Australia has long been hailed as the epicenter of the BBQ. Unfortunately I feel that the title is under threat from our Asian counterparts, especially countries like Thailand. With just as much fresh local seafood and drastically reduced labour cost, the beach side BBQ in the Gulf of Thailand is a sight to behold. Before you think I am not comparing apples with apples don’t forget that I spent over 6 year in Port Douglas which is one of Australia’s premier tropical beach destinations.
The reason is simple. Less government interference. A beach side BBQ should be on, or right next to, the beach. On Koh Phangan you are right there with white sand between your toes. Alas, in Port Douglas you have miles of red tape to cross which, more often than not, leaves you high and dry and unable to see the beach.
The balance needs to be there but while the Thai’s tend to be too lax we are far too rigid in our approach of stopping all access to the beach. No cold sunset beers on Four Mile Beach without breaking the law! Crazy, right?
Enough of that, lets talk about what can be found here on the Gulf of Thailand. Wooden boats packed with ice then loaded with such thing as huge king prawns, snapper, sea bass, blue swimmer crabs, whole squid and, of course, whole lobster. All ready to be freshly cooked right in front of you.
The fires are right there as well with a cluster of chefs waiting to cook that special meal. The tables are immaculately set along the beach to watch all the cooking action unfold. Don’t think for a minute that this is reserved for 5* luxury either. Almost any hotel will have the same set up. Prices may differ, so shop around, but all the seafood is super fresh. No big fish markets here but all sold off the boat each day as the catch comes ashore.
Certainly it is one of my favourite ways to spend the evening with the family. The only trouble is working out which BBQ to choose for the nights meal. What’s your favourite BBQ?