Thursday, 13 September 2012

Luna Lounge

Nat and Khun did a good job with the Luna Lounge. They organized the building of an impressive round-thatched bar with water features and comfortable sofas and attempted to bring a bit of sophistication to TNP. At the time it was built (2008) it was in competition with Que Pasa at the back of the village of Thong Nai Pan Noi. Que Pasa closed and for a while Luna Lounge was the only high-end restaurant / bar in Thong Nai Pan Noi village.

Luna Lounge represents how Thong Nai Pan Noi is changing. It catered not for cost conscious backpackers but for those with plenty of money to spend on wine, cocktails and ‘fusion’ dishes. Phad Thai was out and coconut pannacotta was in.

The other interesting thing about Luna Lounge is how well the bar networked. Not only were many of the early customers friends of friends but also they were milked for Trip Advisor recommendations. I have to admit I hate Trip Advisor. They take other people’s content and make money from it. They parade an authority that simply is not there. Because several people wrote in recommending Luna Lounge it became ‘the best restaurant in Koh Phangan’.

I guess the people who have dined at the Rasananda ‘Michelin trend’ restaurant, at Chantara Restaurant at Santhiya, at the BBQ at Tapan Noi or even the hole-in-the-wall place on Walking Street in Thongsala were just never asked to tell Trip Advisor about it. Luna Lounge appeals to a certain type, the same type who pays any attention to Trip Advisor.

Now the restaurant has passed into new hands. They have a new website. It’s no longer Now it’s Don’t worry there is a re-direct so you can’t miss the website. The new people renting the bar are Fred and Cathy. They have gone for an impressive wine list and stuck with the Asian Fusion culinary theme. There’s BBQ fish, orange and ginger duck, pesto and roasted vegetable pasta, Phi Phi chicken and, surprisingly enough, Pad Thai. The website doesn’t give the prices but I bet it’s not 40 Baht!

Anyway, best of luck to Fred and Cathy. If any beach in Koh Phangan needed a Luna Lounge then it was Thong Nai Pan Noi. They are a good match; but so are Better Than Sex and TNP.