LERTS ROS or BEST TASTE
Sea-food restaurant which lives up to its name
This Thai venue is probably best enjoyed in company
with Thais, since the English version of the menu lists
rather fewer than half of the dishes available on its Thai
equivalent. Even without the bigger version you will still
find plenty to choose from: Soups, including sea food and
prawn, stir fried vegetables, crab in numerous guises, deep
fried fish, prawns ad lib and so on. The selection is wide
and I guess there may even be some meat dishes around.
It is slightly difficult to find on a first visit, but well
worth the tiny effort involved. (see below). The setting is
on the Ping River, though it is a far cry (not least in
cost) from the many smart or tourist orientated eateries
which proliferate on both sides of that somewhat murky
stretch of water. Lerts Ros, or Best Taste as it translates
into English, offers a friendly environment, with no
pretence to anything except good food and fair prices.
There are a few tables facing the little ‘mews’ in the
middle of a row of town houses in which it is situated, but
you will find the main seating area (some 40 – 50) at the
rear, facing the river and directly across from Maha-Naga.
The tables are simple, unadorned wood, with comfortable
chairs. The hand-written menu simply lists the food, with no
prices, which may be because the price of fish varies so
much in the market from day to day and it is obvious that
the produce is bought fresh.
They offer a range of soft drinks and beers but many diners
seemed to have brought their own Scotch and simply ordered
ice and mixers. I guess you could take your own wine too,
but our little group was happy with large bottles of Singha
Beer at 80 baht.
The meal under discussion – and it must be admitted that we
ordered a little too much – comprised the following: Tom Yam
Talay, deep fried soft shell crabs in garlic, calamari, a
fish, crab served in a pot with glass noodles and a large
bowl of rice, plus three beers. With a tip it came to a very
reasonable 400 baht a head. It would obviously be easy to
eat for much less if one chose a little more moderately and
a couple of the less fancy dishes.
I found the soup especially good though one Thai friend
would have liked it more spicy (so what else is new?). The
other Thai, who knows his food, compared the soft shell crab
a trifle unfavourably with that in another restaurant,
considering it ‘less crab and more garlic’. The calamari was
universally enjoyed, particularly for its tenderness. The
steaming pot of noodles with large pieces of crab defeated
us in the end, as did the plentiful rice. We had arrived
rather hungry and left very satisfied. The sternest ‘critic’
in the quartet gave it 7 out of 10 – high praise indeed.
The view to the river offers little excitement, just one
commercial restaurant barge (with the occupants possibly
casting envious glances our way, if I know the food on that
craft) but the general openness is refreshing. If you like
lunch it might be a good place to go. Certainly it offers a
pleasant laid back atmosphere, with diners coming to enjoy
the food and drink and a chat, not to be seen or to see
others. The service was prompt and friendly in an ‘old
fashioned’ way. No-nonsense eating in fact, which on most
occasions is a high recommendation indeed. Of course, if you
insist on linen napkins at every meal…
To find Lerts Ro, which is open for lunch from 11a.m. to 2
p.m. and in the evening from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m, the
following should help. Starting from Amari Rin Kham as we
did (OK, I live near there and we have to give a direction
from somewhere!) head on the Super Highway towards Lamphun.
Come off the main road and join the road which goes under
the bridge and go on as though you are making a U-turn to
head back (not left towards Le Crystal). Once under the
bridge do not complete the turn but head straight on, into
Wang Singh Khan Road, which has a signpost to Lam Yai
Market. The ‘mews’ or cul-de-sac is about 250 metres on the
left and the restaurant is immediately facing the entrance
to that little road. The journey took us under 15 minutes.
Their ‘phone number is 053-872-092.
This is another of those traditional recipes which will
continue to be popular with children forever. You can add or subtract items,
depending upon what you have in the larder at the time!
Ingredients Serves 4-6
Ground beef 500gm
Mushrooms, chopped 200 gm
Onion chopped ½ cup
Garlic finely minced
2 large cloves
Salt 1 tspn
Ground black pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce 1 tbspn
Beef stock ½ cup
Cream ½ cup
Garden peas ½ cup
Cheddar cheese finely-shredded 2 cups
Mayonnaise ¼ cup
Milk ½ cup
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place ground beef, mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a
large heavy skillet. Sautee, breaking up beef, until the juices have
almost evaporated. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, then cook for one
minute, stirring often. Add beef stock, stirring to combine, then
add cream. Simmer until gravy thickens. Pour into glass baking dish.
Let cool slightly, then sprinkle green peas evenly on top of beef.
Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Add 2 tablespoons of
butter, and mash. Add enough of the milk to bring the mashed
potatoes to a creamy consistency. Season well with salt and pepper.
Spread evenly over beef layer then sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top.
Bake for about 45 minutes until cheese has melted and is slightly