The Green Mill: By Brian Baxter
Quality Thai-fusion food at modest prices
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
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.
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).
Pounded combined coriander root,
garlic and pepper