Kitchen Nimman off Huay Kaew Road
: By Brian Baxter
New venture for Krit after a two-year hiatus
four years ago, one of the most friendly and reasonable
restaurants in Nimmenhaeminda Road was Krit’s. The accent
was on Thai food, with a good selection of pasta dishes and
other gestures towards the farang palate. One sad day it was
sold and Krit - manager and co-chef and, I assume, a
co-owner - semi-disappeared from the restaurant scene. There
was a small scale venture in the back streets of Chiang Mai,
but few people found that little local eatery.
Imagine my pleasure when told a couple of days after my
return from the UK that he had opened up a new restaurant
just a couple of hundred meters across the road from the
front entrance of Hillside 4 Condotel. The area is called
Fahthanee Market and there is a sprinkling of bars nearby
and across the square - with ample parking.
It turned out to be a reasonably modest affair, with some 20
seats on a little terrace and a slightly larger number of
covers inside. There is a small bar inside, offering a wide
range of drinks and to give you an indication of the
reasonable prices large beers range from 55 to 65 baht for a
Beer Singha. I was pleased to note that when a friend and I
asked for orange juice at the start of a meal it was freshly
squeezed and not from a bottle.
The menu is quite extensive and at present is exclusively
Thai, with a good selection of Northern dishes Hopefully a
couple of pasta dishes might find their way onto the menu in
the future along with white wine. At present only red wine
is available - at a reasonable 119 a glass.
On the most recent occasion I had dinner there it was in a
birthday party group of seven Thais and five farangs. We
enjoyed a wide range of food and quite a few drinks,
including the odd whisky, numerous cokes and a small brewery
supply of beers. The cost - with a tip - came to 350 baht a
head. It would be easy to eat and drink well for under half
My favorite dish so far has been the wafer thin raw salmon,
served with wasabee and a Thai dressing. At just 89 baht
this makes a splendid starter for two and in fact three
plates of it stretched to 12 people whilst we waited for our
main dishes to arrive. With a few dishes of cashew nuts this
was an excellent way to get the taste buds flexed.
You might also go for any of the well priced salads - Chiang
Mai, tuna or several more at around 30 baht. Among the most
tempting dishes are the wide range of fish, served steamed
with Chinese mushrooms for example or deep fried with chili
sauce or with garlic. They are priced at 139 or 149 baht.
Rice by the way is 15 baht a portion or comes served in
tureens at 50 baht with enough for four people.
Make a point of checking out the ‘specials’ board which is
sited next to the bar. This lists some 15 or 16 options and
will change according to availability and the ‘mood’ of the
chef. This is an easier way of choosing the food, rather
than wading through the larger menu - something that appeals
to us lazy farangs.
They have only been open for a few weeks so no doubt are
still finding their feet and waiting for the high season,
but one can see that already it fills something of a gap
between the very local eateries or stalls and the smarter
places on the main Nimmenhaeminda Road, where parking is so
often a problem. Certainly the staff could not be more
attentive and the charming Krit is very much in evidence -
until called to the kitchen of course.
For residents of the many condos around Huay Kaew Road this
is already proving a welcome addition to the rather thin
restaurant scene there. Thai visitors found the food not
quite spicy enough, thinking it more farang orientated. But
that is of course easily remedied when ordering.
As mentioned parking is easy, for those who come from
further afield. The seats are quite comfortable, the
background music from the likes of Anita O’Day and Ella and
the service prompt. Neil Rogers who filled in so admirably
for me for a couple of months (and who promises to come back
when needed - for which thanks) was especially keen for any
comments on places reviewed. And we certainly welcome any
recommendations you might have for new places that are worth
a visit. Just to confirm the Mail’s policy. We go to
restaurants anonymously and if it is worth reviewing then I
will go back, usually with the ‘papers expert flashman and
have another meal there. We try to go with Thai and farang
friends so as to taste a range of dishes. If the place seems
a dud we don’t bother with a review - no publicity rather
than harsh words. All comments welcome.
Kitchen Nimman by Krit Open from 11 am until 12 midnight
every day. Tel: 053 895 199.
Thai Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin is a very underrated vegetable. It can
be used in many ways, and making soup is one of them. The pumpkin base is enough
to be able to add many ingredients, such as curry powder, or as in this case,
many items from a Thai kitchen. Pumpkin is also very inexpensive while we are
all watching the cost of living going up.
In a large pot, heat oil and gently cook onion with brown
sugar and garlic over low heat until softened (8-10 minutes).
Skin and chop pumpkin into 2 cm chunks. Add pumpkin, water, coconut cream,
chili, lemongrass and fish sauce. Season with freshly ground pepper.
Simmer for about 25 minutes until tender. Remove and puree until smooth.
Just before serving, adjust seasoning to taste and mix in chopped coriander.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a fresh coriander leaf.
Onion, finely chopped
Canned coconut cream 250 ml
Sweet Thai chili sauce 1 tbspn
Lemon grass, finely chopped 1 tbpsn
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh chopped coriander 50 ml
Coriander leaves for garnish