Queen Victoria Inn hits the mark: By Farrah Praisal

Some of the best characteristics of a British pub – the neighborliness, the friendly owners, and t he beer – all are part of the Queen Victoria Inn and known as simply the Queen Vic in Chiang Mai. And the food, it’s pretty darn good, too.

A small row of tables with umbrellas mark the well designed front of the building. Sit outside during a cool afternoon or a clear night. If you’re not a local, the staff will make you feel like one in no time.
Dark wood tables in spacious booths define the inside dining area, surrounding a free internet station at its center. WIFI is offered for those who prefer their own laptops.
Glass partitions featuring the pubs namesake monarch separate the booths and provide a cozy, private feeling.
The QV is owned by affable Ian Hollingsworth, his wife Air, and his adorable new addition William. The man at the kitchens helm for all of its 18 months is the always friendly Chef Poe.
The offerings are typical pub fare but also include Thai choices to please everyone. The menu is large, and includes both small and large plates, and a wide variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and entrees.

My favorite, as well as being a great deal for those with a hearty appetite, is the Sunday Carvery. For a mere 295 baht one can enjoy as much as they like of wonderfully prepared roast beef, pork, lamb and chicken freshly carved and served up by Chef Poe himself. The feast also includes Yorkshire pudding, seasonal veggies, roast and mashed potatoes with gravy, bread and butter and your choice of ice cream if you still have room for it.
The pub seems to cater to the big eater and also features a pound burger named the “enorma-horse, that Ian assures me is top grade Australian beef. If you are truly hungry or just arrived from the jungles try the 1 kilo megosaurus steak or the foot long crazy dog.
A real table pleaser is the enormous appetizer sampler plate enough to feed a party of four.
The breakfast is a real treat and has the best sausage, bacon, fried potatoes and beans I have had in Thailand.
On the drinks menu the variety is also extensive. The QV offers Guinness, John Smiths and Heineken on tap and the distinction as being the only drinking spot in Chiang Mai to have Strongbow cider on tap. They back those up with a full bar and nice selection of wines.
A large flat screen TV is usually tuned on the important sporting event of the afternoon.
If you wander up the stairs you will find a free pool table on the mezzanine and above that 8 rooms that rent from 600 to 750 per night and are often full. The rooms are well appointed with a safe, DVD player, air-con, cable TV and WIFI.
Ian is also the proprietor of the Hungry Horse on Loi Kroh and is soon to open the Gate House in the space formerly occupied by True Blue in Thapae Gate.
The pub is open from 8am to midnight every day and does accept reservations. The Queen Victoria is located next the Vista Hotel near the Khum Kaew Palace inside the moat. Tel. 053-418-266.

Braised Five Spice Coconut Fish

The use of desiccated coconut is very popular in Malaysia, and this recipe has its origins there. For authenticity substitute Garam Masala instead of the Five Spice. A flavorsome way to present fish fillets.

Cooking Method
Clean the fish fillets and dry and then flood with lemon juice and stand for 15 minutes. Place desiccated coconut in a bowl with 5 tablespoons of boiling water and leave for 15 minutes.
After standing for 15 minutes, in the food processor, place the coconut, onion, garlic, coconut milk, turmeric, Five Spice, chilli paste and puree the mixture, adding water to keep the mixture quite thin in consistency.
Now boil the mixture and put half of it in a baking dish, adding the fish fillets and then pouting the rest of the mixture over the fillets.
Cover the baking dish and bake in the oven ar 220 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately after sprinkling the spring onion over them as garnish.


Serves 4-6

White fish fillets

750 gm

Lemon juice

3 tbspns

Desiccated coconut

50 gm

Onions, chopped


Garlic, chopped

2 cloves

Coconut milk (canned)

250 ml

Chilli paste

1 tspn

Turmeric powder

1 tspn

Five Spice

1 tspn

Spring onion, chopped