Popular restaurant moves to Fah Tani
Many readers will know West, (not least for its
puddings!), which has recently changed location from Soi
7 off Nimmenhaemenda Road to new premises not that far
away at the ‘square’ known as Fah Tani, just off Huay
Kaew Road. The owner, David, decided to leave the busy
and expensive road and head for somewhere with easy
parking. You can find West exactly next door to the
popular Thai restaurant Krit’s and two doors down from
the bar La Vie en Rose.
Let’s hope that this is the start of a run of decent
eating places there. They could well prove popular,
since there are many condos nearby, plus hotels and up
market guest houses such as P.J.’s and the new Heritage
Hotel which opens in July. As someone who lives just
across the road from the area that once housed a large
cinema, I must declare an interest in future
A trifle unfairly, perhaps, I and a companion, (to whom
I am indebted for the photographs this week and of
Marco’s), went a day or two after West re-opened. There
was still work to be done on the interior of the place,
so we happily chose the verandah which has room for
about a dozen customers. Inside there is a bar area with
a couple of low tables and stools and covers for 20 or
more, should he be lucky enough to find that many
customers in this low season!
By the time this review appears the slightly unfinished
air will no doubt be remedied, and certainly the kitchen
is already up and running. The menu remains the same,
with the emphasis on Western food plus a single sheet of
Thai dishes all around the 100 baht level. Nothing too
exciting there, but very useful should you be eating
with someone who wants local food.
The drinks menu is also the same with decent glasses of
red or white wine at 100 baht, a range of cocktails and
beers at sensible prices, (a large Singha is 100 baht
and a small is 65, with Heineken and others available),
plus soft drinks. As it happened, my friend had brought
a bottle of wine with him and we were agreeably
surprised that the corkage charge was only 50 baht, far
less than most restaurants where the norm is 150.
Knowing that the desserts are very special here, we
passed on a starter and chose a bruschetta with garlic,
which proved a little salty – in parts – as though the
butter, sea salt and crushed garlic had not been fully
amalgamated. Something easily done and easily remedied.
Other starters, or Tapas as the menu states, include
garlic prawns or chicken on French bread, a very light
salmon croquette and similar, not over heavy dishes,
priced at around 60 baht.
Neil opted for one of the specials of the day, described
as Beef Goulash. Served with mashed potatoes rather than
dumplings, it was ‘a good beef stew, lacking the paprika
and other elements to make it authentic, but very tender
and tasty’. Sounded OK to me, and not that dear at 220
baht. I opted for a favourite pasta dish, simply served
with olive oil, garlic and chili. On this menu it is
served with prawns, but these are easily omitted if you
want the classic version, which I like served with
plenty of grated parmesan. The many pastas are priced at
around 120 to 160 baht, with the fettucine with sea food
the most expensive. They also serve pizzas and there is
a full page of ‘specials’, which range from fish and
chips, (140), to filet mignon and rack of lamb at rather
more fancy prices.
And then of course there are the puddings. Now this is
not a long list. In fact I think there are only half a
dozen, so never on Sunday. We chose the sticky date and
the apple ‘cake’, both served with good quality vanilla
ice cream and a sauce. They are not heavy, though the
divinely decadent taste suggested that they must be
calorific. On that Thursday evening our combined bill
came to 650 baht, which included the corkage, bottled
water and a tip for the pleasant service.
By chance, I went there again at the weekend with a Thai
friend, arriving around 9.30 after the memorable concert
by the Chiang Mai Youth Philharmonic Band of music by
Living Composers at the Kad. We stopped off for a simple
meal and a glass of wine. The owner assures me that work
and decoration will continue and that they intend to
open from around 11a.m. until ‘at least’ 10p.m. every
day in the hope of attracting a lunchtime clientele as
well as evening diners.
Vietnamese chicken in sweet sauce
Vietnamese food seems to be growing in popularity these days.
This typically Vietnamese dish is a distant cousin to the Thai Gai Prio Waan
(sweet and sour chicken) but is simpler to make. The original authentic recipe
calls for Vietnamese fish sauce, which is more pungent than the Thai equivalent,
and I recommend using the Tiparos Thai variety. Give yourself 10 minutes for
preparation time and 15 minutes for cooking.
Cube the chicken (2 cm) and dry in a towel. Heat the oil in
the wok and rapidly stir-fry the chicken until brown on all
sides. Add the garlic, spring onions, sugar and a dash of
salt and pepper. Stir for two minutes and then add enough
water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil and add fish
sauce and then simmer gently until the liquid is reduced to
six tablespoons. Add the bean sprouts and stir through and
serve immediately with steamed rice, garnishing with the
chopped coriander leaf.
Ingredients Serves 4
Chicken breast cubed 500 gm
Spring onions, chopped 4
Garlic, crushed 1 clove
Fish sauce 2 tbspns
Sugar 1 tbspn
Cooking oil 2 tbspns
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bean sprouts 50 gm
Coriander, chopped 1 tbspn (garnish)
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