This week’s review could take you a little while to
find, since the English name is not displayed, so either take a Thai person
with you (not a bad idea) or look for the Thai script on an illuminated
Carlsberg sign outside.
The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. and is housed in a huge
open-sided “barn” style building, with extensions at the rear into the
large secure car park and onto a wooden deck at the front. Seating is at
long refectory style tables with individual chairs. Most tables will
accommodate 8-10 people, and I would recommend getting a large party
together for your first foray to this restaurant. The staff are very
attentive, and there are 70 of them!
The ambience is decidedly American/Western with old style
“Coke” lampshades, American car number plates, and advertising items for
Budweiser, Pabst, Michelob and Coors beers. There are also four rotating
C&W bands playing relaxed live music for entertainment.
The menu is extensive and is in Thai and English and
commences with drinks, with large bottles of local beers generally around 85
baht. The first page of the food items has noodles as soup or fried, plus
fried rice in different styles as well. Prices between 35-45 baht will not
break the bank for starters.
The second page has fried items, ranging from chicken,
beef, pork and various seafoods, all between 55-75 baht. This is followed by
grilled BBQ items (B. 65-120) again including meat and seafood varieties.
Next up is a page of “yum” items (salads) ranging in price for B. 65 to
B. 95 covering shrimps at the top end to Chinese sausage at the lower end.
There is a page of soups and “som tum” (B. 65-120)
again covering most forms of basic items, from beef, chicken and seafood
items. The final page covers different curries (B. 65-120) and as well as
giving you multiple choices, it will keep you amused with some of the more
imaginative spellings. Fried Pord’s appendix with gralic peper will keep
you guessing for a little while.
We were fortunate in that we were the guests of the
owner, Ongkan Auttasasan, and by the time we had arrived, he had selected
some representative dishes for us to try. The first thing we noted was the
incredible presentation of the food. Every dish was adorned with orchids or
amazing decorations, such as a “swan” made from tomato and endives. Some
items were in small “mor din” pottery containers with charcoal to keep
them warm, while others were in large deep “fry pans” as well as the
usual serving platters.
We began with an amazing fish sausage, made from
Serpent’s head fish and pork and herbs, rolled into a long fish shape and
then sliced. It comes with a bowl of sauce, which, though spicy, was not
over the top for the farang palate.
From there we tried many items, some hot like the “som
tum” or the “tom yum gai” Northern style chicken soup, and others not
at all spicy, like the grilled Tubtim fish or the “gaeng naw mai rai” a
delicacy made with young (4 month old) bamboo shoot, pork and green
vegetable, or the “tofu song kruang” a Chinese mushroom soup.
Accompanying the food was both steamed rice or sticky rice in the woven
containers. I can honestly say that we were not disappointed, and the Tubtim
was our dish of the night.
The Dining Out Team enjoyed the evening at Eung Phung
Chan Paa. It is not a restaurant for formal dining, but is the restaurant
for a relaxed “fun” evening, especially if you are a fan of the Country
and Western music. The food was good, the presentation was superb, it is
exceptionally cheap and we can highly recommend this pub and restaurant, not
just for the food and ambience, but also as a place where you can get to
know and mix with the local Thai residents. Do try it, you will not be
disappointed. And say hello to Clint when you see him!
Eung Phung Chan Phaa, 69 Kankronchonprathan Road, Chiang Mai, telephone
053 400 505.