“We’ve probably got the best Peking Duck in Chiang Mai
hotels,” said the resident manager of the Chiangmai Orchid Hotel, Anan
Hochindarat. I like positive people, so it was with some expectation that we
dined in their Phuping Chinese Restaurant.
most Chinese restaurants, the Phuping has an air of opulence. Gilded dragons and
Chinese urns abound, as do the charming waitresses in their red cheong sams,
split to the thigh.
In addition to the individual tables, there are also four
private rooms, with the Chinese circular tables and carousel lending themselves
to large groups and relaxed dining.
The menu is typical Chinese with 134 items, with most offered
in the small-medium-large portions. There is also the chef’s recommendations,
that has the Peking Duck at B. 600 that includes the duck skin, plus a duck meat
dish of your choice such as saut้ed with garlic and white pepper, BBQ’d
or sweet and sour, plus the clear soup made from the bones.
There is a page dedicated to shark fin items and another for
abalone. These are rare and expensive delicacies and you’ll need deep pockets
for these; however, the rest of the menu is very reasonably priced. Even snow
fish or salmon is priced at only B. 300. Vegetarian items are very cheap at
around B. 100 for a small serve, while saut้ed beef done in different ways
were B. 150 for the small helping. Pork and chicken items were similarly priced.
Other items of a very Chinese nature were the pigeon,
including one of my favourites, the minced pigeon breast on lettuce (sang chow
bao), which requires advance order. Another bird on offer is goose (and not just
the liver!). Bird’s nest soup, the classic Chinese item is B. 600 per serving,
and noodle and rice dishes abound between B. 100-120.
The Chinese are proud of their desserts, and the Phuping has
a page and a half of items for you to choose from.
We used one of the private rooms and we had no sooner sat
down than we were presented with a moist cold towel. Nice touch.
Although we had come to try the Peking Duck, Kh. Anan also
had a representative sample of the dim sum dishes for us to try. One of my
favourites is always the pork buns, and the Phuping’s kitchen certainly knows
how to make those! Top class. The dim sum items are all generally around B. 30.
Kh. Anan told me that they have 12 dedicated kitchen personnel, just for the
As well as the Peking duck we tried a crispy prawn salad and
many other items, whose presentation was superb. Chinese restaurants do appear
to enjoy making vegetable dragons as decoration, and Phuping’s artisans in the
kitchen are artists on the plate.
We finished with a delicious fried pancake stuffed with
The Phuping is a good example of the Chinese style of
restaurant in Chiang Mai. It is sufficiently up-market to be an enjoyable
evening (or lunch) out, yet relaxed enough that you are not worrying about
dropping food on the tablecloth all the time. The fact that everyone laughed at
my antics with the chopsticks, and the waitress quietly snuck a fork and spoon
beside my plate, showed the attentive nature of the staff (as well as the fact
that perhaps I should take chopsticks lessons).
The Peking Duck provides a good meal, and looking at the
number of people that can be fed from one duck, it makes it a very inexpensive
dish on a per head basis.
This restaurant should be kept in mind when the family
requests ‘eating Chinese’.
(After dinner we relaxed in the hotel’s Opium Club and
listened to some ‘live’ music, though I was a little worried that the bass
guitarist might not last to the end of the bracket!)
Phuping Chinese Restaurant, Chiangmai Orchid Hotel, 23 Huay Kaew Road (next
to Kad Suan Kaew shopping center), Chiang Mai, telephone 053 222 099, fax 053
221 625, email cmorchid @ lox info.co.th, website www. chiangmaiorchid.com.
Secure parking in the hotel grounds. Hours 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. (dim sum lunch)
and 6 p.m. till 10 p.m. (dinner).