Maze 2 Opens: By Brian Baxter
Same – same, but different (location)
Maze 1 well established, it was logical for the ambitious
people behind that and other restaurants to open up Maze 2
in the popular Nimmenhaemen Road – home of so many eateries.
They describe the style as ‘simply modern Thai and
international food’, and the original café – their preferred
description – at Boonruangrit Road has already proved very
popular with young(ish) Thais. Oddly, it attracts less
tourists and resident farangs than it should. Partly I think
because it is not that easy to get to without transport
(there is plenty of parking space) of one’s own or by tuk
tuk. The location is about 3-400 meters along from the
Chiang Mai Ram hospital and coming from the busy junction at
the bottom of Huay Kaew Road necessitates a walk against the
traffic on the moat side and then a precarious march across
the busy main road. Take a tuk tuk!
Maze 2, between Soi 8 and 10, at the ground level of the
Vien Ping Condo is situated on the more pedestrian friendly
Nimmenhaemen Road (not that friendly of course – this is
Chiang Mai!) and as a consequence only offers two parking
spaces. If you already know the original, there are few
surprises in store. After all if it ain’t broken, why fix
it? The extensive menu is exactly the same. The ‘tough’
architecture, with the accent on concrete, wood and subdued
colors is equally striking and attractive and the friendly
and efficient staff even boasts a couple of members from the
other branch. As there, a disc jockey comes in around 21.30
until closing time.
Maze 2 has a (noisy) terrace with just eight tables and room
for about 40 customers inside and is therefore somewhat
smaller than big brother a couple of kilometers away. I went
there on a Tuesday with the Mail’s photographer and his
friend who was sporting an even bigger and smarter camera.
They were so busy chatting about the lens sizes, they let me
choose the food. For drinks, we had two large Singha beers
(90 baht) and two soda waters.
The meal began with two appetizers: a spicy tuna salad and
some deep fried fish patties (85 baht). The ‘mains’ (along
with four portions of rice- the friend has an appetite as
big as his telephoto) were equally tasty. A dish of Rambutan
with spicy prawn salad (95 baht) deep fried morning glory
with a spicy topping, seafood in red curry and deep fried
fish with herbs (90 baht). The total bill for this
substantial meal came to 350 baht a head, including a tip,
which is exceptionally reasonable given the quality,
quantity and the overall surroundings.
The menu is well laid out, very clearly printed in both Thai
and English and so extensive that it is impossible to do
more than list a few items – all of which I have tried at
Maze 1 (they offer a special 10 % discount card for 200 baht
by the way) –and enjoyed. They include Seafood with spicy
chili sauce (150 baht), ticinella pasta with clams (85
baht), stir fried prawns with palm hearts (100 baht), stir
fried asparagus with prawns and oyster sauce and a tom yam
soup with sea food, which comes in a brimful steaming bowl
and is the perfect brunch to cure any hangover – for under
Talking of which I should mention the drinks menu, which is
also large and includes a cocktail list, most of which are
around 120 baht, wine by the glass at 130, by carafe at 480
and no less than 26 different bottles at 1100 baht for
imported and 800 baht for the Thai wines. Coffees, soft
drinks and juices and cocktails are too numerous to list. I
have not tried any of the so-called European dishes or the
puddings, but the latter include chocolate mousse (75 baht)
tiramisu (70 baht) and mandarin cake (60 baht). And they
sell the best yoghurt which I have ever tasted and which is
the highlight of their breakfast menu, served with pancakes
and honey. The Wa-We coffee is also excellent.
I hope the residents of the Vien Ping condos realise how
lucky they are to have Maze 2 on their doorstep. Let’s hope
the people behind the venture find it a successful notion
and start looking for other Condotels in need of them. Next
stop the ground floor of Hillside 4 on Huay Kaew Road.
Fish fillets with garlic potatoes
You can use most kinds of fish fillets for this week’s recipe, just ensure
that you very carefully fillet the fish, or that your supplier has done so. The
flavor is quite delicate and you should be able to enjoy the garlic, both in the
sauce for the fish and through the potatoes as well.
In a skillet, deglaze with extra virgin olive oil, and
sear fish on both sides until golden brown. Remove fish from skillet and place
on a draining stand then cook in 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes.
In the sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter plus capers, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon
garlic and onions. Deglaze with white wine, add 3 teaspoons of chopped parsley.
Reduce liquid by one third, add vinegar.
Prepare mashed potatoes by boiling, then add 2 teaspoons of minced garlic during
the final mashing.
Serve the fish on the top of the potatoes and drizzle the sauce over the fish.
Garnish plate with 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley.Serve the fish on the top of
the potatoes and drizzle the sauce over the fish.
Garnish plate with 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley.
Serves 4- 6
Potatoes (steamer size)
Dry white wine
Tomatoes diced, peeled
Fresh parsley chopped
White balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste