Thursday nights are fire show nights at Buri Rasa Village’s restaurant on the beach in Thong Nai Pan Noi on Koh Phangan Island.
We went this last Thursday and ordered Caesar salad with prawns (320 THB) and grilled duck breast with curry sauce and sweet potato fritter (450 THB). This was accompanied with white and red wine by the glass (120 THB per glass). The duck breast was very good with a light red curry sauce and a pineapple reduction to accompany a tower of roast potato slices topped with a sweet potato fritter in light breadcrumb. The Caesar salad was fine, but we felt a little more salty than we would have liked. Thai restaurants appear to have difficulty in getting the seasoning correct for Western style salads and despite the slight over salting of the dish we found it amongst the better Caesar salads we have tried in Thailand.
To go with dinner, which opted to eat at a table on the beach rather than one in the restaurant itself, the house band played English and French language covers. We think the two musicians were French, the lady singer had a European accent and the gentleman who accompanied her played an array of instruments including jazz flute, saxophone and guitar and displayed more than a hint of Gallic swagger.
At around 9pm the fire show started. For those of you not familiar with a Thai fire show, they involve metal poles with tightly wrapped cloth at each end, which is then dipped in petrol. These are then ignited and spun to create trails of lights on a dark night. The various performers (a girl and two boys) span double ended batons, lit balls on chains and double sticks. The crescendo of the 30 minute show was the lighting of the Buri Rasa sign and a Catherine wheel type effect with sparks flying off the lit batons. This final trick was done far from the dining tables by the water’s edge as the sparks flew upwards of 10 metres in a semi-circle around the performer, who appeared to be (remarkably) safe from the sparks. Neat trick and we imagine he got his hair burnt a few times perfecting this one.
All in all, it was a good night out. The level of culinary skill on display at ‘luxury’ hotels in Koh Phangan is definitely improving and it was interesting to see this new type of restaurant food accompanied by something that has become a tradition for Koh Phangan – fire dancing. The food is now nearly as good as the fire twirling.