Three suggestions for delicious early-day meals
Most people do not ‘dine out’ every day, but
most sensible people manage to have a breakfast or
brunch, a meal considered by nutritionists to be ‘the
most important of the day’. I have one English friend,
(not living in Thailand), who coasts along all day on
coffee, a glass of juice and little else. Comes 7.30 in
the evening and he is famished and eats a large meal in
record time. A recipe for an expanding waist line and a
Thai system of eating when one feels hungry and little
and often seems a much better idea, and whilst I don’t
eat a great deal during the day, typically I enjoy a mid
morning ‘meal’ and perhaps a Thai salad or a light tea
later on, before an eightish dinner. I’m not a fan of
those large lunch-time buffets or ‘Sunday specials’, so
beloved of grand hotels. If there is a willing
contributor out there who could advise readers on a
couple of the best of these, I will happily ‘vacate’
this column for a week or two. Offers please.
And so to breakfast, whatever time of the day you choose
to have it. For those on holiday, most hotels make
something of a speciality of this meal, and for
residents it will often be taken at home. But there must
be plenty of demand for early-day food, since Chiang Mai
is bursting with alternative venues. Coffee bars, (avoid
the imported variety: too expensive), patisseries, cafes
and so on. There are specialised places that offer all
day breakfasts and nowhere that I know of offers a wider
choice than the well established Art Café, across the
square from Thapae Gate. Every variation on world- wide
breakfasts is on offer from early morning until the
afternoon. Another good alternative for quick, easy and
inexpensive meals during the day can be found on the
lower floors of the two main shopping malls, Central Kad
Suan Kaew and Airport Plaza. But here are three of my
favourites - each offering contrasted ‘breakfasts’ at
around the 100 baht level, or less.
Wat Suan Dok. This large temple on
Suthep Road attracts countless visitors to view its
extensive grounds and buildings, and also to enjoy Monk
Chat. Plenty also come to visit the small open air café,
which offers superb vegetarian food at ridiculously low
prices. Now please don’t pull that carnivore face. This
is not a place for tasteless nut cutlets, limp lettuce
and warm water. Rather it offers colourful, tasty Thai
food and a range of super soft drinks and juices
galore.The produce is organic and fresh as a daisy – an
appropriate cliché if only because one of the best
dishes is the wildflower salad. All of the salads are
special and there are also many soups, hot dishes and
brown or white rice. Go along with a friend, (or two),
so that you can share the dishes and be amazed at the
value and choice. The service is friendly, the seating a
trifle rickety and the experience one to return to.
complete contrast, you can enjoy wonderful set meals and
other food at Amazing Sandwich, on Huay Kaew Road, next
door to the Soho Bar and opposite the Lotus Hotel. This
place has been around since the 1990s and they offer a
simple and ingenious recipe for success. The set
breakfasts are named after and reflect the food of
various cities: so you may choose from twenty or so
variations – a Berlin, a Paris, a Copenhagen and so on.
There’s a hearty London with the accent on fried food,
(do we Brits really consume all that?), or the New York
with scrambled eggs with bacon. Prices are from 99 to
105 baht and include fresh juice, coffee or tea and the
main dish with toast. I prefer the Continental, with the
rye bread and boiled egg and thinly cut cheddar cheese
and the Japanese green tea in place of coffee. Or one of
their made to order sandwiches. The variations are
enormous and you simply tick off your preferred
ingredients. The premise is simple as are the premises.
It’s quick and easy and the service is charming. Open
daily from early morning until evening, closes at 4 p.m.
Sailomjoy Restaurant. This incredibly popular Thai ‘hole
in the wall’ eatery is something of an institution in
the heart of tourist land. You will find it on the left
at the Thapae Gate end of the Walking Street, next to
Black Canyon and opposite the side view of the Montri
Hotel. The seating is basic, the service quick and
friendly and the choice of food is wide – and cheap.
They do set breakfasts at around 60 baht, a huge range
of Thai food and my favourite for mid morning is their
mango and sticky rice, (30 baht), and a ‘tangmo punch’,
(water melon), at 25 baht. But the choice is far too
wide to detail here and the menu is in English with lots
of suggestions posted around the walls. Like the other
two suggestions, this is not for ‘dining out’ in the
sense that this column normally means. Rather it offers
decent food through most of the day, but not evenings.
The choices in Chiang Mai and in the many markets and
soi stalls are vast, just as they are for conventional
restaurants. Correct me if I am wrong, but is there
anywhere in Thailand that offers food in such a variety
of venues at such value and of comparable quality?
Japanese Grilled Chicken Breast (Yakitori)
Japanese grilled chicken is BBQ’d several times, with
steeping in a marinade in between. The sugar and ginger in the marinade gives
the chicken a very different taste, almost caramelizing the outer surface. This
is a traditional Japanese dish, but all the ingredients are available here, even
Ingredients serves 2-3
Chicken breast fillets 6
Sake ½ cup
Dark soya sauce 1/3 cup
Sugar 60 gm
Powdered ginger 2 tspns
Cucumber 1 small
Salt to taste
Soak the skewers in water
for 10 minutes. Wash chicken breasts, and cut into bite sized pieces
and then thread on to skewers. Place over a charcoal BBQ or under
the grill until partially cooked.
Mix sake, soya sauce and sugar and pour into a wide flat bowl. Lay
skewered chicken in the marinade for five minutes, then turn over
and leave for another five minutes.
Now return to the BBQ and grill for another two minutes each side.
After this, return to the marinade and repeat the marinade process.
Now complete the final BBQ grilling while brushing the remaining
marinade over the skewered chicken, to produce a dark shiny glaze.
Sprinkle with the powdered ginger.
Shred the cucumber and sprinkle with salt and serve the chicken
skewers on small plates and garnish each with a mound of cucumber.
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.