Ajay Junaid
February 11, 2019
Reading Time: 3.5 Minutes

Cafe Del Mar - boasts perhaps Phukets best beachfront location in regards to the warm waters of Kamala Beach and the picturesque sunsets that take place on the oceanfront. The perfect place for influencers alike to take advantage of the variety of Instagram-worthy spots.

This was my first visit to Cafe Del Mar and as I jumped out of the Tuk Tuk, you could instantly see and feel that the design and lighting were giving off a tone of classiness. Every bit of structural detail from the beach-hut-esque look to the thatch-roofed main bar has been thought out thoroughly. The use of wood, straw roofs, palm trees and the orange tones shows that the attention to detail is quite remarkable.

This particular night was special as Cafe Del Mar was hosting the Al McKay’s Allstars who were performing the Earth Wind & Fire Experience so the ambience and vibe may have been a little altered from the usual Cafe Del Mar experience. If you were to remove the concert then the venue does seem like it’d be quite fitting to sip on sundowner cocktails along to the chill-out soundwaves.

We haven’t forgotten about you foodies. Cafe Del Mar supplied a sumptuous and mouth-watering buffet. Your taste buds will travel the world at this dimly lit multi-cuisine restaurant with its eclectic international menu from Bangkok nachos to Hokkaido scallops - offering a variety of options to satisfy the foodie in you.

Since this was not a normal night, the pool had been covered so I can’t reflect on that particular subject, however, I was informed by the really friendly waiter that they have a poolside swim-up bar. Since I had arrived at Cafe Del Mar in the late evening, I wasn’t able to see the seated setting with the sun out but I was told there’s a variety of options available from; shaded seating on the comfy sofas, sun-infused beach beds where you can work on that tan of yours all the way to private cabanas with large beds.

Cocktail Prices: $9+

Bottle Prices: $115+

Sunbed Prices: $160+

Cigar Prices: $30+

Earth, Wind & Fire Experience by the Al McKay Allstars, Cafe Del Mar, gig review - A gratifying trip down memory lane.

General Admission: $66

It’s been exactly five decades since the birth of Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF), their passion and influence is still felt, and the band is still the touring force that we all fell in love with. Known for their remarkable fusion of musical styles blending soul, funk, jazz, disco and more and delivering it in such a profound method. That is the pivotal reason why so few bands have been able to claim similar heights of commercial success and critical approval as EWF.

Image Credits: Line Rockers

I know what some of you are thinking, is this really EWF or is this a tribute band? I’d say it’s most certainly not a tribute band but it is somewhere in between the two. Built around the legendary and original EWF guitarist, Al McKay, and a group of top L.A. studio and road musicians, and trust me when I say they are all about the FUNK.


Al McKay is a unique stage presence, with his newsboy cap, cool shades, and his ever so funky wardrobe - owning the stage with back to back guitar solos and his trademark choreography. You don’t see showmanship like McKay anymore and the crowd absolutely loved every minute of it.

We didn’t have to wait long for the hits and before you knew it we heard an outstanding rendition of their 1975 classic “Shining Star”. More followed - “Got to Get You into My Life” and “Fantasy” - spraying the dancefloor full of nostalgic memories of simpler times and a simpler world. I believe for most, the 90-minute experience was sheer escapism.


Note: This was the atmosphere an hour prior to Al McKay’s Allstars taking the stage

As the tail end of the 90-minutes approached, we all knew that they had saved the best for last, with a closing setlist of the 70’s and 80’s classics “Boogie Wonderland”, “September” and “Let’s Groove” - each record was strong enough to be there last of the night, but it just continued and reflecting on the grand finale, it was truly remarkable when combined together.

It was a surreal experience and a trip down memory lane - taking us back to the 1970s where disco and funk was one of the most influential cultural and musical movements. The atmosphere and the vibe of the audience was un-rivalled and the old school moves of disco were brought back - a night of dancing, boogieing and pure nostalgia. I, for one, will be re-visiting Cafe Del Mar for future music events.