An old Chiang Mai standby worthy of a second visit:
By Heather Allen

A recent visit to Chiang Mai standby Koh Lanta Pizza reminded me that perhaps I should drop in more often. Previously located on Ratchadamnoen, they have recently moved. The ambiance is quite pleasant as the restaurant is not right on Nimmanhaemin but off on a side soi (Soi 5). Seating out in front affords some people watching without the fumes of being parked on the side of Nimmanhaemin or seating inside for those who don’t like to dine al fresco.

Koh Lanta Pizza is well known for its wood fired pizza oven, and the pizza was quite tasty. I like mine a little crisper and will ask for it to be left in a bit longer next time but overall, the pizza was quite tasty. They offer three sizes, a very small 6 inch pizza, which suited me fine as I wasn’t extremely hungry but would have left many ordering another pizza.

My friend had the 8 inch Pizza Margherita for 120 baht and said the base was quite tasty but that she will request less oregano on her pizza on our next visit as she felt that the flavour of the oregano overwhelmed the delicate flavours of the Margherita.

I had the Salami Pizza for 160 baht and must say that both the cheese and salami were in generous portions even though the pizza itself was rather small. I am not the best with eyeballing sizes, so was a little surprised at the small size, but left the restaurant feeling full so it was plenty for me.

We both had one of their tasty sodas, a bargain at 35 baht. I had the apple soda, and while a rather brilliant green, was tart rather than overly sweet and quite refreshing. My dining companion had the blueberry soda which she enjoyed enough to order a second

The staff was very attentive and service quite fast. Often one goes to a restaurant and finds oneself flagging down the staff with a menu to order, or one’s waiter hovers over one’s table so persistently that it feels imperative to order immediately, if only to gain some personal space. Not so at Koh Lanta Pizza. While they waited for us to order, we were given plenty of time to peruse the menu and yet, without hovering, they were there when we were ready to order. Also, we chose to dine outside and the staff made certain that we weren’t being bothered by mosquitoes; one quick whack on my leg was enough to bring the waiter with a fan directed at my feet.

In all, it was a pleasant meal with a tasty pizza. They offer salads, calzone, pasta and sandwiches for rather reasonable prices considering the often inflated prices found on Nimmanhaemin. Koh Lanta Pizza is open daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and with lunch added on the weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Creamy Oyster Bisque

Oysters are a wonderful starter to any meal, and this creamy oyster bisque is particularly good (but there is no note regarding aphrodisiac qualities). This recipe came from Australia and featured the world famous Sydney Rock Oysters, but any style will do and the recipe as presented calls for bottled oysters which makes it even easier in Thailand, being plentiful and cheap at the markets. The recipe also mentions Guinness beer, but any of the heavy British brands will do which can be purchased in cans.

Ingredients                                                Serves 4-6
Bottled Oysters (reserve the liquid)                                    24
Fish stock (including water drained from bottled oysters) 1 cup
Guinness                                                                 1/2 cup
Small white onion diced                                                      1
Celery, diced                                                             1 stalk
Potato peeled and diced                                             400gm
Thyme                                                                       1 tspn
Low fat milk                                                              1/2 cup
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

Cooking Method

Heat two tablespoons of the stock in a large saucepan and add the onion and celery. Cook over low heat until onion is transparent. Add the Guinness, remaining stock, potato and thyme and cook until potatoes are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a blender with half of the oysters, milk and pepper and puree until smooth. Bring back to the boil and serve immediately with a few oysters placed on top of each dish. Garnish with fresh parsley.