Is there enough business in Chiang Mai to support two The
Duke’s restaurants’? Apparently the investors think so!
The original The Duke’s which is located along the Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road,
beside the Ping River caters mainly for local residents and occasional movie
stars such as Sylvester Stallone who had been spotted several times eating up a
storm during his recent stay in Chiang Mai.
original Duke’s has been successful as a moderately priced restaurant since the
first day it opened about 2 years ago.
This can be attributed to several factors that are essential in a value for
money eatery. The quality of the food is consistent, it is delicious and the
servings are very, very generous. Myself, a regular, but also many of my friends
sometimes wonder how this restaurant can serve such good quality beef yet when
the “check bin” check in Thai is brought to the table nobody finds it hard to
pull his wallet out. As busy as it can be for lunches or dinner one can always
find a convenient parking space, great during the wet season.
The new Duke’s in the night bazaar area at 145 Changklan Road next to McDonalds
caters mainly to tourists as David, the manager and one of the investors told me
on a recent visit. The concept is the same and the menu offers some new items
not offered at the original branch. The popular items such as the fall of the
bone ribs, the hamburgers, huge salads and steaks are on offer at the new
locale. The prices are a bit higher also. David’s justification for this is that
the rent for the night bazaar premises is much higher and the ingredients used
there are a bit more sophisticated.
example, the white pizza - I think this is the only restaurant in Chiang Mai
offering one - has four different cheeses mixed together in order to create a
balance in texture, moistness and flavor. The combination produces a
mouthwatering creation despite the absence of tomato sauce (that’s why it is
called white pizza!). The restaurant has an indoor brick wood oven and like the
kitchen itself it is in open view for all the diners to keep an eye on the food
Free parking is available on the roof of the building. A small road (soi)
located immediately after the restaurant’s main entrance that leads you up to
the parking area.
A ticket is issued by the security guard as you drive in but don’t forget to
have the staff validate the ticket on the way out.
I ordered a Greek white pizza (Baht 185) and a German Paulaner dark beer (Baht
150). About ten minutes after I placed my order the pizza was served. It was
pleasantly presented with sun-dried tomatoes and black and kalamata olives
contrasting with the color of the cheeses and the pale green chunks of artichoke
hearts. The aroma of the baked dough and the melting cheeses made me salivate
and I was ready to stop any conversation or distraction and concentrate on my
I have been told and found it to be true, that when you concentrate on the
chewing process while eating and allow your mind to unify itself with the total
experience, the pleasure is intensified ten folds.
I took a bite on my still hot pizza; the cheeses melted in my mouth, dripped
over my lower lip and onto the plate. I licked my lips and savored the
crunchiness of the artichoke hearts and the sourness of the sun-dried tomatoes.
It was sheer ecstasy. Before I swallowed the last bite of my pizza, I passed my
forefinger over my plate and collected the falling cheese. I could not waste
The waiters and waitresses were polite, attentive, friendly and multilingual.
How could one grade or measure an eating experience? I believe that the urgency
of the desire to go and repeat that same experience is a sound point of
reference and certainly I am eager to return. In fact, I may well have a white
pizza once a week at The Duke’s as part of my weekly schedule.
The new The Duke’s is located at 145 Changklan Road and is open daily for lunch
and dinner. Tel. 053-818-603.
Fish with Spicy Mushroom Sauce
This is another variation on the type of dish
in the classic European style of cooking, but now with a little Oriental
flavor. You can add more chilli sauce if you want to spice it up a little
more, but just a little!
Heat oil and butter in frying pan. Season the fish fillets with salt
and black pepper and then cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until
light brown, reduce heat to low and cook a further 4 minutes,
turning once. When fillets are cooked cover and keep warm in
While fish is cooking, trim and slice shallots, peel and finely chop
garlic, chop coriander and clean and slice mushrooms. Add spring
onions, garlic and mushrooms to pan and fry over moderate heat until
Stir flour into pan and cook for 1 minute, add stock and bring to
boil. Cook mushroom sauce for two minutes, reduce the heat, add
cream, parsley, coriander, chilli sauce and mustard and stir well.
Return the fillets of fish to the pan and heat gently for 2-3
|Salt and black
|Coriander fresh chopped