The Fillmore East has been in Chiang Mai for almost two
years, which in the restaurant business, can be considered a long time. The
Fillmore East states that it has the best steak in Chiang Mai, so the Dining Out
Team decided we should investigate.
Ron, the owner, who describes himself as “chief cook and
bottle washer” is a mildly spoken American from San Francisco, a city known
for its involvement in the music movement for more than half a century. It is
also known for a unique restaurant, The Fillmore West, that promoted rock
concerts. For someone like Ron who frequented The Fillmore West, it seemed
appropriate to recreate something like that here in Chiang Mai.
The Fillmore East is not a large venue, and you will have to
look carefully as you come down Loi Kroh Road. It is on the left, around 100
meters from Kotchasarn Road, and exactly 25 meters from the brightly lit Kodak
shop on the other side of the road. The decor is musicana, with some original
posters and lithographs of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendricks and Bob
Marley to name but a few. The furniture is simple, and the atmosphere is clean.
At the front there is a covered and well extracted BBQ area, while at the back
is a sit-up bar.
The menu begins with drinks, local beers 55-70 baht, house
wine B. 90 per glass, or a pitcher of frozen Margarita B. 450, as well as the
usual softs and juices. These are followed by a wine list, not extensive (or
expensive - maximum B. 1150), but well chosen.
Food begins with appetizers and salads, Caesar at B. 115,
tomato-mozzarella B. 85, and then some toasted baguettes with interesting
toppings around B. 85-105. Burgers are up next (on bun or baguette - nice touch)
with R&R names like the ‘Stevie Ray’ or the ‘Eagles’ ranging in
price between B. 95 through to 195 for the ‘Tina’ complete with double
Steaks, chops and grills are next, from B. 155 for a
Salisbury steak or sirloin baguette, through a flank steak at B. 295 up to
different weights of filet starting with 5 ounces at B. 395 through to a
monstrous 12 oz. at B. 775. Finally there is a selection of music DVD’s to
choose as your entertainment, including the Corrs, the Doors, the Stones or the
Eagles in the list of 80 titles.
As this was a tasting evening, Ron had arranged samples of
many items for us. We began with a sharp and spicy Caesar salad, made according
to the original recipe, said Ron. This did not come from Julius, but from a
restaurant in Tijuana, whose owner was Caesar! This was followed by slices of
tomato with mozzarella and basil leaf, doused in balsamic vinegar, which were
superb. Do try it!
Chicken kebabs were next, large and wrapped in bacon and very
tasty. Then we began the steaks, with a filet that simply melted in the mouth.
This was the top quality USDA Choice Angus. Brilliant piece of bull! We then
tried Ron’s Flank Steak, a most interesting marinated and grilled steak served
with rocket lettuce and grilled leeks, chopped tomatoes and drizzled with
balsamico. This was beef with a sensational flavour, and I loved it!
During the dinner, we watched and listened to our own DVD
concert selections, and Madame even managed to find room for tiramisu and
So does The Fillmore East have the best steaks in Chiang Mai?
It is always dangerous to deal in superlatives, but Miss Terry and the Team
would go as far as saying that the steaks were as good as we have ever eaten.
There was no doubting the top quality of the American beef, and there was no
doubting of the skill of the young Thai chef in cooking and presenting the food.
We did enjoy it, and the addition of “our own” Rolling Stones and Huey Lewis
concerts made the evening an ‘event’, not just a meal. Highly recommended.
The Fillmore East, Loi Kroh Road (100meters from Kotchasarn Road), Chiang
Mai, telephone 01 992 6810, open from noon till 2 a.m.