Belgian restaurants are not the most common in Chiang Mai, so
we were looking forward to a ‘different’ evening. So how did we know this
restaurant is Belgian? Well, to start with, it serves many Belgian beers,
including the most dangerous beer in the world - Chimay. It tastes so good and
at 8% alcohol, is almost twice as potent as the local beers. An imported
Euro-headache, but a great beer - try one! Just one!
The restaurant proper has a colourful and rustic ambience,
with wooden chairs and wine rack, and brightly painted plates sitting on
colourful throw-overs on the tables. At the front of the restaurant are large
windows, whilst at the back of the dining area is a sit-up bar on one side and a
covered stainless steel BBQ griller and iced buffet area in the other corner. It
is a cheery place, and then you meet Alain the chef. Alain is more than ample in
proportions, and even more cheery. On the evening we arrived, a large group had
booked in as well. This did not faze Alain, who proceeded to look after the
group, other tables and us, with savoir faire, a towel over one shoulder and a
The menu is comprehensive, beginning with a salad buffet at
B. 85 or a Caprese (tomato salad with cheese) at B. 110. Soups are next B. 70-90
including fish or vegetable.
Appetizers (fish) are B. 120-250 with squid in batter and
Coquille St Jacques B.230. Entrees (B. 90-250) include escargots in garlic and
parsley butter sauce at B. 130. After these there are mains with beef, duck,
pork and fish items ranging between B. 170-380.
BBQ items are next, including the special B. 199
all-you-can-eat, beef, chicken, pork, sausages, prawns, squid, french-fries and
salad. Others include BBQ beef items B. 270-380, pork B. 180-380, lamb B. 380
and seafood B.250-380.
Drinks have local beers B. 60-70 and house wine B. 160 per
glass, with a selection of bottles, mainly French, under B. 1000.
Alain suggested he provide us with a ‘tasting’ experience
to show a little of the range of food available. We began with escargots,
complete with the correct shell tongs and special small forks. Beautiful and all
garlic (and I still managed to splash some on my front, but it didn’t seem to
matter!). Next we tried the mussels, with some in garlic and others grilled with
a mornay topping. Again excellent entrees. However, Alain had not finished with
us, producing a carpaccio of beef with celery garnish. A very smooth dish. Were
the entrees over? Ah no! There were the frog legs to come, again in garlic
butter sauce and delightful hoppers!
So to mains and Alain deposited a filet of beef with
peppercorn sauce, a rib-eye steak with an onion sauce, a wild boar hot-pot with
mashed potatoes and a sliced duck au poivre (pepper sauce in English - I’m
just showing off!).
The filet was excellent, and good quality beef too. The wild
boar was interesting, having been in a red wine marinade for four days,
according to Alain. The steak with onion sauce was again a popular dish at the
table, as was the sliced duck. We were too full for desserts but were happy just
to sit and chat and relax, as one should after a good meal.
This was not an evening to sit quietly and ponder over the
food. This was an evening of unbridled enjoyment, with great food and wine,
conversation and carousing in the European tradition. With the standard and
range of the food, the very reasonable prices (the B. 199 BBQ all-you-can-eat is
a real bargain) and the good ‘feel’ to the place explains why Chez Gibus is
so popular. Definitely worth a visit, especially if you enjoy European cuisine.
Miss Terry has a friend who always says, “Never trust a skinny chef.” He
would have no worries with Alain and Chez Gibus, and neither should you. Highly
Chez Gibus, Grill House Restaurant, 42 Kampaengdin Road, T.
Changklan, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai, telephone 053 272 712. Open 6 p.m. - 10.30
p.m., closed Sundays.