The Tsunami delivers Japanese at sensible prices: By Gladys Windsor

What a name for a restaurant!
The Tsunami is a small Japanese restaurant on Huay Kaew Road just past the Canal Road about 100yds on the right if heading towards Doi Suthep. Although it is small it is easy to spot because the main cooking area is in the front by the side of the road surrounded by customers waiting to get a table.

The place has ten tables downstairs, six upstairs total about 70 seats but the best seats are the ones around the outdoor kitchen where one can watch the chef in action.
It is very busy most nights and if you arrive between 7pm and 8pm expect to cue for at least 10 minutes to get a table.
The Tsunami caters mainly to students and staff from Chiang Mai University and occasionally a few ex-pats have been seen dining here.
It is not a luxurious place – very basic – however it is clean and a staff of 12 that keep on there feet attending to the customers.
None of the staff speak English however the menu is in both Thai and English with some pictures if you need further help. The menu is quite extensive – although not all the items are pictured and sometimes you just look over at someone’s plate, point and order.
A large Singha beer costs 65 baht and a large Heineken sells for 70 baht. Canned fruit juices are available at 15 baht.
The best way to enjoy a meal here is to share – choose lots of dishes. Most of the items on the menu are approximately 40 to 50 baht. If you cannot decide, the chef will prepare a sashimi set for 180 baht.

We ordered gyoza, tuna sashimi, shrimp tempura, seaweed and the soft shell crab maki.
First to arrive was the gyoza followed by the shrimp tempura. Goyza are fried dumplings in the shape of a moon filled with vegetables and minced pork. Having had tempura at various restaurants – I must say the batter at the Tsunami is crisp and light. About 5 minutes later the seaweed arrived served on top of lettuce with orange fish roe dabbled on top.
A Japanese food expert once told me that you can tell the quality of tuna sashimi by the amount of white veins it has in it. The plate of sashimi was fresh, tasty and good quality.
The soft shell crab maki is a favorite amongst regulars, although it is not on the menu. The only description that comes to mind is it melts in your mouth.
Presentation is all important in Japanese cuisine and the chef /owner is an expert. He completes every dish, excluding the fried ones, personally and it is fascinating to watch.
If you were really hungry try one of the many soups or the curry with rice (on the menu it says curry rice) it has real meat vegetables and potatoes in it and a full meal in itself and only 49 baht. Every time I have been there I am always amazed by the price and tonight was no exception, a complete dinner for just under 200 baht per person including beer.
The Tsunami is a great place to adventure in Japanese cuisine and it certainly won’t make a dent in your bank account.
The restaurant is open from 530pm until 1130pm and takeaway is available. Expect a long wait between 7pm and 8pm. Tel 08 7189 9338

Something new at Mi Casa

A view of the garden terrace at Mi Casa situated in the foothills of Chiang Mai.

Mi Casa, Chiang Mai’s Mediterranean dining favorite has added new items on the menu, a new tapas selection, a new a la carte menu and the popular special 4 course tasting menu at 480 baht per person will continue through July.
Owners Annie and Chef Kike have created a perfect oasis in the foothills of Chiang Mai to spend a delightful evening-indoors or on the garden terrace-savoring the eclectic Spanish influenced Mediterranean dishes.
Address: 60/2 Moo 14, Soi Wat Pa Daeng, Suthep Road. Open: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 6:00 pm - 10:00pm. Telephone: 053-810088, 089-5364540. Closed on Mondays.

Chicken fillets with ginger

This is a mainland China recipe and though similar to the Thai Gai Pad Khing uses more ingredients and some different flavors with the use of rice wine, honey and sauces. Sherry can be used in place of the rice wine if difficult to procure. Use the skinless chicken fillets or you can even substitute lean pork.

Cooking Method
Cut the chicken breast into thin strips and dry on paper.
Heat the oil in the wok and add the onions, stir-frying until transparent. Add ginger root and garlic and stir. Now add the chicken strips, rice wine, sugar, honey, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Bring to the boil and cook until the liquid has been reduced 50 percent.
Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with the chopped scallion and serve with steamed rice.

Ingredients                                        Serves 4
Chicken breast fillets                                500 gm
Sunflower oil                                            2 tbspns
Large onion chopped fine                          1
Fresh ginger root, grated                           2 tbspns
Garlic, chopped                                       1 clove
Chinese rice wine                                    150 ml
Sugar                                                      2 tspns
Honey                                                     2 tbspns
Light soy sauce                                       2 tbspns
Dark soy sauce                                       1 tbspn
Scallion, chopped as garnish                    1