My Highlight of Phuket: A Cooking Class to Remember!

If you couldn't tell by my multiple pictures of food and specific food-related posts - I am a huge foodie and Thai cuisine is my ultimate favourite in the whole world.
I knew during my second visit to Thailand I wanted to do a local cooking class and learn how to make some of my all-time fave dishes.

Doing some research, when I came across Kata Thai Cooking by Sally in Phuket, I knew I had found the one! For starters, one of their slogans is 'Food Coma' hahaha.
Seriously though, this was my favourite day of my week in Phuket; we went to a local market, I was made to eat bugs (ew!), I tried so many local delicacies and then back in class I learnt how to whip up first-hand three dishes: Red Curry, Pad Kra Prow and Pad Thai.

It was a fantastic and informative class that I will never forget! Sally was an absolutely fantastic (and patient) teacher and her humour and good nature was the icing on top.
Read on to hear all about the superb cooking class in detail:

The Classroom

I arrived at Kata Thai Cooking Class at 3:30 PM on a Saturday for the dinner with market tour session. It was easy to find and well signposted at the front of the building.

Inside, the classroom was spacious, bright, well-decorated and clean. I already knew it was going be a great class by the vibrant atmosphere and how well set-up and organised the room was.

Everything was all laid out and prepared for the lesson ahead. I was the only one there so far and was warmly greeted and given a cold bottle of water (which was very welcome).

We waited for a while for two others who had booked to show up but they never did, so I basically got my own private cooking class!

Market Visit

Sally and I jumped into her car and we went to a local market about ten minutes drive away.
We started by walking through the fruit and vegetable sections where I got quizzed on my shocking knowledge of the names of them!
We also went through the different parts of meat, fish, many spices and common ingredients. As we went Sally picked up different fresh bits we needed for our class.

Next, we passed by the uh, local 'delicacies' section. We started at a table full of different bugs like crickets, silk worms and frogs. Sally said the silk worms were her favourite and I was peer-pressured into trying one! It wasn't as bad as I thought, just the idea of it of course. I also nibbled on a frog leg which was crunchy and salty (I had tried it once before).

I also got to try a bunch of other Thai snacks at the many market stalls. We tried fried chicken, salmon and egg-white mousse crackers and a very spicy and delicious rice dish.

I hadn't tried or even heard of half of the fruit I was shown so Sally picked some up for me to try. Back in the classroom, she chopped up for me: farang, custard apple and starfruit.

Time to Cook

As I was the only student I luckily got to choose the dishes I wished to make. I picked three of my favourites Red Curry, Pad Kra Prow (Thai Basil Chicken) and Pad Thai.
We started with preparing all of the ingredients for the red curry paste. I loved learning all about each fresh ingredient as at home half of them come in jars.

I was shown first how to chop, slice and dice each ingredient and then did it all myself (a lot more slowly!). I am a complete novice at cooking but Sally and her lovely assistants were very patient with me.

After everything was prepared it was time to turn the heat up. We started with the Red Curry and Pad Kra Prow.  Again, I was shown first exactly how to make it and then got to do it all myself (which is the best way for me to learn). 
I somehow managed to burn my Red Curry and accidentally put a tablespoon of soy sauce instead of a teaspoon into my Pad Kra Prow (doh!) but they both still ended up tasting good.

I got to sit down and enjoy the first two dishes with freshly made rice and it was quite a feast. I got to make my Red Curry super spicy, just the way I like it - it was sublime!
I only had a small portion of each as I still had the Pad Thai to come.

I was most excited to learn how to make this dish, as I love it so much. Watching Sally first was a joy, she is such a pro at cooking and makes it look very easy. When it came to my turn I'm afraid I failed miserably, I just couldn't do it fast enough.

Once the ingredients go in one at a time you have to scoop, turn and scoop so quickly to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

I got there eventually (with Sally's help!) and sat down to eat it, still pretty proud of myself. It might not have been as pretty as Sally's one but I made it myself and that's something!

Just to cap off already a fantastic class we finished with my all-time favourite Thai dish - Mango Sticky Rice! I got to see how the rice is steamed in a traditional basket and learnt the ingredients for it. It was the perfect way to end and of course, I had room to eat all of that one. 😋

The leftovers were packaged up for me to have for lunch the next day. I also got to keep my chef's bandana as a souvenir and all of the recipes in detail were emailed to me.
Feeling extremely full and satisfied I was even dropped off to my hotel by Sally herself.
She was so generous and warm and I absolutely loved my class with her.

