The most enjoyable dining experiences are all about feeling comfortable in your surroundings. Some restaurants offer great food amidst fabulous décor but you never feel fully relaxed there. Whilst in others, not only is the cuisine superb, but you also feel totally at home the moment you arrive. And one such place is Banana Fan Sea Resort’s beachside signature restaurant – the excellent Baitong.
The resort is just about in the middle of Chaweng Beach so there can’t be an easier place to get to or find anywhere on the island. And you can reach Baitong either by taking the short stroll from the beach road via the resort, or by merely popping in from the beach itself. Friendly-faced staff will greet you at every turn so you never get the feeling that you’re intruding in this place! And having a magnificent beach frontage, complete with a long line of swaying palm trees, just about every dining table is the perfect one!
There’s ample space for 40 diners inside the attractive open-sided restaurant next to the large swimming pool, with room for 16 more along the smart terra-cotta tiled open-air terrace overlooking the beach, and seating for another 40 on the pristine sand itself. But if you’re there with the person of your dreams and wish to enjoy the romantic ‘Candlelight Dinner’ of a lifetime, then a special table can be set-up on the beach within a heartshape of candle-lanterns with a choice of two fabulous 5-course set-meals (including sparkling wine) – just let the restaurant know the day before and they’ll even help out with any novel proposal ideas!
But although Baitong is a very romantic restaurant, with its assortment of hanging lanterns and soft-lighting and various cosy spots, it’s also an ideal venue to take children to, where they can safely play in the soft sand whilst the parents can enjoy a bottle of wine (or two!) just a metre or so away.
“…and having a magnificent beach frontage, complete with a long line of swaying palm trees, just about every dining table is the perfect one!”
Pretty much all tastes are catered to here, as Baitong provides the very best of both Thai and European cuisine (there’s a good vegetarian selection too). And with the award-winning Thai executive chef, Komsan Choydiros (informally known as Chef Uki), leading the talented kitchen brigade, it’s no surprise!
A great way to start off any Thai dining experience is by having the classic hot and spicy, sour and aromatic prawn soup – Tom Yom Goong, and that’s very much the case at Baitong too, as they serve an incredibly tasty one. And although their range of Thai curries are definitely worth writing home about, for a main course Chef Uki personally recommends (and rightly so) the Baked Sea Bass Banana Fan Sea Style – which is a whole sea bass wrapped in banana leaf with chopped garlic, pepper, lemongrass, sweet basil leaves and oyster sauce served with barbecue sauce, tartar sauce and lime chili sauce.
If you’re in the mood for non-Thai cuisine, then the Baked (New Zealand) Mussels with spinach, garlic, creamy cheese sauce and garlic bread is a great choice for starters before moving on to the highly recommended main course Salmon Teriyaki – grilled salmon served with mashed potato, wasabi, leek, asparagus, baby carrots, tomato and edamame beans with a homemade teriyaki sauce.
“… and although Baitong is a very romantic restaurant, it’s also an ideal venue to take children to.”
And for dessert, both the New York Cheesecake topped with blueberry sauce, and the Brownie à La Mode – moist chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice-cream, chocolate syrup and assorted nuts – are just about perfect dishes for ending up a tropical meal on the beach.
In addition to the marvelous à la carte menu that’s available seven days a week, every Monday it’s Thai Buffet Night. And that’s when you can tuck into a whole host of this nation’s favourite dishes for a set price (there’s Thai dancing which starts around 8:00 pm to accompany it too).
Each Thursday there’s an International BBQ Buffet with the entertainment alternating weekly between a fire dance and a ladyboy cabaret (telephone for details). And six nights a week there’s a resident singer/guitarist who plays a stunning range of favourites – both old and new – and particularly likes playing requests so have a few ready to test him!
A wide selection of wines, spirits and fresh juices, plus delightfully friendly staff are even more reasons for coming to Baitong. Another huge one is the extremely reasonable prices. And it’s a combination of all of the above that makes this restaurant such a good one, and definitely one in which you’ll feel very much at home – and for this special reason, Baitong comes highly recommended!
Baitong is open from 7:00 – 10:30 am for breakfast, from 11:00 am for lunch and from 6:30 pm for dinner (kitchen closes at 10:30 pm). For reservations and further information, telephone 0 7741 3483-6.