Moxxie Restaurant at D2: By Brian Baxter
An oasis of calm in the Night Bazaar
to name the worst restaurants in Chiang Mai a couple of
prime contenders would spring immediately to mind. One a
short stone’s throw from a 5 star hotel and the other a
harder throw from the night bazaar. (I’m not talking about
aberrations such as well-known food outlets, which have
transformed the culinary art to new levels of indifference
and ineptitude, but rather eateries with pretensions). Both
these places and others I could think of are popular, mainly
with tourists and taste-blind residents, and offer food from
conveyor belts at ludicrous prices, served by staff who wish
to be ingratiating but end up as condescending. Bad is bad –
in any language.
Asked to name the ‘best’ restaurant in the City and I would
find that an impossible task. One man’s small change is
another’s mortgage. Some like it hot. A person may like a
relaxed atmosphere, another prefers formality. The
variations are endless. Best in its ‘class’, best value,
best regardless of price, best Thai, best Japanese? Each to
his own and even then it will depend on the company, the
chef’s mood and the choice of dish. So next week and the
week after a selection of a dozen or so places that belong
on any good food guide to Chiang Mai.
And this week not, perhaps, that impossible ‘best’, but
simply the restaurant I most enjoy going to, in what might
be called the middle price range. It’s the Moxxie at D2.
A place where I feel comfortable and which I have found
completely consistent in its quality of food, service and
mood. I have eaten there alone, with Thais, with visiting
relatives and friends and in groups attending their
memorable buffet nights, notably the Japanese inspired
Two points to note: the modern décor, the large entrance and
bar and the well spaced tables are not to everyone’s taste
and one rather old-fashioned friend even tut-tutted over the
‘outlandish’ staff uniforms, which I find most becoming.
Secondly, although the food is sensibly priced, there is no
doubt that alcoholic drinks can be expensive, especially the
classier wines, and fancier offerings such as Champagne
cocktails (550 baht) and the top quality grappa. The prices
do not include service or taxes nor those little ‘extras’
such as mineral water so they too can send the bill into a
new level. But choose sensibly and the prices are reasonable
given the style and quality of the food and setting.
What then of the food and those potentially expensive
drinks? Well beers such as Singha and Heineken are 120 baht,
cocktails hover around the 200 baht mark and wine by the
glass ranges from 180 baht for the perfectly drinkable
Monsoon Valley Shiraz or Colombard from Thailand to the
slightly more expensive offerings from Chile or Australia.
Top-notch vintages, superior whiskies, the aforementioned
eau de vie and other drinks are all there for the asking.
But staying at ground level, wines range from 800 baht to
around 1800 baht a bottle.
The food menu - given clearly in Thai and English - can only
be described as ‘fusion’. Thai elements of course, but
cleverly integrated with Japanese and other Asian food as
well as Italian.
There is a salad/appetizer section, a small selection of
soups (110 to 190 baht), pasta and noodles dishes and what
are called main dishes, including the delicious snow fish,
Australian steaks (around 500 baht) and excellent spicy
offerings including fried scallops with chili sauce, bok
choy and Chinese crispy noodles or wok fried butterfly
prawns with black pepper, mushrooms and jasmine rice (each
My personal favorites are the Royal Project salads and these
can be served simply with the classic D2 dressing (130 baht)
or variations such as smoked salmon or with walnuts and
Parmesan cheese. Alternatively opt for a Caesar salad or the
crispy fried trout with banana blossom leaves and Thai betal
(230 baht). Or for my money quite the best thing on the
menu, the nori wrapped tuna loin, ginger and coriander, with
a salsa and wasabee mayonnaise accompaniment. This makes a
superb main course to follow one of their very generous
A range of pastas can be had with classic sauces such as
carbonara or bolognaise, or more inventively with calamari,
basil and roasted garlic or spicy variations (around 250).
Curries, noodles dishes are also tasty or you might head for
the ‘mains’, which include rack of lamb or pork. But leave
room for the desserts if those tempt you. They can be had
singly or you might like to taste a mini selection of four
different sweets, which make a perfect dish for sharing - as
indeed does the ‘signature’ dish from the starters, with
four choices on one elegant plate.
It’s worth mentioning that the portions are generous and all
ingredients superbly fresh. Tempting breads with dips are
served and unless you have a ravenous appetite I doubt
you’ll go away hungry. More importantly, your taste buds
will have been awakened.
There’s no doubt that the Moxxie offers one of the most
satisfying ‘dining out ‘ experiences to be had anywhere in
Chiang Mai - and far beyond.
Moxxie at D2 100 Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai 50100
Tel. 053 99 9999 Open every day for lunch and dinner.
Indian-style vegetable soup
This is the cold season, and a hot spicy soup is a great way to start the
evening meal. Many European vegetable soups require much cooking and simmering,
but this Indian vegetable soup only takes 15 minutes of cooking time. You can
increase the garlic to three cloves and add some chilli powder if you want to
give it more spiciness.
Heat the butter in the pot and then fry the onions
until transparent. Add the crushed garlic and cook until the onion turns golden
Add all the remaining vegetables and pour in 1.5 litres of boiling water. Stir
well and then cook gently for 12 minutes.
Finally, add the black pepper, turmeric and salt to taste. Stir well, sprinkle
on the coriander garnish and serve.
Onions, large and coarsely chopped 2
Carrot, large julienned
Celery sticks, sliced
White cabbage, shredded 350 gm
Tomatoes, skinned and diced
Black pepper finely ground 1 tspn
Salt to taste
Coriander, finely chopped 1 tbspn