Golden Trumpet – a golden opportunity for a healthy night out

When Murray Dickson, the new Chiangmai Mail GM, said he had found a wonderful new restaurant, we had a bad line on the mobile and I was sure I heard him say, “It’s called the Golden Trumpet.” Thinking to myself that it could not possibly be that, I replied, “Was that the Golden Crumpet?” “No! Trumpet!” he replied with some exasperation evident. However, despite having a musical instrument on the restaurant’s business card, the venue gets its name from a Golden Trumpet flower, said owner Siriluck (Tim) Chaiyawong.
Flowers, vegetables and herbs are important in Tim’s life, because she is a very health conscious woman, currently doing her PhD thesis on the relationship between disease and diet. For example, did you know that eating 10 Butterfly Pea flowers a day can help cancer to regress. “You are what you eat,” said Tim sweetly, and that was precisely why we had visited the Golden Trumpet on Thapae Road! Tim also personally selects her herbs and organically grown vegetables.
The restaurant has only been going two months, and Tim countered queries about opening in the low season by stating that she personally wanted to train all staff, including the cooks, so the best time was during the low season, so that come the high season and the influx of tourists, the Golden Trumpet would be truly ready.
It is in a single shophouse and yet is a veritable airy oasis, with the walls painted white and light natural wood furniture and light colored terrazzo floor. All very “Ikea-like”. At the rear, there is a bar area, while along one wall is a refrigerated cabinet with some healthy fruits, and a temperature controlled wine cabinet. Yes! A healthy place that stocks wine. “Red wine is good for you,” said Tim, “it has anti-oxidants.” As if the Dining Out team ever needed an excuse! The wines range generally between B. 1,000-1,800 a bottle.
The multi-page menu has many choices for the hungry diners. 10 entrees and eight soups, for example, with the majority of the soups B. 75. Eight salads go from B. 85 upwards including a Caesar salad at B. 175 (which we did try and it was excellent, with crisp young lettuce leaves and plenty of grated Parmesan). A section called simply ‘Main’ covers pork, beef, fish and poultry and pasta, with the majority of items only B. 200.
After that there are some pages of Thai items, but as well as the standard curries etc, there is a salmon in Panang sauce (B. 250) which we also tried and it was a wonderful dish of flavours and textures. By the way, there are beers and cocktails and health drinks as well.
We tried many items (too many, but thank you Tim) and amongst the highlights were a green pea soup with bacon and sausage (B. 75), served hot to the table with some wonder dinner rolls made from seven different grains. This was a great start.
We then tried the red snapper in white wine sauce (B. 200), which was superb, plus the panang salmon, and an Australian imported very tender beef with chips at B. 350, and a pork Cordon Bleu at B. 220, all bargains for the quality and the size of the portions. “Coffee?” smiled Tim. We had to refuse, there was no room left!
This restaurant was a great surprise. I have to admit that some ‘healthy living’ restaurants can leave me quite cold with their lack of imagination in the cuisine and surfeit of lettuce and beans, but the Golden Trumpet is presenting recognizable dishes of great food, in huge portions, made with specially chosen healthy vegetables and cooked in a healthy way. The red snapper with the white wine sauce would be enough to get the Dining Out team to return, and I believe you should try this restaurant too. Incidentally, it would have to be one of the cleanest establishments in Chiang Mai. Very highly recommended.
The Golden Trumpet, 119/4 Thapae Road (a few doors up from Soi 3), telephone 053 279 262, fax 053 209 071, mobile 01 884 5679. Open seven days 9.30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Street parking.