The Green Mill: By Brian Baxter

Quality Thai-fusion food at modest prices

In the Christmas edition of the Mail, I recommended Thai restaurants that were previously reviewed in this column by me or my predecessors. On checking again it seems that a particular favorite, The Green Mill, had not been written about fully. A wonderful excuse for a couple of further visits with friends over that very long holiday period, since this particular place represents the essence of Dining Out in Chiang Mai. Good food, pleasant surroundings, expertly cooked and served and all at moderate prices.
It is located just a few minutes by car from Rincome Junction heading toward Mae Rim - a journey made easy since the completion of the Super Highway. Head for the large green sign at Lanna Hospital and take the first soi immediately after the hospital. Follow that road for less than a kilometer. This attractive white restaurant is on the left. It also has a small coffee bar or luncheon room, a wine shop and a DVD/CD shop attached. But it is the cool, calm restaurant that we are interested in.
The menu is large, but not “Chinese-style” ridiculously so. It is clearly printed in English and Thai and has many classic Thai dishes, alongside ‘fusion’ food and a few European offerings. Everything is cooked freshly so it can be served at any degree of spiciness and since the restaurant seats only about 30 people service is prompt as well as discreetly friendly.
There is a small selection of ‘extras’ listed on a small side menu and on a recent visit these included soft shell crab and spaghetti and other dishes featuring green New Zealand mussels. Two friends opted for a fancy looking dish, served in scooped out pineapple, into which was a luscious selection of ‘Royal’ Sea Food, (250 baht). I opted on this occasion for a particular favorite - the butter grilled fillets of Ruby fish, served simply garnished. They also enjoyed an authentic Boston Clam Chowder, (100 baht), while I enthused over a spicy salad. The puddings, should you need one, are not spectacular, based as they are around cakes and ice creams, but cost only 35 baht. The coffee addict amongst us pronounced the espresso ‘good’, which is more of a compliment than it might sound.
Amongst other ‘specials’ are a range of pastas and steaks, including T-bone and grilled salmon, and a range of one-dish Thai options, together with others such as broccoli or asparagus with prawns. They even serve that former nursery food, mashed potatoes, which has in recent years been elevated to new-found favor and flavor following the hugely successful Jamie Oliver books and TV series. Fish can also be had steamed in various ways or deep fried, including chili sauce or garlic and black pepper.
As mentioned, there is a wine outlet attached so you can have fun selecting your tipple before the meal from a range that would be the envy of most restaurants. Alternatively, excellent wine is served by the glass at 130 baht - and this is far better than your average ‘house’ wine. Beer Singha is a modest 60 baht and there are plenty of soft options.
There is discreet background music and the ambience might best be described as discreet. This is a place to go for the quality of the food, the cooking and the comfortable surroundings, not for a raucous night out. An average meal that will leave only the gluttonous asking for more should work out at around 350- 400 baht, including drinks and service. You will find this excellent restaurant in Lanna Hospital Soi.
Note: The Mail’s photographer pointed out a web site that suggested reviews here were ‘influenced’ by the restaurants themselves. This is not the case. We make our own choices, arrive unannounced and pay for all food and drinks ourselves, however often we eat at any particular place. The only decision made is that we ignore restaurants that we find inadequate, rather than give a bad review. Recommendations from friends or readers are always welcome.


Tod Mun Goong (Deep-fried prawn balls)

This is a very simple and very tasty Thai style appetizer. It will take less than ten minutes to prepare, especially if you buy the prawn pre-minced. It is important to mix the ingredients well, so that the formed prawn balls do not fall apart during deep frying.

Cooking Method
In a bowl, combine the minced prawn, the coriander, garlic, pepper and the egg. Mix very well to get the egg right through all the prawn meat. Add the sugar to the fish sauce and stir well. Now add half a cup of bread crumbs to the prawn, along with the fish sauce/sugar mixture and salt. Mix well again and form the meat into round balls. Now roll the prawn balls in the remainder of the bread crumbs, coating them thoroughly.
In a deep pan heat the oil and carefully place the prawn balls into the hot oil and quickly deep fry until a light golden brown colour. Remove from the oil, drain and serve with prawn dipping sauce (and tooth-picks).

Ingredients Serves        4
Minced prawn              200 gms
Bread Crumbs                 1 cup
Salt                               1 tspn
Sugar                            1 tspn
Fish sauce                   1 tbspn
Pounded combined coriander root,
garlic and pepper           1 tspn
Egg                                     1
Vegetable oil               3 cups