DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

D2’s moxie – is it for U2?

The latest in ‘hip hotels’ is the newly opened D2, down in the Night Bazaar area. I will not say this hotel was easy to find, and in fact after two ‘grand tours’ of the area we parked our car and took two tuk-tuks, one of which got lost as well! However, before you give up, the efforts in finding D2 are worthwhile.
D2 (a new offshoot of the Dusit Hotels) has gone to great pains to not only appear different, but even the hierarchy has different nomenclature as well. No GM for D2, this hotel has a ‘Guru’ at the top, and a ‘Whiz’ in PR and Marketing!
I have to say that I just loved the d้cor. Clean, sharp-edged styling with full use of color and lighting, with their ‘signature’ orange predominating. Use of alternative materials, such as interlaced water hyacinth stems to make avant-garde chairs, were abundant, with even the menus being printed on clear acetate and placed on burnished stainless steel. It is easy to imagine this definitely ‘trendy’ hotel is in New York, but being in 700 year old Lanna makes it even more outstanding. However, I have to say that the service staff’s dress code looked to me to be ‘sloppy’ rather than ‘trendy’, but perhaps I have had too many dinners in my lifetime, and the generation gap is showing!

The wine cellar stretches along two walls, all temperature controlled, with their range of both old and new world wines being mainly in the B. 1,000-2,500 bracket.
The menu is eclectic which D2 describes as “modern international” and is under the eye of a modern international German chef, who was unfortunately ‘snowed under’ on our evening out, so we did not get to speak with him, but did manage to nod from a distance.
We were a party of four, and D2’s whiz Danaya Sarikbutr suggested that she present some tasting serves for the appetizers at the moxie, to give us a wider spread, but then follow that up with full-serve portions for the mains.
The D2 signature appetizer is superb, with green papaya salad with steamed shrimps, Shanghai noodle salad, spicy squid salad, fresh spring roll with duck and salmon tartar with guacamole and all this for B. 280. We also had a seared seaweed wrapped tuna rolls with accompanying sweet mango salsa (B. 230) and was a hit with the entire team.
Moving on from the appetizers we sampled a spaghetti served with roasted Chiang Mai sausage, chilli, hot basil and crispy pork skin saut้ed in green curry sauce with sliced chicken breast and baby eggplant (B. 130), another East meets West tongue tingler, and a Pad Thai at B. 120.
Into the mains and we had a wonderfully tender dish of BBQ baby pork ribs on sweet potato mash with spicy green papaya salad and BBQ sauce. This is in the menu at B. 260 and was the favorite of the evening for three of our team. We also had a snow fish (B. 460), the favorite for the fourth member.
Desserts were again fabulously artistic creations, and the nutty caramelized cheese cake (B. 110) was to die for.
D2’s moxie is a modern restaurant, serving modern-style food, verging on ‘fusion’ with items from both European and Thai cuisine. The presentation is almost without peer, just sensational. The portions are more than adequate, with D2 eschewing the ‘nouvelle cuisine’ mini-serves, but rather giving the diner a full plate of very interesting food.
When you then look at the fare in D2’s moxie restaurant, and cast an eye over the price there is an immediate disparity. In five star surroundings such as the D2 has, for food and presentation of this quality, the pricing is far too low. This may be a deliberate management policy to attract the local population, but whatever, I would suggest you try the D2’s moxie, before management changes its mind and prices move to their more correct level! Very highly recommended.
Moxie restaurant, ground floor D2 hotel, 100 Chang Klan Road, Muang, Chiang Mai, telephone 0 5399 9999, fax 0 5325 2404, www.d2hotels.com. Open seven days from 6.30 a.m. until 1 a.m. Secure parking within the hotel car grounds.