It’z the weekend and what specials are on offer in Hua Hin?
Itz Time, formally the X2 Hua Hin Oasis, has not only had a name change, it is also wanting to ramp up their food offerings. This 5 Star Villa Resort is on the outskirts of Hua Hin town, so is it worth the effort to eat here if you are not staying here?
Upon entering Itz Time, you walk past the magnificent luxury villas with their private plunge pools; these looked so inviting, but I was not here to drool over the accommodation; rather to sample the Chill & Grill BBQ Buffet.
Approaching the restaurant, it’z a very simple, yet welcoming design with an indoor air conditioned dining room and an outdoor seating area. The party lights add to the ambience of the outdoor seating area on the lawn, or you can choose to sit on the raised deck.
The one thing you should not do here is try to compare the selection this buffet has to some of the major 5 star resorts around Hua Hin, as you will be disappointed. In the back of my mind, I often have reservations with some buffets regarding the amount of time food has been prepared, cooked and sitting out on display, plus the amount of wastage if food is not consumed. This is minimised at Itz Time as the majority of the proteins are cooked to order; it doesn't get any fresher!
The Chill & Grill BBQ Buffet is definitely about the proteins, rather than having ten salads to choose from. When thinking about what I value most in a buffet, it is about having a wide selection of proteins and as much as I can eat.
This buffet has all that you need. As the name suggests, it’s about the BBQ and Grill. The thing I like most about this buffet is the wide selection of skewers that are cooked on request and brought to your table. That means everything is fresh and cooked on the spot; this is really important when cooking seafood and other proteins. I chose some skewers – prawns, beef and onion and bacon wrapped mushrooms. There was also some fresh squid put on the grill; this was cooked to perfection.
The other highlight, especially for an Australian meat eater, was the roast leg of lamb; this was carved on the spot and served with a traditional lamb gravy.
To accompany this ‘protein fest’ there were two Thai side dishes; one a noodle dish and the other was fried rice. There was also a fresh garden salad with a dressing to add as required. Yes, there could have been more salads to choose from, but I’d rather one great one rather than a handful stodgy ones.
Dtom Saep, a soup from the Northeast of Thailand, was also there to spice up the meal; this was full of pork and just enough chilli and lime to make this a great addition to the meal.
Naturally drinks are on top of the buffet price. I couldn’t resist one of their signature cocktails, which went down a treat. They have quite a decent wine and beer list as well.
The other thing that could be either a positive or negative for some people is the big screen beaming sports. I usually just go with the flow as I don’t really watch it, hence it fails to offend me. For the sports mad football fans here in Thailand, though, it will be a good thing. It means you can relax and enjoy your meal whilst watching sports. You can then go back and sample some more.
Friday and Saturday from 6.30pm is the BBQ & Grill for 299 THB per person.
Sunday nights from 6.30pm is the Seafood BBQ & Grill for 399 THB per person. I’m told this buffet is ‘everything from the sea’.
The other thing that is abundantly clear is the price. This place does not do the 'Plus Plus' on top of the price which I very much like; that way I know exactly what I’m up for from the start.
In summary, I ate very well and the price is extremely reasonable. Have I been to more extensive buffets in the past? Yes, though with most of your proteins cooked on demand, the freshness is unsurpassed and wastage is minimal. I left happy and I feel sure they will continue to improve their selections over time as guests partake in the buffet.
Disclaimer: I was invited by It’z Time management to eat and write about the Chill and Grill all you can eat BBQ, however all the comments here are my own. Leigh Higgins from Feast Thailand.