Exceptional value for money
By Elle Faraday
The proliferation of Japanese restaurants throughout Chiang
Mai in recent years is testament to the increasing popularity of cuisine from
the Land of the Rising Sun. These restaurants are not only popular with the
large Japanese community living here but are well patronised by Thai and expat
residents alike. Personally I have always had a great liking of the simplicity
of Japanese food; I love the freshness of the ingredients and the attention to
presentation that makes everything look simply sumptuous. I am always on the
lookout for good Japanese cuisine and when I received a recommendation by a
friend to visit the Japanese buffet at the Tawan Coffee Shop, located on the
second floor of the Central Duangtawan Hotel, I decided to pay a visit.
The hotel presents its Japanese buffet every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night
and I was astonished at the exceptional value for money that it offers. The food
costs just 250 baht for as much as you can eat and no one on the planet would
surely have a big enough appetite to try everything on offer.
When I dine on Japanese I have a ritual of starting with sashimi. I just love
the fresh clean taste of raw fish with the wonderful, nose burning sensation of
lashings of wasabi mustard in soy sauce. How I was spoiled! There was an
enormous plate of fresh sashimi and I was tempted to over indulge on the salmon
and saba along with the squid and sea bass. I managed to control myself in order
to leave room for the many other delights on offer. I did, however, help myself
to a couple of the nigiri and norimaki sushi as they were just too well
presented to resist!
After finishing my delicious starters I was faced with an enormous range of
options for my main course. I opted for another of my favourites - teppanyaki.
There was a wonderful selection of raw meats and seafood to tempt me and as it
was all included in the price I naturally decided to go for both! I assembled an
impressive plate of giant prawns, fresh squid and fish and another of tender
beef and succulent chicken for myself and my dining partner to enjoy and handed
it to a jolly looking chef who began cooking my feast with great gusto and
style! I have to admit that while we were waiting for it to cook we had a little
nibble at some prawn and vegetable tempura that was deep fried in the lightest
and most delicate of batters.
We enjoyed the teppanyaki with some delicious garlic rice and a plate of stir
fried vegetables from the buffet table. In traditional style, we washed the
feast down with a couple of flasks of sake which was warmed and served to
There was so much more on offer but unfortunately we had eaten as much as we
could and I wanted to leave a little space for dessert. Next time, we will
certainly enjoy the delights that we missed out on this time, including Japanese
seafood salads, Hong Kong roasted chicken, vegetarian selections as well as
dishes for the more conservative westerner of chicken in a wine sauce, a beef
dish and a pasta dish.
The selection of desserts was irresistible. I indulged in a slice of the
wonderfully creamy blueberry cheesecake while my partner opted for a calorie
loaded mousse. There was also a wide range of Asian desserts and for the more
health conscious, a bewildering array of beautifully presented fresh fruit.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Duang Tawan Hotel and I still cannot
believe the exceptional value for money that the Japanese buffet offers.
Luckily, its location close to the Night Bazaar meant we were able to walk off
some of the calories gained while eating the wonderful food.
The Central Duangtawan Hotel is located at 132 Loi Kroh Road. The Japanese
Buffet is served in the Tawan Coffee Shop on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights
from 6pm. For reservations call 053 270 384.