A new year round up of favourite eating places:
by Mark Whitman
Last week I listed three restaurants which I will certainly
add to my list of ‘regular favourites’. To start this year:
a selection of those which have remained consistent in
providing decent quality food at sensible prices and where
the service is friendly and efficient and the ambience
pleasant. The list does not claim to be comprehensive and
most names will be familiar to regular readers. The order is
random and these are simply places which I visit weekly,
fortnightly or monthly and always enjoy.
Kitchen Nimmen: Or perhaps better known as Krit’s. This is
my ‘local’ and I go there often, as do many farangs
especially those who live in Hillside 4 (it is just
opposite) or in the Huay Kaew Road area. Thai food, well
executed and not too dear. Check the black board for the
week’s specials. Friendly staff and a nice bar, La Vie en
Rose, next door for an aperitif or after dinner drink or
coffee. Tel: 053 895 199.
Pasta Café: If you walk on past West’s and Krit’s in Fah
Tani Square you will find a couple of hundred metres on,
this super value Italian restaurant. Check out the daily
specials (the sea bass is really a must) and the set meals
which are remarkable value at around 250 baht. Garden
seating or air con. inside, with friendly and very efficient
service. Large portions. Find them at the bottom of Soi 3.
Koh Lanta Pizza: At the top end of the next soi (5) off
Nimmenhaeminda Road you will find this unpretentious little
pizza ‘parlour’ which offers well topped pizzas (6, 8 and 10
inch) and a few pasta dishes. Plus wine, low priced beers
and soft drinks. It is next door to Rico de Rica. Take away
service available. Tel: 053 212 022.
Chez Marco: Moving into town and the insalubrious Loi Kroh
Road, this bustling Mediterranean themed eating place has a
steady clientele of regulars and passing trade. Booking is a
good idea. There are set menus every day offering amazing
value and a wide ranging menu and decent wines, often
‘promoted’. Portions of pasta are huge, the tuna starter (I
go for the facon provencale) is delectable and the chef
owner is ebullient and friendly.
Hot Chilli: Just a few minutes walk from Thapae Gate (head
down ‘walking street’ and turn left at Rachdamnoen Road) you
will find one of the most attractive Thai restaurants in the
City. It shares garden space with Il Girasole – also worth a
visit – and there is parking space outside. The ‘tented’
style decoration, central bar and large tables are a plus
but naturally the food is paramount and this is cooked in
the open kitchen and not expensive. Don’t be put off by the
name if you like your Thai food ‘mild’, since everything is
prepared to order and can be adapted to your taste. Tel: 081
Ney Ney: One of the great mysteries to me is why this local
Thai restaurant fails to attract more farangs, leaving all
its excellent food to Thais! It is not smart but it surely
is a fun place with a good guitarist singer and his
‘drummer’ sidekick keeping things lively. The waiters are as
handsome as they are attentive and lively. The fish is a
specialty and draft Leo is very fairly priced. I go here
regularly and often take groups of Thais. You will find it
off the Super Highway a couple of hundred metres before
Grand View Hotel, heading towards Amari Rincome.
The House: At the other end of the price scale this elegant
dining room (and its Thai ‘neighbour’ under the same
management – Ginger Café) remains one of the best places in
town for top quality food in what might be called fusion
style. The building is one of the nicest in Chiang Mai and
the main dining area is an oasis of calm on Moon Muang Road.
Agreed it is not cheap but then it offers a stylish
ambience, ‘silver service’ and top quality ingredients. You
can take your own wine (300 baht corkage) and look out for
the ‘specials’ offering set meals if you wish to cut down on
the cost. Tel: 053 419 001.
Moxies at D2: I never let a month pass without one visit to
this stylish ground floor level restaurant in the hotel
which you can find in the heart of the Night Bazaar. The
special buffets are often spectacular and they have a beer
garden and barbecues. But the main restaurant is also a
treat with its fusion menu and excellent cocktails. The
staff is charming and attentive and the ‘space’ is one of
the nicest in town. Again not cheap but worth a visit with
visiting friends or as a treat.
And if the above don’t satisfy you then here are a handful
more which are also worth checking out: West’s (080 122
7136) offers inexpensive set lunches and dinners and the
best puddings in town: Billy’s at Kampaengdin Road (053 272
7121) is especially friendly and serves decent Italian food:
other Italian venues worth looking up include Da Mattia, La
Fontana and the smart Beccofino: if you want a large and fun
place try Mo’C Mo’L next to CMU on Huay Kaew Road, past
Canal Road: and also Thai try Café de Nimmen, at the Rooms
section next to Soi 17 on Nimmenhaeminda Road for one of the
best Thai menus in town. Happy eating and happy New Year.
Cajun Chicken Sandwich
This is certainly not your average sandwich, and one that
does take 25 minutes from idea to plate (10 mins preparation and 15 mins
cooking), so perhaps double the quantities so you have a second one to enjoy as
Chinese Five Spice is more easily obtained that Cajun seasoning.
Ingredients Serves one
Skinless, boneless, chicken breast
Cajun seasoning 1
or Chinese five-spice powder
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Mild blue cheese ˝ cup
Mayonnaise 1 tbspn
Cherry tomatoes, halved 4
Salad onion, sliced 1
Handful of salad greens
Season the chicken with
salt, your choice of spices, and pepper. Cook chicken in a nonstick
frying pan for five minutes, then turn and cook for about another
four minutes until cooked through but still moist and juicy. Now
squeeze a little lemon juice over it.
While the chicken is cooking blend together the blue cheese and
Layer the salad ingredients on top of the slice of bread and slice
the chicken thinly and place on top, followed by the blue cheese
Sandwich together with the remaining bread and eat warm.
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