DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

The Chedi Restaurant

Gina Hahn

If you are like I am, you’ve been waiting for the opening of The Chedi and the opportunity to sample real Indian food prepared by real Indian chefs. Of course, I also wanted to see the design work, and how the architect had integrated the old British Consulate building into this strikingly contemporary resort. Beautifully.

Buttered chicken, tandoori, oven braised chicken in tomato-cashew nut sauce

The Dining Out team was delighted to spend a recent evening at the restaurant. In very contemporary style, the chefs work in full view of the diners behind a low bar. This is a nice touch. The tables are contemporary, but library-style lighting above each softens the ambiance. Certain touches stand out: lemon grass scented ice cold towels served to each diner, enormous linen napkins, and frozen tea ice cubes for our iced teas were quick eye catchers. The menu is easy to read and logically divided into Thai, Indian and International sections.

We tried a bit of each, starting with a mixture of fresh breads that are prepared on the premises and served with aioli as well as butter. Next came a creamy lentil soup filled with fresh herbs and served in a loaf of rustic farmer’s bread. The soup was hearty enough that, if combined with one of the salads, it could easily become lunch. Next came a marinated, seared Magura tuna loin salad with spiced lemongrass oil. The mixed baby salad greens were tossed with fresh herbs and sherry vinaigrette. Garlic chips further flavored the mixture. This is a very large salad, beautifully prepared and served with style. I would go back to the restaurant simply to indulge myself in this outstanding salad again. The soup is priced at 260 baht, the salad at 480 baht. We moved on to a yam sam-o, a pomelo salad with spicy/sweet chili dressing served with tempura soft shell crab. And we delighted in the filet of fresh sea bass cooked in Thai red curry sauce with shredded kaffir lime leaves and green beans. Priced at 350 and 500 baht, both were quite good.

Creamy lentil soup filled with fresh herbs and served in a loaf of rustic farmer’s bread

Warm, fresh plates and cutlery arrived. We were excited about the selection of Indian foods that were being prepared by Chef Sahoo, who hails from Bombay. Buttered chicken, tandoor oven braised chicken in tomato-cashew nut sauce, was the first dish to arrive. It was quickly followed by lamb rogan jus, an onion and yogurt lamb curry with mixed spices. The aromas were tantalizing, but more followed. Palak panir, that delightful, spicy spinach and cream cheese curry, joined the assortment. Then red snapper tandoor and chicken tikka were placed on the table, along with an assortment of naan breads and bowls of Briyani rice. We faced a dilemma. Where to begin?

Magura tuna loin salad with spiced lemongrass oil

I chose the buttered chicken. The sauce was smooth, flavorful and not too spicy. The palak panir, spinach curry, was surprisingly spicy and very nice. It was easy to taste the fresh coriander and fenugreek spices. The chicken tikka, also quite spicy, was delicious combined with a bit of crisp fresh onion and the very flavorful Briyani rice. The ajwain seeds gave a unique flavor to the red snapper tandoori. The lamb rogan just was just delicious with the blended flavors of onion and yogurt. The Indian dishes were priced between 350 baht and 700 baht. Consult with the Indian chef (there are two) if you have any particular requests. All of the dishes can be prepared more or less spicy. The naan breads – garlic, potato, mixed herbs, cheese, pickled onion or chili – are excellent.

Chef Bonnaud Lionel prepared the Chedi Sampler for dessert – chocolate fondant, chocolate mousse, kaffir lime cheesecake, and rose cr่me brul้e. These are the types of desserts that haunt you at midnight. You want more! Desserts are priced between 200 and 400 baht.

The Chedi offers an outstanding wine list as well as a large selection of coffees and teas. It was a lovely evening.

The Chedi Restaurant, open daily at 7 a.m. for breakfast, 12 noon for lunch, 3 p.m. for afternoon tea, and 6 p.m. for dinner. Closes daily at 10.30 p.m. 123 Charoen Prathet Raod, Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, on the banks of the Ping River. Telephone 053-253-333, fax 053-253-352. Reservations suggested for large parties.