The Miyuki at the Royal Princess Hotel: By Brian Baxter
Superb Japanese food served in elegant surroundings
Japanese food at its best is known for the quality of its
ingredients, the freshness of those ingredients and the
impeccable presentation and service which accompanies it. I
know this to be true from three working visits to that
intriguing country and from rather costly Japanese
restaurants in London and elsewhere.
Not surprisingly, Chiang Mai boasts quite a few eateries
offering a wide range of Japanese food, from open-air local
places near the CMU in Huey Kaew Road, others in town and
those less fancy outlets in shopping malls. However, if you
want to enjoy the real experience in surroundings where the
food and service is - as the many photographs of the Thai
Royal Family testify - good enough for a Queen then look no
further than the first floor of the Royal Princess Hotel.
I have eaten there on a few occasions, but only in their
Thai restaurant, when friends have been staying there. They
also have a Chinese Restaurant called the Jasmine, right
next door to the Miyuki, which I visited last week with an
English friend and our two Thai companions. I should tell
you right away that all four of us considered the meal a
memorable experience. The food was wonderfully tasty,
beautifully presented, graciously served and as fresh as
Accordingly it is not inexpensive, but then neither was it
overpriced, more value and judicious choice from the wide
ranging menu should not break the bank.
We enjoyed a meal that included two dishes that will long
remain in the memory and none that were ordinary; with them
we had beer Singha and two carafes of excellent quality
sake. The bill came in at 750 baht a head, including tax and
service and a small extra tip. And whilst such comparisons
are not completely meaningful I would suggest that the
equivalent cost in London, in similar surroundings, would be
around 70 pounds a person or between 4000 and 5000 baht. Not
surprisingly, my English visitor was agreeably surprised.
We were seated in one of the small private rooms for four,
with the tables at lap height. Luckily for the oldsters
there was a dropped floor so we were able to sit without
crossed legs! There are plenty of impeccably laid ‘normal’
tables in the main restaurant but this setting gave the meal
an extra level of authenticity.
And that is the word which I believe best describes the food
on offer. The menu, clearly laid out in Japanese, Thai and
English is far from daunting but does I believe include many
dishes and ingredients that are a direct ‘translation’ of
the original. You do not have to be an expert in Japanese
food to order here, and no doubt many of the visitors and
residents from Japan must feel very at home in the Miyuki.
We chose four starters, which were preceded by assorted
little dishes of pickles and tuna, which came with our
drinks, and at least two of these brought gasps of pleasure.
The squid sushimi, with spring onions, egg yolk and
vinaigrette was truly delicious, moist and tender. The
grilled egg plant topped with Miso paste was also superb and
very delicate. A bargain at 120 baht each.
For the main courses we enjoyed two types of sushi, one with
prawns and the other with tuna. Plus deep fried fish, a fine
fillet of salmon, a chicken dish and some steamed vegetables
in a tasty broth. Plus small bowls of steamed rice. These
were accompanied by a range of sauces and condiments,
pickles and the indispensable wasabi.
As a further indulgence we shared two ice creams. Although
they were both green tea flavored, one was served plain and
the second was deep fried. Although the meal was quite
substantial, the quality of the food and lightness of touch
in the cooking left us all pleasantly satisfied but in no
way uncomfortable. Luckily, no help was needed to get up
from the low seating. The meal was enhanced by the light and
airy room and the perfect service.
You will find the Miyuki in the Royal Princess Hotel, which
is like a serene oasis amidst the clatter and bustle of the
Night Bazaar. It is at112 Chang Klan Road. Tel: 053 25 3900.
Kwiteo nam (noodle soup)
One staple that keeps Thailand turning is Kwiteo nam – the
Thai noodle soup. Thai roadside noodle soup vendors are plentiful and provide a
filling dish at very reasonable prices. The main noodle styles are “Sen lek”
(thin), “Sen yai” (wide), “Sen mee” (AKA “Bamee” egg noodles) and “Mama” (the
The recipe is simple and after you perfect it, you can set up at the roadside
Boil up the stock and add the fish balls, pork, fish sauce
and sugar. After 2 minutes add the noodles and bean sprouts in a net spoon and
cook for another 2-3 minutes. Now add the shallot, coriander and garlic.
Fish out the sprouts and noodles and place into bowls, then add the fish balls
and minced pork. Top up with the soup stock and sprinkle a little white pepper
on top. Serve with some more fish sauce, some chilli powder, sugar and sliced
red chilli in vinegar.
Fish balls (any supermarket)
Garlic (chopped, fried)
Ground white pepper