Vol. II No. 30 Saturday July 26 - August , 2003
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DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

Udommitr Restaurant

Authentic Thai, but different!

This week’s review was done at lunchtime, and it was certainly a popular place for Thais to go for lunch on a Saturday! It is at the T-junction of Charoen Raj. Road and the Super Highway, directly on the left.

In a converted house, looking directly at the Super Highway, and with no air-conditioning, the large windows are left open. To counteract the Super Highway sounds, there is a large loudspeaker in the dining area, playing Thai songs of unrequited love.

The furniture is basic, small wooden tables and chairs. There are three main areas - a dining room with central fireplace, an outside covered pergola section and a garden courtyard.

Our team of three was seated promptly and iced water brought immediately to the table. The staff speak very little English, but the menu is in both Thai and English, so never fear. The pointed finger will work here.

Oodles of Noodles start the menu, between B. 35-55, with 11 choices and 3 varieties of noodle (flat, medium or thin). There is a mee krob pad Thai that sounded very interesting amongst it all. The next two pages are also noodles, with spaghetti included, incorporating meatballs or salmon, which pushes the price up to B. 140.

Snacks and appetizers (B. 45-65) cover rice crackers, a ‘wrap’, spring rolls and crispy Chinese mushrooms.

Spicy salads are next (B. 40-60) and include items such as banana flower, water lily stems and mixed herbs. (I did say that the food was different!) Stir-fries also allow you to be adventurous (B. 45-65), with pickled bamboo with chicken, and shitake mushroom with fresh sweet chilli on offer. Curries (B. 50-65) are also highly original with Acacia omelette being an example, and finally there is page of vegetarian items, all around B. 60.

Our five dishes included a wonderful DIY ‘wrap’ with circles of Chinese broccoli as the wrapper, and peanuts, crispy pork and dried shrimps, chopped lime and ginger with plum sauce. This dish I believe to be of Vietnamese origins.

We had two spicy salads - a crispy Morning Glory leaf with chicken and their own Udommitr spicy sauce. This was excellent and the Morning Glory could have gone on all day, for me! The other was a spicy ground fish dish which was again very pleasant.

Another dish was a stir-fried pork spare rib with chilli paste and crispy sweet basil. The ribs were butchered in Thai style, and were small and it was difficult to get the meat away and still pretend to be decorous. In the end I resorted to the Palaeolithic fingers and gnawing method.

Next up we had two curries, a pork-stuffed squid in a fresh grape curry, again pleasant but the squid a trifle rubbery and a red curry pork with apple, which was superb!

Mention should be made of the excellent white rectangular china plates, which came with china serving spoons too. The other item that should be tried was the frozen plum shake. Very different and very good and offsets the spiciness perfectly.

The Dining Out Team had nothing but praise for the food as presented. It really was excellent. Thai, but just that bit more adventurous, and not just made ‘different’ by throwing in handful of nuclear prik kee noo. It was a great meld of tastes and textures. It was cheap enough (our five dishes came to B. 335 and we had more than enough) but the dining occasion was let down by the poor ambience. Personally I would have preferred to pay higher prices to get a better standard of furniture and fittings, and some air-conditioning to allow the windows to be closed to block out the 18-wheelers on the Super Highway. The establishment has only been running less than 6 months, so perhaps it needs to find its feet a little. However, it is still worth a visit, just to try the morning glory leaves if nothing else. The food is good.

Udommitr Restaurant, 619 Charoen Raj, Fah Harn, Chiang Mai, telephone 053 306 091. Monday to Friday 4 p.m. till midnight and beyond, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. till late. Parking outside.



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