The Details

Cooking Class: Kata Thai Cooking by Sally

Times: Two classes run six days a week from Monday - Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Lunch classes start at 11 AM and dinner classes at 3:30 PM as it includes a market tour beforehand (except for Wednesdays, which starts at 4 PM).
Classes run between 2.5 - 4 hours.

Recipes: The recipes include three popular main Thai dishes and are different every cooking session, so choose the day depending on what you would prefer to make.

Location: 5 Ket Kwan Road, Karon, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100

Reviews: 5/5 stars out of 702 reviews on Trip Advisor and is #1 for Food & Drink in Phuket.

Price: Lunch and Wednesday dinner class 1,900 THB ($56 USD), Dinner class with market tour 2,200 THB ($65 USD).

Final Thoughts

Kata Thai Cooking Class by Sally is a definite must-do if you are in Phuket and love Thai cuisine. The class is so informative, fun, easy-going and would suit a wide range of people, from solo-travellers like me, to friends, families and couples.
Sally has been running her school for six years and is an absolute expert in her field. She is an incredible chef and her classes are very well organised. From start to finish, there was a perfect balance of verbal teaching and hands on learning, as well as a multitude of great tips and important facts about Thai cuisine and cooking.

I learned so much that day and it was a class I will remember forever. The dishes made were all excellent quality and delicious, I can't wait to impress the socks off my family and friends when I get back home!
I would 100% recommend this class to anyone visiting, even if you have no cooking skills whatsoever (cough, me), you will still have a fantastic time.
If I am ever back in Phuket I would do this class again in a heartbeat.
Thank you so much to Sally and her team for having me, it was a real pleasure.

Happy Travels,
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A perfect stay at BYD Lofts, Phuket

My very first time in Phuket kicked off to a fantastic start staying at BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel & Serviced Apartments for three wonderful nights.
I could not have been more impressed by my elegant apartment suite, the friendly service and amazing food. If you are wanting to stay in the Patong Beach area then you honestly should not stay anywhere else (they are after all rated the number one hotel on Trip Advisor in Patong for a reason!).

First Impressions

The first thing I noticed was how gorgeous this hotel complex is. Spread over three buildings down a quiet road, the design is totally chic and hip.
I instantly loved the environment; BYD Lofts is located in a peaceful area which is perfect for relaxing, yet it's only a few minutes walking distance to the world-famous Patong Beach and Bangla Road.

I was instantly warmly greeted and had my bags taken for me before entering the sophisticated reception area. The check-in process was smooth and I was presented with a cool towel and refreshing welcome drink.

I was personally shown to my room which was in another of their buildings across the road. It was located on the fourth floor and my jaw dropped when I saw my deluxe apartment, it was so large and absolutely gorgeous. I was shown around and introduced to the services provided by the hotel and then left to enjoy my room.

The Room

The lounge area was beautifully furnished with all the creature comforts of home. There was a large leather sofa with cushions, a lounger, a soft fluffy rug underneath the coffee table and a 42-inch LCD TV complete with a Surround Sound System and iPod docking station.

I loved the special touches on the coffee table including fresh flowers, a fruit platter, a personalised bottle of wine and reading magazines.

Through the sliding door was a spacious terrace with outdoor furniture. My balcony had a view overlooking the quiet street below and the main BYD Lofts building.

Next to the lounge, the European kitchen area was fully self-serviced with an oven, cooking appliances, chinaware, cutlery and even an espresso coffee machine. I was very impressed!

The full-sized fridge and freezer and counter next to it were conveniently stocked with a decent mini bar and complimentary bottled water.

Into the separate bedroom was a large and extremely comfortable bed with tasteful artwork set above. The linens were the highest quality 400-thread count Egyptian cotton, with down-feather duvet and pillows. Needless to say, I had the best three nights sleep there I've probably ever had!
A second widescreen TV was set on the wall opposite the bed and to the left was a double mirrored wardrobe.

Inside you could find an electronic safety box, iron and board, large umbrella, laundry bag, slippers and cosy bathrobes.

Also to the left was the beautiful marble ensuite bathroom. From the glass hand basin, fresh flowers, many mirrors, amazing toiletry amenities and large shower, this was one of the most elegant bathrooms I've ever been in. The towels were also incredibly soft, it was all incredibly luxurious.

