Six of the Best : By Brian Baxter
Some recommended Thai restaurants in Chiang Mai
It’s that time of the year: lists of the best movies, best
books and so on. So why not just a few of the good Thai
eateries that have featured in the Mail during the past
months? All offer excellent, tasty food within the low to
mid price range – between 150 baht and 400 baht, say,
including a beer or glass of wine and a tip. No really fancy
restaurants and no little hideaways that serve super food
but are not really a ‘dining out’ experience.
Most of the following have a predominantly Thai clientele,
although The Gallery, because of its location and
proximity to other good restaurants such as The Good
View and The Riverside, attracts more
visitors. Ney Ney, on the other hand, as well as
being the least expensive and one of the best for food and
the cheapest is mainly Thai. The rest have a slightly more
‘middle class’ following, youngish locals who appreciate the
sensible prices whilst enjoying the stylish surroundings.
Visiting Maze 1 again the evening before writing this
article I found myself the only farang amongst perhaps 30-
40 Thais. The food was tasty and ‘mai paeng’. It simply
tells me that they know what’s good.
The list is alphabetical. Hopefully it will be useful during
this season of holiday visitors.
Café de Nimman. This is far more than a café and
offers a really wide-ranging menu, even sporting a few
‘European’ offering plus pizzas. But forget those in favor
of the large selection of Thai dishes, including a few based
around their ‘speciality’ – New Zealand green mussels. Three
small areas, the interior ‘café’, the terrace and the main
outside dining room. An easy going place as befits the
location at the Rooms complex, on Nimmanhaeminda Road, just
before the park and CMU buildings on the left heading from
Unpretentious and deservedly popular.
The Gallery. A large restaurant, which also boasts an
attractive shop with Thai silks and many items and an
adjacent bar, which serves food and has regular jazz
evenings. The main restaurant has an interior terrace and
then a main section within the garden overlooking the Ping
River. Lanna orientated food is served in generous portions
by an amiable if impersonal staff. They also have a good
selection of wines and cater for the many tourists who visit
the area. But this does not detract from the authentic food
and the relaxed atmosphere, which makes it an ideal place to
take your more conventional visitors. Open until late at 25
The Green Mill. Although listed here with Thai
restaurants, which essentially it is, this might be
described as offering fusion food since they have excellent
pastas and many other choices, including superb quality
grilled fish. A fairly quiet restaurant, ideal to enjoy a
meal a deux or with a group of friends, it has a wine shop
outlet so you have a huge choice to go with the meal or to
takeaway, or you may, of course, choose from the menu. There
is also a CD and DVD shop to one side. Very civilized
personal service from the owner –chef team and their polite
staff. Find it on the left of Lanna Hospital soi, about a
kilometer down the road, which is immediately after the
large, well lit hospital sign on Super Highway.
Maze 1 and 2. Identical menus and style of
presentation, each with music after 9.30pm. They describe
themselves as simply modern Thai and offer a wide range of
food (plus a few pastas and ice creams) that is really tasty
at surprisingly low prices. The atmosphere is very ‘laid
back’ and the friendly service can be mildly erratic. They
each have an outside eating area, although the interiors are
quieter since both are on busy roads. Maze 1, which opens at
9.30 in the morning is on Boomruangrat Road, about 400
meters before Chiang Mai Ram Hospital. Maze 2 is between soi
8 and 10 on Nimmanhaeminda Road, at the Vien Ping condo.
Mo’C Mo’L. This reminds me somewhat of a large French
brasserie, with its bustling atmosphere and spaciousness. As
well as the main restaurant (divided into an interior and a
large balcony area) there is an adjacent bar with live music
(sound proofed) and a large café at the entrance. Ample
parking is thankfully provided since this is a very busy
place, located on Huay Kaew Road, about 300 meters after
Canal Road, just before the CMU. The menu is large,
including Japanese and some European food, with a wide
choice of Thai dishes and a vast drinks menu. Bright and
lively – ideal for your younger guests.
Ney Ney. Last but by no means least, the bustling and
friendly open restaurant on the corner of Soi Taewan and
Super Highway about 200 meters before Grand View Hotel
heading for Rincome. The tables and chairs are fairly basic
and it can be a little noisy near the (excellent) musicians
but the food is served promptly and cheaply. The young staff
work hard and if you want to take a group of friends to a
cut above the really ‘local’ Thai restaurant this would
certainly be a good choice. Beer is served in towers, jugs
or by glass and is a justifiably popular choice thanks to
its really low price. Excellent. I can’t wait to go back
here or to any of the above.
Next week a half dozen of the best Italian restaurants in
Two Oysters for Xmas
With all the festive season parties, here are a couple of oyster recipes to
lift your party fare above the usual cocktail sausages and ketchup. Both are
easy to prepare and you can buy fresh shelled oysters at the local markets.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Stretch the bacon with the
back of a knife, then cut each rasher in half. Wrap a piece of bacon round each
oyster and pierce with a toothpick. Place on a baking tray. Bake for about 8
Butter the toast, arrange two angels on each piece (remembering to remove
toothpicks) and garnish the dish with the coriander.
Angels on Horseback Serves 6
Bacon streaky rashers
Toast small slices
Coriander leaf chopped
Mince the onion, celery and garlic.
Melt butter in large saucepan and sauté the celery and onions until transparent.
Blend in the flour and simmer for three minutes adding the garlic and bay
leaves. Add the milk and water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the oysters and salt and pepper, simmer for five more minutes and serve.
Oyster Soup Serves: 8
Cracked black pepper 1 tspn