If you can’t think of a name for your restaurant, then the
No Name Cafe is probably as good as any. Fortunately the proprietors do have
names, in this case, Frank and Kratai (call her ‘Tai’ for short).
restaurant has a double shophouse frontage, but in keeping with the “No
Name” concept, the signage is not all that easy to spot, so look carefully on
the left coming down Ratvitee Road before you cross Radchapakinai Road, heading
down towards the Three Kings monument. No Name has hanging baskets with flowers
along the street frontage too.
The decor is also hard to give a name to, but eclectic might
just cover it. There are Northern Thai wall hangings with large photographs of
Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy (is someone having a joke here?), Bruce Lee,
Kurt Cobain and the members of the band Nirvana.
is a bar area in one corner and a pool table in the other, while the rest of the
space is taken up with rustic style furniture. We chose the rustics nearest the
street, as it is always fun to ‘people watch’ while lunching.
The menu is simply enormous, with 193 items (probably more if
the menu continues on the way it is going)! There are also some photographic
menus, which I always believe is a good idea when you have an international mix
of customers, such as No Name Cafe has. You may not be able to read the English
names, but in these instances, pictures are definitely worth more than 1,000
The monster menu begins with a choice of breakfasts including
a Big American, a Big Brit or a Big Healthy Vegetarian, all around B. 80. Next
are the many soup choices at B. 50-55, then Western Salads again at B. 50-55.
The next section has the quaint name of Bitchin’ Burgers,
all the usual varieties and only B. 80-90. These are followed by Super
Sandwiches that will set you back between B. 40-100, with a steak sandwich at
the top end. Spaghetti and macaroni pastas at B. 70-95 lead you to a full page
of Chef’s Divine Dinners. These are B. 140-150 and cover steaks, meatballs,
pork items, chicken and fish.
After all these Euro style dishes, it is into the Thai menu,
and this is again enormous. There is a full page of Vegetarian Entrees, for
example, at around B. 40, Soups and Curries B. 50-60, Spicy Salads B. 45-70
including Chiang Mai sausage, followed by Northern Thai Specialties with most
around B. 50. And still it goes on (gasp!) with Individual Dishes at B. 40-55,
Fish (B. 75-130), Stir-fries around B. 50, then Snacks, Desserts, Juices,
Cocktails, Beers and even cigarettes! This is one comprehensive menu!
Tai and Frank suggested they bring out some samples of their
fare and we began with a very nice fish and boiled potatoes that got the
immediate approval from us all. Next up was a dish with Danish meatballs in red
wine sauce and mashed potatoes. This was excellent. My pick of the day, in fact.
These were followed by an Italian Pork Piccata with saut้ed
potatoes and this was Madame’s dish, the tenderloin pork fillet being very
tender. There was no let-up, they followed this with a large hamburger and
chips. Again a very good example of the art of burger making. I also
congratulated the chef on being able to present potatoes done in four different
ways, and each cooked correctly!
We left No Name Cafe definitely knowing we were more than a
little full. There is a name for this condition. It is called gluttony! We all
enjoyed the food and the serves were large. The fare is much better than the
average ‘pub grub’ offerings, and the items are cheap enough to be
considered ‘back-packer’ prices. The place for a good solid meal without
breaking the bank. Recommended. (I’ll be back even if just for the meatballs
and mashed potatoes.)
No Name Cafe, 25/5-6 Ratvitee Road (on left heading towards
Three Kings Monument from the moat), Tambon Sripoom, Chiang Mai, telephone 09
558 0676. Street parking. Open from 8 a.m. and kitchen closes at 11 p.m.