The Duke’s

Gina Hahn

I love having a menu available before I visit a restaurant, so I was happy when The Duke’s menu slipped out of my copy of Chiangmai Mail and happier yet when I started looking through it. Some of my favorite foods were just waiting for me—spinach and Greek salads, ribs, seafood, pizza, gourmet burgers. The Duke’s was definitely on my schedule.

Located near the “little” Rimping Supermarket on the east side of the Ping River, The Duke’s is open every day, serving lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. (with lunch specialties) and dinner from 5 p.m. until closing. Look for the large green signs outside the restaurant, and park on the street. The restaurant is roomy, clean and tastefully decorated with seating both inside (air-conditioned) and out.

The menu was planned for the resident expat community and there’s something for everyone, even the kids. Managing partners David and Pin Anichowski lived in the U.S. for 14 years before returning to Thailand with their four children. The Duke’s features the only menu I’ve seen in Chiang Mai with a special Kid’s Menu and a note that says, “Kids are always welcome at The Duke’s”.

There are a few things to consider as you plan your meal at The Duke’s. First, appetizers are offered at a special happy hour price every day. Buffalo wings, steak kabobs, shrimp and a fabulous concoction called “Broke the Mouth”, a huge plate full of mixed starters are all featured.

Second, the amazing desserts are half price on Wednesdays at dinner for eat-in customers. Can you handle toffee fudge double chocolate cake at the usual price of 50 baht or 25 baht on Wednesday evening after dinner? How about a variety of homemade cheesecakes or a stacked high Dutch apple pie with a sweet, crunchy topping?

We started with Chicago steak kabobs served with steak sauce; mozzarella sticks battered with breadcrumbs, crisply fried and served with pizza sauce; and deep-fried jalapeno peppers served with ranch dressing. Appetizers start at 65 baht for a sampling of The Duke’s ribs and go up to 225 baht for Broke the Mouth, which serves several hungry diners. The appetizers were followed by a delicious Greek salad filled with plenty of olives and cheese and served with a light, tasty dressing. A sampling of New England shrimp chowder, creamy and packed with shrimp, followed. Salads and soups start at 45 baht for a cup of Brunswick stew and go up to 85 baht for a bowl of the delicious shrimp chowder.

An entr้e of lasagna arrived with a plateful of The Duke’s signature ribs and a prime filet mignon imported from Argentina. The pasta was cooked just right and the serving was enormous. We were delighted by the ribs, which are prepared in the restaurant’s impressive wood-burning brick oven and come with the sauce on the side. The sauce is slightly sweet and offers a nice contrast to the tender smoky ribs. The medium rare filet mignon, served with the diner’s choice of sauce, was tasty and tender.

Entr้es range in price from 145 baht for fried chicken to 995 baht for a huge combo meal of imported strip loin steak and shrimp fettuccini Alfredo. Filet mignon begins at 565 baht, ribs are 250 baht for a full rack and the lasagna is 175 baht.

The Duke’s also features a wide range of dishes to delight vegetarian diners such as spinach and vegetable lasagna at 135 baht and a grilled vegetable and cheese Dagwood sandwich at 110 baht. Seafood lovers will enjoy a variety of delicacies including a creative honey smoked chili tuna filet at 315 baht.

We saved room for dessert, and were not disappointed by the fabulous Dutch apple pie that easily served the three of us, 55 baht.

I can’t wait to try a few more specialties at The Duke’s - the Cuban sandwich, the shrimp and chicken picatta, and the pastrami Reuben come to mind. So does the homemade ice cream. According to Pin, “We make everything fresh on the premises, except the butter, of course!”

The Duke’s, 49/4-5 Chiang Mai–Lamphun Road, Chiang Mai, telephone 053-249-231, take out and catering available.