Chiangmai Mail Reporters
A Taste of Heaven on Earth from David’s Kitchen
Nestled in the mountains and surrounded by a picturesque forest, you may very well go to David’s Kitchen at Tharnthong Lodges for dinner and finish up staying for breakfast.
Just 45-minutes east of Chiang Mai along the San Kamphaeng New Road, David Gordon and his wife Prom offer a unique combination of breathtaking scenery, superb food, fine wine and exceptional service that is a surefire recipe for success.
Since they opened three months ago, they’ve been tantalizing the senses of a steady stream of dinners with their mouthwatering Thai and Italian cuisine. A number of those discerning diners have been sufficiently impressed to take the trouble of contacting the Chiangmai Mail to alert us to what they say is “Chiang Mai’s best kept secret. When our newly appointed GM Murray Dickson arrived from Australia, we decided to let him in on the “secret” and introduce him to Tharnthong Lodges with their waterfalls, rivers and ponds and most of all their fabulous food and hospitality.
Just the drive to the venue, after getting out past the city limits had the new boss agog at the beautiful countryside and he wanted to make frequent stops along the way to get out of the car and take in the scenery. When we arrived just after sunset we were greeted with a picture-postcard vision of the Lodges, festooned in decorative lighting. The only thing that outshone the appearance of the place was the greeting we received from David, Prom, their family and assembled staff.

“Patio at David’s Kitchen overlooks botanical setting.”

After we inspected the lodges and their surrounds, an exploration that should not be hurried, simply because you want to linger along the way and enjoy the ambience of this superb setting, we’d worked up a healthy appetite for dinner on the patio adjacent to the main dining area. A survey of what can only be described as a “mesmerizing menu” had our team’s taste buds exploding in eager anticipation but in the end, we all elected to leave the selections up to our hosts. We were certainly not disappointed!
Both Prom and David are brilliant chefs and they proceeded to provide us with a combination of their specialties, starting with Thai and then moving on to Italian. The Thai dishes included such delights as Penang Nua-Beef red Curry; Pork Massaman Curry (a dish which Murray often cooks at home but has decided that Prom’s is even better). We also had a mild but delicious Yellow Chicken Curry and this was followed by what Prom and David say is their “secret recipe” Pork Curry in the form of a Thai-Vietnamese dish called, Kai Ta Krai. Between smacking our lips over every morsel and vowing that we’d never divulge the “secret recipe” if they gave it to us, our hosts, nevertheless, kept their prize recipe under lock and key. Next came our Italian culinary adventure with an array of dishes that could have sated the appetites of the entire Italian Soccer Team. There was Spaghetti Bolognese; Lasagna with Beef and B้chamel Sauce; Penne Arrabiatta and if that wasn’t enough, the most mouthwatering Spaghetti Carbonara with cream, eggs, Parmesan Reggianno and Pancetta Bacon (with the Parmesan and the Pancetta being imported from Italy).
By this time, our new boss was muttering about probably requiring a “block and tackle” to lift him out of his chair but there was still more food on the way. Despite our protesting that we couldn’t possibly eat another bite, our hosts had whipped up what turned out to be possibly the world’s best range of homemade ice cream that encouraged at least a couple to find we could, perhaps, find just enough room for seconds.
While we Thais were washing each course down with soft drinks or beer (of which there was a huge selection) David and Murray discovered that they have similar tastes when it comes to wine. In Murray’s case he has a quaint Aussie term for red wine, “Red Ned” that applies to any good red wine from anywhere in the world. Much to his delight he found that David’s cellar not only holds stocks of excellent white wines but some of his favorite “Red Ned” in the form of 2001 vintage, Villa Martini, 2004 Orvieto Classico and copious flasks of Chianti Cecchi, all of which are priced at only a fraction above the wholesale cost. On the subject of cost, all of these sumptuous main courses are priced around 140 Baht each and nothing is much over 150 Baht.
David’s Kitchen at Tharnthong Lodges is open from Noon for lunch and dinner every day except Tuesday (but if you must go on a Tuesday, they’ll try and fit you in). Reservations can be made on 053 939 472 or E-mail [email protected] You can check the website on www.Tharnthonglodges.com

“One of many water features at Tharnthong Lodges.”