The Chedi: By Harvey John
Style, comfort and top class ingredients – at a price
recently, I wrote about a new restaurant where a friend
at table had opted for lamb cutlets (later noting them
as ‘chewy’) and added that I would not have selected
them at anywhere other than a top class – and inevitably
expensive – eating place, where they were likely to be
imported. Even then they were unlikely to be from
grass-fed Welsh lambs from Prince Charles’ estates,
which offer the best in the world.
By chance a week or so later, I was at the Chedi for
dinner and, on the set menu, one of the choices was char
grilled Lamb Cutlets, served with globe artichokes and
confute tomatoes with a lemon feta dressing. Pretty
fancy, eh? About half of the dozen guests at the table
chose the lamb and by the look of their empty plates
they probably considered that the woolly creature had
not made its journey from a New Zealand (?)
slaughterhouse to the Chedi in vain.
The point being made (rather laboriously) is that the
quality of the ingredients in such simply – and
elegantly – presented food is paramount. Cheaper cuts or
inferior quality meat will need much slower and more
carefully prepared presentation than slinging a few
tender chops on to a grill and letting them darken on
the outside whilst remaining pink and tender in the
middle. Those at the cheaper restaurants simply could
All of the ingredients in the meal we had were of
comparable quality. The menu started with Ahi Tuna,
which was seared and offered with pomelo, crispy seaweed
and a ginger miso dressing. The fish and the
presentation were faultless. Possibly over-rare for
some, it lacked only a little ‘zing’ in the dressing. D2
offers tuna with a Nori wrap and wasabi in the
mayonnaise accompaniment. Still, the Chedi’s was up to
their standard and that of The House, so one could not
ask for more.
As a main course, I opted for a Snowfish Fillet, which
came with a fennel and avocado ‘salad’ and a spring
roll. It was a thick cut of this superior fish, very
white and firm and cooked correctly but, sadly, not
quite hot enough on the plate, probably thanks to the
large number of diners.
To follow, a super concoction that was labeled meringue
(but was certainly not as most of us know it), a poached
chocolate and star anise mousse with a tangy citrus
custard and a delicate chocolate wafer. Delicious. There
was tea or coffee for those who like hot drinks after a
meal and petit fours for those with room for more.
Thanks to a discount card held by one of our number (why
is it that only the rich can afford discount cards and
pay less?), the meal sailed in at 620 baht including
tax. Wines were available from the ever-reliable Darling
Wine Bar, which made the event even better value.
I’d eaten at the Chedi before, enjoying particularly
their Indian menu and one very spectacular buffet. The
food quality is matched by that effortless, gliding
service which blends attention with the impersonal. Not,
perhaps, to everyone’s taste but it suits the stylish
and rather gloomy ambience of this 5 star hotel. They
specialize in high price special events, especially
holidays and festivals such as Loy Krathong, and it
seems that, even during the economic turndown as we are
bidden to call it (rather than a depression), there are
plenty of people willing and able to pay for immaculate
service, superior presentation and a discreet location.
The bar area where we had drinks before dinner was once
the home of the British Consulate – sold off by Mrs
Thatcher many years ago as she sold off much of
Britain’s future. Still, it’s nice to see such an
elegant building put to some use. You will find The
Chedi at 123 Charaprathet Road, T. Changklan, A. Muang,
Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]
Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.