spot for a cuppa and a slice of cake. Reservations recommended both for tables and tarot readings, via the Elite Concierge.


Folie claims to be ‘a love child between two grand food cultures, neither West nor East, but an attempt to discover something in between’. Chef Stephane Simond, who has experience in Michelin-starred restaurants, believes that a good chef must be obsessed with food. A gorgeous high tea setting with seriously good pastries.


Milk & Madu offers perfectly poached eggs for breakfast which can be paired with smoothies, freshly made juices or fantastic house-blended coffee, as well as juicy beef burgers, wraps, salads and healthy breakfast bowls packed with fruits, bee pollen and other delicious goodies. It’s mellow and oh-so-smooth.


Attention, macaron lovers. This pâtisserie satisfies your sweet tooth with macarons, croissants and all things French. Searching for baguettes? Look no further. Poule de Luxe has all that your heart desires. Everything is freshly baked each morning.


A favourite of many, it’s difficult to walk past Kim Soo and not be lured inside by the abundance of gorgeous homeware items on display.

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