Hello! I’m back from 8 days in Phuket and man, am I relaxed! It’d been ages since we last went on a proper family vacation and I must say it was exactly what I needed. As much as I love everything I do at the moment, it was good to take a break from work, blogging, crafting and karate, as well as the day-to-day routine that is part of motherhood.
We chose to go to Phuket as it was somewhere we’d never been to but had always meant to visit. We found an amazing 8-night accommodation deal in The West for a lovely new resort in Phuket (sorta) so my husband and I jumped on it. In retrospect we should have looked at exactly where this luxury resort was located: it was in the next province! All we could focus on was the lovely big pool and the free spa treatments. Yes!
With so much going on in our lives, we actually weren’t looking forward to the trip as May rolled around. We chose the most inconvenient Jetstar flight imaginable but fortunately our kids sleep very well on planes. I don’t, but I stopped being picky about the quality of sleep I get ages ago. My husband just put on his noise-cancelling headphones and made do with his predicament of sleeping in a chair that reclined 10 degrees at most.
Once we arrived at our resort and sorted the last of the niggling issues with checking in, we swiftly adapted to being on vacation: cocktails and pizza at the swim-up pool bar, massages in beach huts, and most importantly, not having to worry about anything other than what we might want to do the next day.
We probably could have happily spent our full 8 days at the resort but we already knew during the one and a half hour ride from the airport that we’d want to spend a few nights closer to the heart of Phuket since it was our first visit. Much to the distress of the reception staff at Mai Khao Lak Resort, we checked out early after our fourth night. We assured them it wasn’t them, it was us.
Anyway, what I will say of Khao Lak is that it’s a beautiful and relatively untouched part of Thailand. It’s the perfect destination for people who are over the hubbub of Patong Beach and having to share their bit of sand with surfers and washed up bits of rubbish. The resort was very nice too although the staff could have been given refresher about why Thailand is called the Land of Smiles. Mind you, dealing with an endless stream of Aussies seeking a cheap holiday isn’t much to smile about…
I have to commend the resort for having a really good breakfast buffet. No shortage of food nor variety thereof! Every morning I enjoyed a Thai Iced Coffee which I missed greatly when we moved hotels. I drove past many iced coffee vendors along the streets of Phuket but never actually got to have one :( Something to do next time I guess.
Once back home, I read up on Thai coffee (or Oliang) and found out that it’s not straight, 100% coffee but a blend of coffee beans, soy beans, corn and sesame. No wonder it had a certain flavour to it! On a whim I decided to throw together those ingredients and make up my own Oliang mix, hoping to recapture that amazing taste. I got pretty close but I couldn’t quite get the depth of coffee flavour. I remedied that by adding some instant coffee towards the end of the brew. Not bad!
I’m heading over to Sydney next week and planning to raid Miracle Supermarket at World Square of all sorts of Japanese and Asian food/ingredients. I’ll see if they sell Oliang just to get a better idea of how it should taste. For those curious to try something new, the blend below wasn’t too far off the mark :)
Thai Iced Coffee (Oliang)
50g coffee beans (preferably Asian/Indonesian for authentic taste)
25g corn (dried for popping)
20g soy bean
5g white sesame
sweetened condensed milk to taste
evaporated milk to taste
To Make: Roast corn and soy beans on a frypan on low heat, shaking occasionally. Once lightly browned, turn off heat and add sesame. The heat coming off the corn and soy beans is enough to get the sesame toasty. Allow to cool before adding with coffee to the TMX bowl (or food processor). Mill the ingredients on Speed 10 for 30 seconds until a coarse powder if formed. Store mixture in an air-tight container.
To brew, add two tablespoons of the mixture to the TMX bowl (or use your favourite method of brewing coffee) and 300g of water. Heat on 80C for 10 minutes on Speed 1. When finished, pour the coffee through a fine sieve, coffee filter or muslin directly into a heatproof mug or glass. You can already add condensed milk to the mug/glass before pouring the hot coffee. Stir well then transfer to a serving glass filled with ice cubes to chill. Add more condensed milk to taste or top with evaporated milk, also to taste.