It’s a bright and sunny day that the Khao Lak weather deities have currently bestowed upon us. This can change quickly, and dramatically, so I am glad to be out and about while the going’s good. One of the things to do in Khao Lak when the weather is fine, is to go to “Juice from Mars.” As the name might suggest, Juice from Mars is mainly a fruit and veggie juice bar, but the establishment also offers homemade gourmet sandwiches and baguettes not to be found anywhere else in the Khao Lak region. My food preference is the toasted mayonnaise tuna sandwich or the cheese and salad sandwich with a little mayonnaise on top. The sandwiches and baguettes come with a dollop of coleslaw, a few potato chips and a small container of homemade tomato sauce that has no added sugar to it. I ordered a baguette on a previous occasion and had to take half of it home with me because it was so big. Clearly, the food is designed for farangs (Westerners)! There is a large variety of juices, divided up into veggie juices, fruit juices and smoothies. I have drunk the Mars Veggie Special (which includes carrot, orange, celery, lime, beetroot, ginger and apple) on a few previous occasions and found the drink to be almost as filling as the meals on offer.
Juice from Mars is run by Marcel, an Englishman who had previously run the “Mars Bar and Café” that was located on the main road of Bang Niang, together with his Thai lady “Khondee”, which translates as “good person” in English. Marcel is more affectionately called “Mars” (as in the fourth planet from the sun in our very own solar system, NOT the chocolate bar) but I prefer the name “Marcel” because that’s his real name, and I like to be different! Mars has exchanged his world-famous alcohol/Fisherman’s Friend lozenges concoction known as “Fisu”, for the much healthier ginger shot. But be warned, the ginger shot packs quite a punch. I tried it on a previous visit and left the bar in a rather elevated state of euphoria. The Khao Lak temperature, being hot as it mostly is, added to the perspiration that emanated from my forehead and neck on that particular day! All food and beverage items sold in the bar can be taken away – the great thing about this is that they are all packed in biodegradable cups or cartons. This is a great service to the community as plastic waste is a huge problem in Thailand.
The snack I have ordered, the “Burmese tea leaf salad”, has only recently been introduced to the menu. Mars is clearly very proud of this new item – and so he should be. Not only is the presentation on the plate great looking; the taste is full of delightful zings! I think I might be the first person to actually eat the dish. I can now set aside the camera and indulge in a flavor sensation. When I finish, I will peruse the shelf that has heaps of books for borrowing, and go home to enjoy a Thai mystery thriller. As we say in Australia, the country I was born in, “Life’s a beach!”