DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

The Resort

For a Thai style family outing

The Resort is an entertainment and eating venue that has been in Chiang Mai for a few years. Like all well established places, a time comes in its history for a total make-over. For The Resort, that time came this year, and after a soft re-opening on the 2nd of April, the Grand (re)Opening is this weekend.

It is alongside the Ping River, but rather than encroach the river bank, the management of The Resort has designed a flower garden to beautify the area, with the main restaurant and entertainment complex set back from the water.

The venue is huge, with a secure car park off Charoenraj Road and then the restaurant buildings themselves. You are met at the entrance by a bevy of beauties, all with super-bright smiles to make sure you really feel welcomed, who will take you to your tables. Take your time, as there are several areas to choose from. These include a Balinese garden area with pond and lavish tropical plants, a Japanese corner, an undercover central area with large TV screens and elevated band section and an area with umbrellas overlooking the Ping River. PR lady Thanyalak also told me that there were plans to add a second storey to one central section at a later juncture. As it is, the complex can seat between five and six hundred diners!

We allowed our charming hostess to lead us to the area overlooking the river and the planned flower garden. The seating is ‘garden’ bench style, with the ubiquitous drinks trolley at the end.

The menu is enormous! 259 items means that you should leave some time to read it, while the management hopes you will have a drink or three to get through it all. Having mentioned drinks (items 205-248), softs are around B. 30-40, beers around B. 100 for a large bottle, or B. 180 for a jug of draft, cocktails B. 120 and bottles of Jacob’s Creek Australian whites or reds are just under B. 1,000.

The menu proper begins with their “Specials” that include a German pork knuckle (B. 220) and then various curries and appetizers at around B. 100. More appetizers follow (B. 40-100) including pickled shrimps in fish sauce and chicken in pandanus leaves.

The next section has two pages of European food and salads, with the soups around B. 60 and the mains generally under B. 200, which includes pork chops, grilled sausages and a pepper steak.

From there the menu covers Thai items including fried fish (B. 190), and then several pages of spicy salads and larb (generally under B. 100). Steamed dishes come in around position 98 in the menu, with most B. 180.

A couple of pages of curries follow with most under B. 100, then soups (B. 70-100) and tom yums around B. 120. There are also Northern dishes, Thai dips and vegetarian foods, and even quick dishes and Chinese ones!

We tried several of the items and all were well prepared and cooked, and we had no complaints with any of them. We enjoyed a typically Thai fare, and the sausage dish was certainly my favourite. We were well looked after by the young service girls, and the draft beer jugs were refilled instantly, as were our glasses at the table. Eagle-eyed young service girls! It was an evening that could have been designed for excesses. The venue is set up to encourage that! It is not a place to eat and run.

The Resort is set up as Thai style family or group dining. The bench style seating allows for large groups to be accommodated, and the band will entertain large groups as well. The cuisine is mainly Thai style with a separate Japanese corner as an extra, but has enough variety to be able to feed all tastes. It is a place for eating and drinking and enjoying the company you are with. Best for large groups that like the boisterous ambience enjoyed by the Thai community.

369/1 Charoenraj Road, Tambon Watgate, Chiang Mai, telephone 053 263 121, 053 262 099. Secure parking in the grounds. Hours 4 p.m. till 1 a.m.