PHUKET: The latest addition to the coffee shop scene in Kamala Beach, north of Phuket, is Live Present Moment. It stands out from the crowd with its original and charming decor and menu offering healthy Thai food, snacks, and all-day breakfast.
The proprietor Noppamas ‘Ae’ Mungwiriya explains that ‘Live’, which opened its doors a year ago, was created to serve the guests of its "bed and breakfast" upstairs. As residents from nearby villas and holidaymakers started to frequent the place, Live expanded its menu and evolved into the fully operational coffee shop-cum-wine lounge it is today.
Situated on the southern end of Kamala Bay and part of the Millionaire’s Mile, Live has a small terrace with a few tables for al-fresco
lunch or dining. Step inside and a chic interior reveals itself. Decorated in a brown color wash and filled with large comfortable sofas strewn with cushions, Live feels more like a stylish family home. The cafe also showcases unique furniture and ceramic dishes (both made in the family-owned studio in Chiang Mai, that can be ordered), and home accessories.
"I wanted to create a warm and homey environment offering healthy fusion food," explains Noppamas, who uses organic ingredients such as brown rice, vegetables and fresh seafood. She eschews MSG and uses very little sugar in her cooking.
The Live breakfast menu includes buttermilk pancakes served with fresh fruits (150 baht), and golden waffles and chocolate sauce (150 baht), all made with organic eggs. There is also an English-style full breakfast with eggs, beans, bacon and sausages.
As a healthy appetizer, we tried Noppamas’ own creation, the creamy cashew nut and sweet basil dip, accompanied by carrot and celery sticks. Who needs avocado-based guacamole when the local cashew nut yields equally rich and creamy substitution?
Next up was the signature dish, Vietnamese wraps (150/200 baht), featuring rice pancake rolls filled with fresh herbs, noodles and either BBQ chicken or prawns.
Sautéed Shitake mushrooms with chopped parsley and white wine (180 baht) was good on its own or either on brown toast. We particularly loved the laab
salmon (300 baht), which features chunky salmon pieces laced with lime dressing, mint, shallot and crispy rice.
Another take on Thai dish is the crispy tofu (150 baht), pan-fried (healthier than the usual deep fried) tofu pieces with peanut and coriander dip. All these were accompanied by the super healthy raw green smoothie, made from fresh fruits and spinach (no added sugar).
Also on the menu are the usual Thai fares of green curry, chicken or pork sate, and Pad Thai, the latter served in an omelet parcel topped with a few prawns.
To accompany the freshly brewed Chiang Mai coffee, Live stocks some delectable though not necessary healthy dessert such as homemade tiramisu (90 baht), panna cotta with blueberry or strawberry sauce (90 baht), and blueberry cheesecake (90 baht). Try also the Thai-style dessert of Banana in coconut cream (80 baht) and the well-loved national dessert sticky rice and mango (90 baht).
In all, Live is a cozy, yet elegant place to lounge around. The healthy dishes (though not the yummy dessert) will be a comfort to your waistline and conscience. Friendly and graceful, our hostess Noppamas, kept us enthralled with lively tales about her love of good food and cooking.
Location: 16/15 Moo 6 Rim Hard, Kamala, Millionaire’s Mile.
Tel. 089 191 8488
Opening: 8:30am to 10pm with Wi-Fi available.