Surrounding me and my partner were scores of tourists from all around the world who have spent their whole year dreaming of relaxing by the beach in Thailand.
But for us lucky expats in Phuket, all the sun, fun and glamour of a tropical beach club is just a 20-minute drive from home.
I mulled this pleasant thought over as I scanned Coast’s menu. I was sorely tempted to try one of their amusingly named signature burgers, the “High-So Heart Attack”.
With Australian Wagyu beef, foie gras, brie, arugula and tomato relish, it certainly sounded like it would deliver on its promise!
But fighting against my baser instincts, I decided to go for something a bit lighter, remembering that I might actually want to take a dip in the pool at some stage that day.
So to start off we ordered a fetta and olive salad – a colourful mix of grilled bell peppers, kalamata olives, house-made sundried tomatoes, with fetta cheese and crunchy toasted bread.
Along with this we had a salad of chicken breast marinated in dukkah spice with chickpeas, roasted vegetables and lettuce. Both these dishes were a perfect light starter, with plenty of fresh veggies, just the thing for a hot day.
On the chef’s recommendation we also tried the blue swimmer crab salad with lemon mayo, avocado, sundried tomato and pomelo – this was a revelation, with the citrus of the pomelo and lemon drawing out the flavour of the crab and the avocado helping to blend it all into one creamy, delicious mouthful… it was superb.
For mains I decided to knock it up a notch with some juicy lamb chops, they came served with cross-cut fries and a delicate thin gravy that doubled-down on the delicious lamb flavour.
Trimmed of all the fat, it was like eating a lamb lollipop and surely a bit healthier than your average marbled steak.
My partner had the sea bass with crispy pan-fried skin, served on creamed pumpkin with sautéed vegetables.
The flaky fish was also superb and I’m not sure what else was in the pumpkin but its sweet mildly spiced flavour was perfect for the dish.
By this stage my aforementioned plan for a swim was in more and more doubt as I finished off every morsel of food, along with some of the complimentary crispy pizza-base bread served with an addictively salty anchovy tapenade.
So we decided to threw caution too the wind and ordered some desserts.
I had the chocolate rum pop, a ball of intensely rich chocolate flavoured with dark rum and roasted nuts, topped off with a syringe full of rum – to finish you off, just in case the chocolate didn’t!
My partner went for the much lighter mango tiramisu – the perfect tropical take on the classic Italian dessert and filled with incredible sweet chunks of ripe mango.
After this tour-de-force meal we were happy to make use of one of Coast’s many comfy sunbeds and lay like lizards warming themselves in the sun.
Despite our extensive meal, I was impressed with the reasonable prices at Coast, most of their dishes hover around the B300-B400 mark, making it surprisingly good value for money, especially if you plan to stay a while and take a dip in the pool or ocean.
In fact, we decided on the spot to sign up for a Coast Beach Club membership – which for just B2,500 a year comes with some fantastic discounts and inclusions.
You get a 25% on the already reasonable priced food and beverages, full use of the pool and sunbeds, and they even give you a B2,000 voucher, so the membership is almost free!
There are a bunch of other inclusions as well depending on your level of membership – but it’s a fantastic deal and perfect for expats who want to get out of their condo or apartment and enjoy a bit of five-star luxury by the beach on the weekends.
For more information visit: http://www.coast-beach-club.com/phuket/