DINING OUT & KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK
 

Moxie at dusitD2 Chiang Mai: by Mark Whitman

Special December event each Tuesday and Wednesday evening

Even the most casual reader of this column over the past two or three years might recall my enthusiasm for the ground level restaurant at the dusitD2 (near the night bazaar) called Moxie. This is an attractive, spacious area and the normal menu, though not cheap, is always a pleasure, even though the drinks are on the pricey side. They hold special events about once a month, dedicated to various regional or national cuisines, usually on a Friday and Saturday. I’ve enjoyed many of them: Italian Peruvian, Mexican, Japanese/Chinese/Korean and Mediterranean among others.
They offer splendid feasts and because they are usually popular, excellent value, often with discounted drinks. Last week (December 1) I went to their latest special, which this month will be held not at the weekend but on those doldrum days for restaurants, Tuesday and Wednesday. There are another six planned: December 8 and 9, 15 and 16, and 22 and 23. Service begins at 6:30 p.m., should you wish to eat that early, and continues until late. And guess what? – the cuisine this month is Thai, under the guidance of Chef Chalong.
It has a set price of 699 baht (net), so one needs a good appetite to justify the visit, but the dazzling selection of food, the general ambience and the charming service make it a worthwhile treat. I shall certainly return before the end of the ‘run’ and hopefully the standard will have been maintained.
On the evening we went as a party of five we might have been chosen as an ideal cross section of people to give an opinion of the ‘event’. The age range was from around 30 to over twice that. There were two Thais, one farang resident (yours truly), an enthusiastic first time visitor from Belgium who had taken to Thai food and other aspects of Chiang Mai with Úlan and a long term ‘winter escapee who, though a little hesitant about spicy food, also enjoys the cuisine. Without exception we all enjoyed the opportunity to try so many different dishes, from the Som Tam, through soups, other salads, specially prepared curries and other hot dishes right through to the excellent puddings.
To catalogue the choice in the main buffet alone would take up too much space and lead to spelling errors, but it would be impossible for anyone not to find many things of interest, whether vegetarian or carnivore, a fish eater or a lover of simple but perfectly cooked Pad Thai Gung.
The range of ‘starters’ such as little fish cakes and omelets and Miang Khum were a special delight and one member of the quintet suggested there were 50 different choices, excluding the main cooking station where choices were made to order. As for the sweets, these ranged from fresh fruit, through to a very light crepe which one filled with sugar strands, black sticky rice and other delicacies in little glass holders and a selection of preserves and fruits placed in a bowl of ice over which coconut milk was poured. A delicious finale.
After such enthusiasm, a word of warning. Apart from the need to be hungry enough to do justice to the selection, it is worth saying again that the wine and other drinks can double the bill. This was a ‘farewell dinner’ so the excellent Thai wine (a Cabernet Sauvignon ) seemed justified, but I am sure that a Singha Beer will do just fine on my next visit. And the thought of returning to this pleasant environment, with its decent sized tables, comfortable chairs, handsome array of glasses, linen napkins and smart staff is a treat in store. And we owe ourselves a special treat once in a while don’t we? As noted you can find this elegantly presented buffet at Moxie for the next three weeks. dusitD2 Chiang Mai is located next to the night bazaar and has ample parking. Phone: 053 999 999.

 

Cream of asparagus and bacon soup

Winter is coming, and although it does not get very cold in Thailand, some nights can be decidedly chilly. This is the ideal soup season. This recipe is an easy one, with the few ingredients necessary readily available. Very little actual cooking with most of the time being simmering.

Ingredients                serves 4
Onion (small)                                1
Asparagus spears                     1 tin
Bacon                                  500 gm
Garlic crushed                       1 clove
Cream                                   500 ml
Chicken stock                     1,000 ml
Ground black pepper             to taste
Salt                                     to taste

Cooking Method
Chop up the onion very fine. Cut the asparagus spears into 3 cm lengths. Chop the bacon finely as well. Place the crushed garlic, onion, bacon and asparagus in the pan and over a medium heat, lightly sautÚ until the onion is clear.
Add the chicken stock, add some ground black pepper, stir and simmer for 30 minutes on low heat.
After simmering, add the cream, stir and simmer for a further five minutes. At this point add more pepper if required and salt to taste.
Serve immediately.