Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Most of Phuket’s beach clubs throng the sands of the west coast, but O2 Beach Club is bucking the trend and bringing great food, music and beach-side fun to the southeast coast at its stylish venue near Chalong Pier.

Walking through the imposing ancient-style entrance gates, you enter a hidden oasis, the centerpiece of which is a huge jade-green swimming pool tempting you to dive right in before you even order your first cocktail.

Once you’ve cooled off in the pool, it’s time to grab a table or a beach chair and take in the serene view of Chalong Bay as you peruse the menu and order some appetizers and drinks to get you started. The share plate of crispy spring rolls, chicken satay skewers, krathong thong and larb gai will keep everyone happy, but if you want something a little different, I suggest you try the marinated duck breast salad with raspberry dressing, mixed leaves, avocado, snow peas, cherry tomatoes and papaya this eclectic salad is bursting with flavor and goes particularly well with a fresh fruit cocktail.

There’s no need to rush to the main course though, you can work up an appetite with a game of beach volleyball on the dedicated sand court, have another swim, or just laze on the sand and listen to the chilled-out beats while you work on your tan.

As night falls, O2 really starts to come to life, as resident DJs Ace NYC and DJ MGA spin the latest and greatest hip-hop, soul and party tracks. Bring your camera for some great shots of expert fire twirler Sompot’s dazzling act, performed right on the beach.

By now, you’ll have surely worked up an appetite, so it’s time to get stuck into something more substantial from the menu, and if burgers are your thing, then O2 has you covered. There’s beef, chicken, tuna, lamb and even veggie burgers to choose from. But for my money, it’s got to be the beef tenderloin steak sandwich – simplicity itself – a juicy steak with lettuce, tomato and grilled onions, topped with barbecue sauce inside a crunchy baguette.

Some beach clubs tend to get a bit pricey food-wise but the team at O2 have kept their food prices at sensible levels and you can get perennial favorites like basic pastas, caesar salad, green curry and pad Thai all for around 200 baht, while the burgers are all around 250 baht.

If you want to knock it up a notch, try the succulent "Mandalong Valley" lamb cutlets with cous cous vegetable caponata, melted haloumi and roast bell pepper infused lamb stock reduction. Or, this being a beach club after all, indulge in some seafood with the king scallop and streaky bacon brochette, that’s a skewer to you and me, with crisp calamari, spicy tomato salsa and roasted garlic aioli, all served over homemade squid ink pasta.

So if you want to kick off your high season with a bang, make sure you get down to O2’s "Hot Day’s, Cool Nights" season opening party on Saturday, November 30. Where there will free food and drink from 7-9pm and a great party atmosphere. But if you miss out, don’t worry, every week throughout the high-season there are different themed parties, all guaranteed to be fantastic fun.

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This article first appeared in the November 9-15 issue of the hard-copy Phuket Gazette newspaper. Digital subscribers may download the full issue, this week and every week, by clicking
here.
– Mark Knowles

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