Mokador and Ginger & Kafe:
by Brian Baxter
Eating breakfast is the smart thing to do – that’s official
Nutritionists and other health advisers tell us that the
most important meal of the day is breakfast. Their advice is
simple, begin with a healthy early-day meal (one that is
‘slow burning’) and eat less later on. This is especially
recommended for the ‘older generation’. The well known
variation on this is, breakfast like a king, lunch like a
prince and dine like a pauper.
Personally, I take this advice in compromised form: a decent
breakfast, not too early for preference, something at ‘tea
time’ and a main meal in the evenings. Lunch (those buffets
or advertisements for such offering all you can eat are a
real no-no) tends to make me sleepy and wastes the day.
Still that depends on life style and one’s metabolism. The
physically active certainly need a midday top up, but there
is no doubt that people eat too much and burn off too little
of the calories consumed.
Hence the recommendation to eat earlier in the day and keep
the waist line down. Very few people need to be over-weight.
This week’s column is for those who enjoy a good breakfast
in especially pleasant surroundings and perhaps the word
brunch might be more valid. As it happens both venues are
open all day and Ginger Café is well established for its
Thai food and western food and delicious tapas at lunchtime
and in the evenings. The Mokador described has only recently
taken to opening on Friday and Saturday evenings (until
midnight) for tapas, other food delicacies and wines. But
for now we are talking 8.30 in the morning through the day
and at Ginger from around the 8a.m. opening until noon.
The Mokador, located directly opposite Wat Pra Singh has a
justified claim to be one of the very smartest coffee bars
in the city. It has a large verandah with sofas and
individual chairs and low tables and further seating inside
for up to twenty customers. The low chairs and banquettes
are comfortable but on a recent visit with two friends I
found the small round tables over crowded. Fine just for
coffee and a cake but not for three large plates plus
We each went for different choices: one had a baguette with
two fried eggs over easy, a second settled for a mushroom
omelet which he found ‘perfect’ and I chose the scrambled
eggs with smoked salmon, which I had particularly enjoyed on
a previous visit. Juices and the excellent coffee rounded
off the meals. They offer ‘sets’, for those who want
something even more substantial, such as a so-called English
breakfast and an American equivalent, which is somewhat
Their special – at 300 baht – would only tempt those with a
large appetite: you can have a couple of eggs any style,
served with sausage, ham and bacon. Plus toast and croissant
(with butter and marmalade) and a platter of cheeses and
salami. There are various juices to choose from or a mixed
vegetable option. With the full breakfasts coffee is topped
up on request. On my most recent visit I ended with an
espresso and though tiny it packed a real jolt.
Average spend for a ‘normal’ sized breakfast is around 200
baht plus and you will find Mokador at Samlan Road 3/11.
T.Prasingh, Chiang Mai. Tel: 053 814 806.
Ginger & Kafe is right next to The House and the smart Nomad
shops run by the same management. This is possibly the
prettiest restaurant in the city centre and you can enjoy
your breakfast (or other meals) outside on low sofas with
generous sized tables or inside the elegant dining room with
its ‘proper tables’ and a choice of low seating. This is
definitely not a coffee bar and it makes an idea place for a
‘business’ breakfast since the atmosphere is calm, even
quiet at that time of day.
The menu is large and you can take healthy options such as
yoghurt with muesli, or raspberry pancakes served with syrup
or a simple bread basket with cinnamon rolls, croissant and
breads. They can provide eggs any style and I can vouch for
the perfectly cooked poached version.
If you are feeling rather fancy go for the eggs Benedict or
the croque madam and if brunch is the order of the day then
you might choose some home-smoked bacon or even sausages –
spicy chicken or pork. The coffee is good, though given a
choice I would opt for the green tea and one of their
juices. This is a around the same price range as the above
mentioned coffee bar and they make a good contrast and
naturally the choice might depend on the location. A visit
to the Wat followed by one to Mokador or a rewarding
shopping expedition at the many nearby bookshops then on to
Ginger’s? It’s up to you. Ginger is at 199 Moon Muang Road.
Tel: 086 755 1395
One of the biggest problems with prawns is what to do with
the heads or tails? You can present prawns for your guests so that they do not
have to hide the tails in the pot plants. Select the plumpest prawns from your
supplier or supermarket. Around 8-10 cm long after removing the head and tail is
satisfactory, and fresh is best with seafood.
Ingredients Serves 6
Large prawns, de-veined 36
Lime juice ¼ cup
Salt ½ tspn
Curry powder 1 tspn
Ginger ½ tspn
Grated coconut 2 cups
Beer 330 ml
Flour 3 cups
White pepper ½ tspn
Sugar 1 tbspn
Paprika 2 tspns
Oil 2 cups
36 long skewers
Remove head and tail and
de-shell prawns. Cut down the back of the prawn and remove the vein.
Combine lime juice, salt, curry powder and ginger in a small bowl.
Add prawns, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. To prepare
coconut coating, lightly toast on cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 3
to 5 minutes. In another bowl, mix beer, flour, white pepper, sugar
and paprika for the batter.
Soak skewers in water for 5 minutes, then fix prawns on each skewer.
Heat oil in heavy skillet. Dip prawns in batter and fry until brown.
Roll immediately in toasted coconut. Serve with dipping sauce of