Other features of the room included excellent high-speed Wifi, air conditioning, daily housekeeping and the ability to order services directly from and to your room (more details on those below).

Beyond the Room

On top of the main building was a rooftop swimming pool with great views of the surrounding mountains. The comfortable loungers were provided with sun umbrellas, a side-table and pool towels. It was a great place to relax, go for a dip and read a good book listening to the trickling waterfalls.

My own building I was staying in even had its own smaller swimming pool on the ground floor, just in-case you didn't feel like walking across the road!

One of my favourite things to do on a Thailand holiday is to get a relaxing traditional massage and at BYD Lofts you can order one via telephone and they come to you in the privacy of your own room. For only 500 THB ($15 US) it's an amazing price for such a convenience. You can also get a foot massage or oil massage if you choose.

Also via telephone or at their travel desk, the staff can easily organise popular shows and tours such as Phuket Fantasea, Phi Phi Island and James Bond day trips. All the information and prices can be found in your room.

On-site is Wine Connection, their own wine cellar. There you can purchase new and old international wines at wholesale prices with more than 1500 bottles to choose from.

They also offer airport pick up and taxi services, 24-hour room service, free private parking on-site, 24-hour security and CCTV, an art gallery and of course their multi cuisine restaurant and bar and bistro.

The Food

Daily breakfast is included in the room and has an impressive variety to cater for all kinds of tastes. You can order off a menu to be freshly made for you eggs how you like, pancakes and waffles. There is a large selection of hot local and western dishes which is changed daily for added variety.

There were also many cold options available such as fresh fruit, deli choices, cereals, bread and baked goods, iced water and juices. The coffee was made fresh for you from a machine and was superb.

I enjoyed mixing it up daily with a fresh omelette and hot options or a pancake which I filled with banana and Nutella! 😋

Breakfast is served in their main restaurant where they are open for lunch and dinner and have a large local and western menu with daily specials and a happy hour.

There is also a second bar and bistro located on the ground level of the building I was staying in so I enjoyed 2 for 1 cocktails and dinner there one evening.

The front of the building I stayed in with the bistro

Like the restaurant, the bistro was wonderfully decorated and had a very pleasant atmosphere. I very much enjoyed spending time there writing and working on my blog, sipping on a delicious cocktail and nibbling on the complimentary nuts.

On my final night, I had a delicious Thai red curry. It was served with rice and fresh bread with garlic butter. The curry was very nice, it just could have been a lot spicier for me (because I am a spice-freak). Overall, excellent food experiences and perfectly convenient. The bar staff too were always very attentive and keen for a chat.

The Details

Hotel: BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel & Serviced Apartments

Location: 62/8 Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road, Patong Beach, Kathu, Phuket 83150

Reviews: 5/5 stars out of 1910 reviews on Trip Advisor and is rated the #1 hotel out of 322 in Patong.

Price: Starts at $130 USD for a Deluxe Suite, depending on the season.

Final Thoughts

BYD Lofts was one of the most stylish and luxurious hotels I've stayed in. I would 100% stay again if I'm ever back in the Patong area and highly recommend it to others who are looking for a comfortable stay with excellent service and that little bit extra which always makes your stay all the more special.
They have a modern lifestyle message "Dare to be different" which is resonated throughout the hotel with their sleek chic design and artwork, giving wonderful splashes of colour.

The location is perfect, being only a few minutes walking distance from the beach, main shopping and nightlife areas.
There is a 7/11 convenience store only two minutes walk away and as a little tip, basically next door is an excellent local Thai food eatery if you want to eat out somewhere different. Called 'Mini Thai Restaurant' I noticed every time I walked past it was always packed with people so I decided to check it out one day and ended up going there very often for lunch (mango sticky rice!) or dinner (green curry and seafood fried rice in a pineapple!).

BYD Lofts is a perfect choice for those seeking a romantic getaway, families seeking some downtime and young-at-heart sophisticated travellers on a luxury getaway. As well as deluxe apartments they offer pool-access penthouses, two bedroom grand deluxe apartments and two bedroom penthouses.

My deluxe apartment was so tasteful and incredibly cosy, I was ecstatic with it. All of the personal touches, the friendliness of the staff, the relaxing environment, great services and delicious food made it an absolute pleasure to stay there. I cannot wait to return again!

If you would like to see a bit more I show a small apartment tour and around the hotel in the first part of my Phuket Travel Vlog for YouTube:

Happy Travels,
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Disclaimer: My stay was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions as always are my own.

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