Hand out the cigars!: By Farrah Praisal

Ginger @ Kafe

Well, it was bound to happen! You leave a handsome, successful restaurant like The House all alone in a compound with a sexy, cute fashion house like Ginger and eventually they are sure to get together and produce an heir. And it is with great pride that the birth of that heir took place in February. And what a lovely baby it is…son of House, otherwise known as Ginger @ Kafe. After only six months the restaurant is already running strong.
Ginger @ Kafe is located in the airy, well appointed space adjacent to The House where they used to sell a variety of home accessories. The décor is wonderful, whimsical, chic and comfortable. The room features overstuffed cushy sofas, big tables and a nice open feeling. The ceiling is high with a variety of ceiling lights fashionably brought together under a shroud of white fabric for a different and stylish look that is very inline with the rest of the eatery. However, now there’s an even better reason to go: Chef Poms fusion- inspired food, which soars as high as the ceiling.

The menu is diverse and if you consider the fact that in addition to the regular Ginger @ Kafe menu a guest can also order from the daily House menu as well as the regular tapas menu you realize you have not only a plethora of choices but a real diversity. On a recent visit I noticed seasonal favorites like som tam with soft shell crab at 180 baht and a tempting rhubarb trifle for dessert.
There was also a talented visiting guest chef from Mexico who has created exotic and delicious taste treats like fajita chicken with avocado and salsa roja at 180 baht and tortilla baskets with three different ceviche fish fillings at 230 baht. Although her talent in the kitchen will be missed as she returns to Mexico at the end of the month, I am told that the dishes she brought with her will remain available at least through the summer months.
On my last visit every dish was on the mark. Pom is an expert at harmonizing flavors and the chicken with cashew nuts was fresh and scrumptious. It’s a beautiful dish with a clean, rich flavor and a slight burn from chiles. It was not only a visual delight, but the flavors popped. The dish is paired with lovely stir fried mixed vegetables and crab fried rice and offered as one of two Thai set platters at a very reasonable 190 baht. A favorite of mine is good old fish and chips and the Ginger @ Kafe has one of the best. The fish is an entire sea bass with a beautiful batter coating and a white and snowy inside…delicious!
I also highly recommend their version of a Nicoise salad at 190 baht. The salad featured tender, succulent strips of fresh tuna on a bed of crisp greens with a light dressing and hard boiled eggs. It was an afternoon delight and a great lunch for anyone watching the calories. The steak sandwich with onion chutney at 240 baht was composed of lean, tender and perfectly prepared beef and the chutney was a perfect accompaniment. I could go on and on describing the variety of curries, stir fries, pastas and noodle dishes but suffice it to say I think you will be happy with whatever you choose. Style is a big motivator here and some dishes look as if they came out of the finest of French kitchens…and artistic delight!
Lest you go and eat as much as I did, I must first warn you that you must at all costs save room for the desserts. Chef Pom is as adept at the sweets as he is at the savories. On my last visit the sweet treats included a blackberry and apple crumble, banana coconut muffins and a delicious milk chocolate tart amongst others. There was also an old fashioned banana split on the menu that I am saving for my next outing.
The proprietor, the always friendly and gracious Hans, has informed me that the future holds a traditional weekend brunch with standards like eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles and maybe even a blintz of two. This is something I think Chiang Mai is lacking and I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.
The Ginger @ Kafe is open seven days a week form 10am to 10pm. They offer a wide variety of coffees, teas, wines, beers and soft drinks. Ample parking is provided and with only 7 tables inside and 5 outside you might want to phone ahead. The address is 199 Moonmuang Road (inside moat road). Tel. 053-419-011.


Chicken Drumsticks in Orange/Soy sauce

This recipe is based on an old Indonesian dish known as “Ajam berkuah jerik manis dan soya”. A true stir-fry, it does however take some time in the cooking stage, as you have to make sure the chicken drumsticks are cooked through.

Cooking Method
Rub the chicken drumsticks lightly with salt. Heat the oil in the wok and add the onion and fry until transparent. Add chicken and stir-fry for eight minutes. Now add garlic and chilli pastes and add the orange and lemon juice, chicken dipping sauce and five tablespoons boiling water.
Stir and add the palm sugar then bring to the boil and simmer for three minutes.
Mix the corn flour with two tablespoons of cold water then add to the liquid in the wok, stirring thoroughly as it thickens. Make sure you move all the drumsticks through the thickening sauce and simmer for another two minutes.
Arrange the drumsticks on a warm serving dish and pour the sauce over them and serve immediately.

Ingredients     Serves    4
Chicken drumsticks               12
Vegetable oil                3 tbspns
Onion, chopped               1 large
Garlic, chopped fine         1 clove
Chilli paste                       1 tspn
Orange juice (no pulp)    5 tbspns
Lemon juice                 2 tbspns
Chicken dipping sauce  4 tbspns
Palm sugar                   1 tbspn
Corn flour                       2 tspns
Salt                         as required
Water                      as required