DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

The Fish ‘n Chips Shop

For fish ‘n chips and a lot more besides!

Rachawithee Road is one of those ‘touristy’ streets, with small places to stay, travel agents and inexpensive restaurants. The Fish ‘n Chips Shop is one of those. How we found the restaurant is an interesting tale - one of the senior management of Chiangmai Mail spotted a young lady making deliveries, and followed the motorbike all the way back to the restaurant. Some people will do anything for fish and chips!'

The restaurant is not large, being a single shophouse, with the eatery downstairs and a ‘Thai-Kiwi bar’ area above and is opposite Mr. Beer ‘Mortor (sic) Bike’ rentals. The EnZed connection is obvious, with a New Zealand flag, a photo of Jonah Lomu with a ‘thought balloon’ saying "Give me that Fish ‘n Chips pack anytime!" and another of about 2000 rugby chaps who have all played for the All Blacks, presumably fuelled on Fish ‘n Chips as well (though the more correct NZ pronunciation would be "Fush ‘n Chups")!

Along one side of the eatery is a bar cum kitchen and the rest of the space is taken up with five tables (with bright plastic covers and a container with vinegar, ketchup, Maggi seasoning and salt and pepper shakers), a book swap cupboard and the Chiangmai Mail point of sale dispenser. Believe me, there’s not much room left.

The menu is large and begins with six breakfasts between 45 and 75 baht, including the Farmer Breakfast which features stir-fried potatoes with onion, egg and ham, orange juice, coffee or tea (and by the way, the second cup of tea/coffee is free).

A few hand-written mains are next (which will be added to the full menu at next reprint) and has roast pork with stuffing, gravy, boiled or mashed potatoes or chips, salad or coleslaw for B. 105 and even a Spanish pork roll stuffed with spinach and cheese with steamed black pepper cabbage and gravy and potatoes.

On to the printed menu proper and it has the famous Fish ‘n Chips for B. 90, then a whole host of burgers (B. 80-90) plus more inexpensive items. A Mexican menu is up next with tacos B. 70-75, burritos (B. 70-85), cheese nachos B. 65 and even chimichangas at B. 75. Thai items, and there a few pages of them, range in price between B. 45-80.

There is also a whiteboard with the daily specials, which on our day included a pumpkin soup with baguette (B. 50), sweet and sour chicken and pork (B. 60) and a vegetarian spinach omelette at B. 85.

Drinks? Draft Carlsberg starts at B. 45, through to B. 170 for a jug, local beers around B. 70, and there is also soft drinks and juices.

We met the owner/chef Khun Soda, a very capable Thai lady who when I asked her where she learned to cook Mexican, replied, "It’s easy! I’ve been cooking for 20 years!" She insisted we begin with the ‘signature dish’ - fish ‘n chips - a red sea bass in a very pleasant batter, with big chunky cut chips, none of your thin fiddly french-fries here, and some tempura beans! These come on very large plates, you have been warned.

A draft Carlsberg seemed to be the order of the day, so we had a plate of K. Soda’s cheesy, spicy nachos on her own freshly ground and baked corn tortilla. These were also excellent. We finished with a coffee, which came in a large mug, and sat back satiated.

We left the Fish ‘n Chips Shop with a bellyful of good food and a most satisfied feeling. It ain’t the Ritz, and it’s not supposed to be. It is a good old fashioned Chippy, delivering good old fashioned food at good old fashioned prices. It is no surprise to the Dining Out Team that this place has such a strong following, and there was certainly no shortage of diners on the day we were there. With Brit tucker, Mexican food and Thai favourites, there is something for everyone. Very highly recommended.

The Fish ‘n Chips Shop, 25/4 Rachawithee Road, Sriphom, A. Muang, Chiang Mai, telephone 053 418 210.