A BAKER’S DOZEN
Recommended dishes at 13 Chiang Mai restaurants
A few weeks ago a friend casually remarked that
it would be nice to be able to have a starter at one
particular place, a main at a second and a third where
we were actually having a pudding. I know that
occasionally people try an experience like that and I
often end up at Krit’s, for example, for an ice cream
and a glass of wine having eaten elsewhere.
Also, it is not uncommon for guests at a dinner party to
bring a starter or a dessert, leaving one to concentrate
on the main course and perhaps supply a few cheeses.
That and a dishwasher make for an unstressful evening
and add variety.
So here, in an expansion of the notion, I have listed
not three but 13, (that’s a baker’s dozen, if you know
the expression), different venues and you might like to
mix and match a couple on occasion. All those mentioned
are worth a visit anyway and range from a cheerful
courtyard fish and chip ‘shop’ to smart fusion. There
are no pasta dishes listed since so many Italian
restaurants offer good options, with those by Stefano
especially reliable, along with Pasta Café and
I’ve given the name of the restaurant first, then a
choice from the menu which is especially tasty, plus
some contact details. Many of them have web sites and
most of them have been reviewed in these pages over the
past couple of years, so check them out.
DE NIMMAN: This superb and inexpensive Thai eatery offers a
huge choice in a book-sized menu but is consistently
reliable. No meal should be without the tasty Ma Ma Noodles
with prawns, served in its own pot. Perfect to share as part
of a meal with friends. They are located at Rooms, on
Nimmanhaeminda Road, on the left just before the park and
the CMU. After a meal, walk on a few metres to the GLASS
ONION for a nightcap.
CHARLIE’S ENGLISH FISH ‘N CHIPS: What to say, except that
this boasts, (accurately), of serving fresh fish with no
bones in a crispy batter. The essence of this particularly
English meal. Drinks available and some choices either side
but it’s the ‘main course’ you go for. Find them off Loh
Kroh Road in Lane One Kampangdin, next to the Nice Place
guest house. (086 916 2418).
MOXXIE’S: Plenty to choose from here but a personal ‘must’
is their Nori Wrapped Tuna as a starter or even main course.
I ask for the version they used to serve with the wasabi and
mayonnaise dressing on the side. It also comes as part of
their special ‘platter’ for two as a starter if you just
want to sample it. At D2 Hotel, 100 Changklan Road. (053 999
LE SPICE: Not far away in the Night Bazaar proper you will
find this Indian restaurant, which also offers Thai food.
Again, many choices but aim for the vegetarian menu, (often
the best choice for this food), and for a dessert try the
Saffron Banana with ice cream and an orange sauce. You can
find them at Charoen Prathet Soi 6. (053 234 962).
DALAABA: This is rather an upmarket Thai restaurant and
caters for Western palates along with the spicier dishes. I
think their version of the classic dish of stir friend
asparagus with prawns is well worth including in any
selection from their extensive menu. They are located at 113
Burmungras Road, Wat Gate. (053 242 491).
NEY NEY: Not upmarket at all, but great fun, with live music
and mainly a Thai clientele, but the menu is in English as
well and the choice is wide. The barbecued fish is quite dry
without the spicy sauce, (served on the side), but is
absolutely delicious. Heading towards Rin Kham, you’ll find
this informal place on the Superhighway about 100 metres
before the Grand View Hotel.
BECCOFINO: I reviewed this smart Italian trattoria just a
few weeks ago and believe that their pizzas are among the
very best in the city, thanks to the furnace-like wood
burning oven, the generous toppings and the thin crust base.
With a salad and a glass of their good house wine this is
inexpensive dining in a stylish ambience. 20/2 Soi 5 off
Nimmanhaeminda Road. (053 226 590)
CHE MARCO: As mentioned a while ago, Marco’s Tuna Carpaccio,
(with the facon provencale dressing), is superb as a starter
or as a main course to follow one of the tapas, such as the
peppers, which are grilled so that the skins can be removed
and served in a good olive oil dressing. 15/7 Loh Kroh Road.
(053 207 032).
KRIT’S NIMMAN KITCHEN: This popular Thai restaurant seems to
have one dish that is ‘everyone’s favourite’ – the Chiang
Mai Salad served with a delicate tamarind sauce. The crispy
noodles and salad are augmented with a choice of either
chicken or prawns or can, of course, be served as a veggie
dish. Located just of Huay Kaew Road, opposite Hillside 4.
WEST’S: Next door to Krit’s in the square known as Fah Tani,
you can find this Australian-owned restaurant which has the
most scrumptious puddings, along with a choice of Western
and Thai food. Most popular is the Sticky Date Pudding,
served with vanilla ice cream and a super sauce. Like its
neighbour, it opens for lunch and dinner. Only 50 metres off
the Huay Kaew Road with ample parking.
ARCOBA’LENO: Many people swear by this well know Italian
‘institution’, not least for the hefty starter of crab and
salmon in a creamy sauce. It seems to be a meal in itself,
but their ice creams are well worth saving space for. My
favourites are the pistachio and the heavier prune, which is
black and creamy. They also do super grilled vegetables as
starter but see below in the final selection. 60 Na Walket
Road. (086 672 1532).
MO’C MO’L: A large and very successful Thai venue, which
also has Japanese and European selections. Stay with the
Thai and make sure the selection includes either the
mackerel salad or the excellent sea food in a red curry
sauce served in banana leaf bowls. Head up Huay Kaew Road,
crossing Canal Road and you’ll find them about a kilometre
further up on the left, just before CMU. Ample parking in
the grounds of this popular place, which has live music and
an extensive drinks menu, including many cocktails and good
BILLY’S: The chef-proprietor here offers pizzas and pastas
and many other dishes but certainly one to look out for is
the grilled vegetable wrapped around a tuna filling. Or you
can have the grilled vegetables served more simply on their
own, with black pepper and extra olive oil on the side,
perhaps with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Ideal for the
vegetarian and a little less filling as a starter. Not far
from the night bazaar on Kampangdin Road.
PS And some good news, The GREEN MILL RESTAURANT has
re-opened. I hope to review it in a week or two and see
whether the new chef has maintained the previous excellent
standard. Advance reports suggest that all is well.
Macaroni Salad Recipe
This is an easy dish to make and you can add extra items such
as ham salmon and even cheese if you want.
Ingredients Serves 4
Macaroni pasta 2 cups
Hard boiled egg, chopped 1
Roasted chopped red bell pepper
Fresh chopped parsley 1
Chopped spring onion
Lemon juice ½ tspn
Mayonnaise ½ cup
Several pinches of paprika
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook macaroni, as directed
on its package, in at least two liters of salted water (1 teaspoon
of salt per liter of water). When cooked through, but still slightly
firm (al dente) remove from heat, drain and rinse with cool water
until room temperature.
Roast a fresh bell pepper by blackening it over an open flame on a
gas range, cool and scrape off blackened skin and discard stem and
seeds and then chop.
Put chopped onions into a small bowl and sprinkle with the lemon
juice. This will serve to take the edge off the onions.
Combine cooked macaroni, onions, and all other ingredients in a
large serving bowl. Mix well and adjust seasonings to taste.