Parents often struggle to find things to do for their children on Samui, an island that is not exactly set up for youngsters, and no doubt quite often parents would like to kick back and relax and have a few beers but perhaps feel that being in a pub is a little unfair on young children. Persuading kids to be well behaved in a restaurant while Mum and Dad enjoy a quiet meal can also be a bit of a challenge. There is nothing very relaxing about having to constantly keep an eye on your kids when you are enjoying a drink or two but the great news, for parents and kids, is that there is not only a solution to this problem but a really fantastic one.
So what is this solutio, well it’s the Chai Dee Restaurant in Plai Leam, that is no ordinary restaurant. What you will find here, if you go past the turning for the Big Buddha and take the little road that comes up on the left 700 meters later is a little lane that leads to something very special indeed. As you arrive at the Chai Dee restaurant, you will see the ocean to your left and some parking to the right. You will then notice a giant trampoline, a kiddies play house and then what looks like just a delightful restaurant with a nice water feature, next to a lovely traditional Thai house that is over fifty years old and some lovely gardens. However on closer inspection you will find this deliciously secret spot is something of a menagerie. You will be greeted with a little chirpy hello as you walk into the restaurant across the little bridge that goes over the pond full of fish, but not from a human. This warm welcome comes from five year old Dundee, the cockatoo! This delightful bird will not only say hello but allow you to rub his head, do a little dance with you and show off his bright yellow plume, while this is going on you may well hear an even smaller hello from Rock or Roll the two gorgeous little minor birds in the next cage. Cage I hear you saying? Birds in a cage? Never fear, owners Dee and Aa only cage the birds for a short time a day, and give them all the freedom they like the rest of the time. Also near the entrance to Chai Dee is a rather gorgeous Blue Indian Roller Bird that was hand reared by a neighbor. Step into the restaurant and you will meet the budgerigars and then perhaps Bacon the friendly little pig will scamper past your feet.
Outside in the extensive garden you will find three bunny rabbits, meet Sugar, Cheese and Waffle the goats, get up close and personal with ducks and chickens and then meet a fascinating family of sugar gliders that are part of the kangaroo family. What is great about Chai Dee is that there is so much room for kids to explore, run around and interact with the animals who are all very tame and very friendly. There are no roads to worry about and if the adults themselves can tear themselves away from the adorable animals the great restaurant that serves beers, cocktails and some amazing food.
All of the food at Chai Dee is homemade from scratch. Open from 9am you can start your day with a classic English breakfast, a healthy breakfast, American style pancakes with bacon or ham, butter and maple syrup, a Pancake Parfait, The Alps – crisp and fluffy French toast triangles dusted with powdered sugar, butter and maple syrup served with either bacon or ham, a Belgian breakfast, a Jersey breakfast or omelets.
Later on you can enjoy fresh Caesar salad, Asian shrimp Salad, a California Club Sandwich , Tuna salad, Nachos, schnitzel, spaghetti a la Dee Dee made with Dee’s rich and hearty family recipe sauce, seafood scampi or if you are really hungry the heart attack burger. There is a superb range of Thai food that you can learn to make yourself if you book up for one of their cooking classes. And if you fancy something really special then tuck in to some amazing homemade sushi from the extensive menu. For smaller mouths there is a great kids menu and for older tastes some amazing frozen cocktails and ice cold beers as well as fruit juices and fruit shakes.
Chai Dee is a magical place for kids and for adults and there is going to be some serious fun to be had there on Halloween when it will transform into a haunted garden and around Christmas when it will transform into a tropical winter wonderland, just ever so slightly warmer!
Dee and Ae are the most welcoming hosts and will enthrall you with the stories of where all of their animals came from. It is worth nothing that this wonderful couple will take in any animals (other than dogs and cats that they already have an abundance of) if their owners cannot take care of them and are on the lookout for a small cow and a pony.
Dee and Ae are also embarking on a kids evening club with a big screen TV and soft cushions so kids can enjoy a fun filled movie nights giving their parents a much needed night off for some adult time, so do get in touch if that sounds of interest to you.
Please remember that good food takes time so if you are in a hurry or arriving as part of a large group do call ahead on 088451 8117, you can also call this number if there is something you want to eat that is not on the menu, just let Dee know a day in advance and she will cook up the meal of your dreams.
Chai Dee is the perfect place to relax, get away from it all, enjoy some wonderful food and and hospitality and give your kids an experience they will want to enjoy over and over again.
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