DINING OUT & KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK
 

Buffets again

Something for everyone at Kantary Hills’ Sunday Lunch

Nimman Bar and Grill

Last Sunday, a small and starving team from this paper decided to visit the recently established Sunday Lunch buffet held in the Nimman Bar and Grill at the niche-market oriented Kantary Hills Hotel and Serviced Apartments on Soi 12, Nimmanhaeminda Road.
As mentioned in last week’s Dining Out, with ‘all you can eat’ buffets, you do get the ingredients you pay for, although even the less pricey venues mentioned offer great value for money in pleasant surroundings. This Sunday buffet is priced at 350 baht. Even before we ate it seemed to represent value for money, as the selection was vast.

A very happy editor! The Mail’s Phitsanu Thepthong, about to tuck in at the Kantary Hills Sunday lunchtime buffet.

A starter counter displayed different kinds of cold meats and cheese, assorted salads and raw vegetables, spiced minced pork with 8 different vegetables, tapas-style parcels of peppers, courgettes and pumpkin stuffed with pork, pasta mixed with vegetables in a cream sauce, and lots of other tasty offerings. A good selection of both Thai and Western main courses, plus a separate pasta and pizza bar took care of large appetites, and the extensive dessert section included some totally yummy, not over-sweet and very moist chocolate bites. Fresh, very nicely cooked and presented, in a stylish setting.
Usually, when I find myself at Kantary Hills, I order their locally raised steak. The best I’ve had anywhere in Chiang Mai, and always beautifully blue as requested.
On the menu for the Sunday Lunch was cold roast beef, rare, exactly as it should be and delicious. But, I’m a Brit, and horseradish sauce, an essential accompaniment, was nowhere to be seen. No problem. Christian Roeschli, the Swiss manager of the hotel, immediately disappeared into the kitchens, returning with a mini-sauceboat full of the stuff. Made my day. My accompanying Caesar salad was fresh, not overdressed, and went well with the beef. I’m not a big lunchtime eater, so moved straight on to the desserts. All of the treats I tried were delicious, and probably extremely fattening, with all, happily for me, lacking that over-sweet flavour much loved by Thais. Fruit juice and coffee complimented and completed a very pleasant meal and left me wishing I’d had room for more.
The service, of course, was excellent, and the hotel itself, with its various public rooms, is one of the best-designed of any in Chiang Mai. The décor, with its subtle Lanna influence mixed with contemporary elegance, invites the diner or visitor to relax, rather than intimidating them with vast, over-decorated and mostly empty spaces. Christian put it rather well, saying, ‘Here, we don’t want you to feel that you have to dress up to walk through our lobby.’ Friendly, relaxed, excellent service, quality ingredients well-cooked and presented…in brief, well worth a visit!
The Kantary Hills Sunday Lunch is served between 11.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Also on offer every Wednesday from 6.30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Kantary Hills’ Carvery Night are fine cuts of beef, lamb, pork and poultry, with a wide array of side dishes, salads and desserts for 490 baht. For reservations, please call 053-222-111.

 

Coquilles St. Jacques

This week’s recipe is a universal favorite, and presentation of this dish will enhance any cook’s reputation. It is surprisingly easy to make, with all ingredients readily available in Thailand. I recommend the mashed potato with the scallop shells and you can even make a small bed of the potato and push the shells into it. The slight browning of the potato adds to the overall effect.

Cooking Method
Sauté scallops and onions in two tablespoons butter. Remove from pan and sauté mushrooms. Now place the scallops and mushrooms in the scallop shells and keep warm.
Make the sauce from the remaining butter plus flour, salt, pepper and cream, very gently stirring over a low heat. Add the sherry and pour the sauce carefully over the scallops. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and brown under the salamander. Hot mashed potatoes can be piped around the edge of scallop shells before putting under griller. Serve hot.

Ingredients                           serves 4
Butter                                     6 tbspns
Flour                                      3 tbspns
Salt                                          ½ tspn
White pepper                        1/8 tspn
Cream                            1 and ½ cups
Scallops                                  24 large
Onion chopped                        ¼ cup
Mushrooms sliced                   ½ cup
Sherry                                    2 tbspns
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling