DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

Rainbow Coffee House

‘Troutfully’ a surprising experience

We really did not know what to expect when we went for Dining Out at the Rainbow Coffee House, but we were attracted by the promise of fresh trout from the Royal Project and fresh coffee from Doi Tung. Here was an establishment that was doing something for local enterprises, so the least we could do would be to see just what they were offering.

The Rainbow Coffee House is attached (in fact ‘under’) the Silver Place Hotel, with space having been appropriated from what would have once been a car park. However, don’t let that put you off, the place is tiled and spotlessly clean. And so is the area where the food is prepared.

The tables and chairs are ‘rustic’ settings (watch out for your knees if you are an ex-pat), with clean tablecloths and a container with ketchup, chilli sauce, pepper, chilli powder, Maggi sauce and salt. The staff were also some of the most enthusiastic and friendly people in the hospitality business in Chiang Mai. Nothing was too much trouble, and the manager would not let me photograph anything until he was sure it was presented the way the cook wanted it!

The menu is surprisingly large. It begins with drinks with local beers, such as Chang, B. 50 for a large bottle and fruit shakes of all types around B. 30. The next page covers breakfasts, and a Big Breakfast or an English breakfast, with two eggs and all the usual trimmings only B. 75 and that includes coffee or tea and a fruit juice. There is also the trout breakfast at B. 100 with deep-fried rainbow trout, two fried eggs and fries, plus the tea/coffee and fruit juice. If that is not enough, there are also individual breakfast items around B. 40.

The next page has Muesli (B. 40-50) and sandwiches (B. 60-70) and hot baguette sandwiches (B. 50-70) with all kinds of fillings. These are followed by Western Food Main Course items (B. 60-160) with chilli con carne at the low end and a BBQ fish with mashed potato or french-fries and vegetables at the top. There are also many burgers (B. 45-60) including a trout burger!

Some Thai items are next, with rice and noodle based items (B. 35-50) and a selection of stir-fries all around B. 50.

The trout gets a page of its own. The items range from deep-fried trout with garlic and rice at B. 60, through to trout tom yum at B. 150 for a large (B. 80 for small) or a smoked grilled trout for B. 160.

We were given several items to try, including the trout breakfast which came with toast as well as the coffee and fruit juice. A very flavorsome way to start anybody’s day.

We had the steamed trout with lemon, which was sensationally prepared and brilliantly presented and came with its own piquant sauces as well. This was excellent, and at B. 160 has to be one of the bargains of Chiang Mai. We also had a trout cooked with garlic and pepper and again was a taste sensation - but like all trout, look for bones. We finished with some strong Doi Tung coffee and were perfectly replete. Bravo, Rainbow Coffee House!

Our lunch certainly turned into a surprising experience. The presentation of the food was excellent and the trout was carefully cooked. No wonder the owner became ‘hooked’ on trout if you’ll pardon the pun. The presentation and flavour alone were to elevate this little coffee shop from its humble origins to a place presenting food that was better than many so-called high class restaurants I have eaten in. Definitely our compliments to the chef! The prices were also so low that it would be difficult to beat this place as far as trout value for money. If you are a trout lover try this funny little place. They deserve it, and so do your taste buds.

Rainbow Coffee House, Silver Place Hotel, 3/10 Wualai Road, Soi 1, Tambon Haiya, Chiang Mai, telephone 053 200 400, 053 201 292, fax 053 201 291, email silverplacechiangmai @chaiyo.com. Open 7 a.m. through till 11 p.m.