As you’ve probably already worked out – I love food. I love good food even more. So when it came to choosing the destination for our holiday it was a key factor. Malaysia itself is renowned for delicious street food and we did take the opportunity to discover some of the local flavours, but that’s a blog post for another time.
Many people hear all-inclusive resort, or buffet dining and think immediately of sub-standard salad bars, overcooked meat and mass-produced dishes with little flavour. Indeed I have visited resorts that take this approach to food. Club Med Cherating Beach is not one of them.
The breakfast buffet was plentiful and offered a staggering amount of variety. Traditional Asian breakfast options complemented the Western-style hot food selection, with beef bacon the only nod to local customs. Ever-changing omelettes cooked fresh to order were a real highlight as was the incredible selection of freshly baked breads (seaweed bread, anyone?). Fruit, yoghurt, cold meats and salads also featured but for me, the real standout was the French-inspired pastry buffet. Almond brioche, sugar brioche (even an experimental mocha brioche), croissants, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins – all of my French bakery favourites right at my fingertips every morning. And the best part – they were all in miniature, meaning no tough decisions necessary.
Lunch tends to be the least impressive meal in Club Med, but I was pleasantly surprised. Daily specials at each of the Asian corners were sure to delight. Everything from Japanese tempura to Korean bibimpap; Chinese noodles to Indian curries (caution – very hot!) – we truly were spoilt for choice. Beautiful cold buffet items offered a myriad of fresh flavours and vibrant colours, whilst the salad bar provided more than ample opportunity for guilt alleviation. Local and international speciality dishes were a permanent fixture with everything from beef rending and laksa to roasted quail and steak béarnaise on offer.
But the real shining star was dinner. Every evening plays to a different theme such as Ocean Delights, Chef’s Table and the Red Buffet. All were exquisite and we found ourselves having to share speciality dishes between 3 in order to have enough room to taste everything! Top quality sushi, sashimi, carpaccio were regulars, and Moroccan tagines had our mouths watering. Steak with Bordelaise sauce, salmon with confit potatoes and magret de canard were just a few examples of the fine French-style cuisine. But it was the foie gras served with apple tatin and toasted brioche that truly stole our hearts and enchanted our tastebuds.
Have you ever had an exceptional experience with buffet-style food?