Unexpected little places

By Heather Allen

Sometimes, it’s those unexpected little places, tiny little hole in the wall mom and pop style places that serve up some of the nicest food, albeit lacking in atmosphere. Here are a couple of those places. Albeit, not places to take a first date, or maybe even a second date, but definitely once you are comfortable with each other, or with friends. These places often offer simple, unpretentious and yet delicious food, many people are fearful of these little places, but don’t be. They are often worth a try.

One of those places is Spice Indian Restaurant next to the Imperial Mae Ping. From the outside it is unprepossessing, and from the inside perhaps even more so. But with Momma in the kitchen rolling out homemade garlic naan bread and everything cooked fresh to order at extremely reasonable prices, one can overlook the hard seats, fluoro lighting and television. Think of it more like eating at a friend’s house; friendly service and good food made with care.

We ate well, ordering multiple dishes; the chicken korma was delicious and made to order on a spicy level, the mango lassi was fresh and not too sweet. They have mutton dishes topping out at about 120 baht but most of the meat dishes were around 70-80 baht and the vegetarian menu was extensive. The waitress/daughter of the cook (remember the friend’s house analogy) speaks English and is friendly if a tad confused by a farang ordering Indian food in Thai!

I went with some friends who are experts in Indian food, so am not exactly sure what we ordered. But, except for the okra, which I dislike anyway, everything was quite tasty and prepared fresh upon ordering. Portions were big enough, we shared so I think one or two dishes might suffice a single person. But, in my opinion, Indian food is like Thai food; better shared. I didn’t notice alcohol on the menu, but then we had had a few drinks before we went, so I wasn’t looking.

Spice Indian Restaurant is located on the little side soi next to the Imperial Mae Ping, about half way down the soi. Be sure to keep an eye out for it as is small and easily missed. Parking is limited to street side parking and on only one side of the road, so you may have to walk a bit to find it. Open daily (no sign that I noticed I am afraid) they also appear to sell Indian spices and such out of the restaurant as more then a few young men dropped in to pick up foodstuffs.

Another such place is the Lemon Tree Restaurant on Huay Kaew Road. Small, but they offer tasty Thai food for very reasonable prices. They have another branch over behind the UN Irish Pub, down a narrow little soi. Rather difficult to find but worth the effort as the atmosphere is lovely. Set in the garden of a lovely old Thai style house, they share the same menu with the Huay Kaew branch. Their vegetarian menu is also extensive enough for most vegetarians, as we all know, sometimes it can be difficult to find veggie food at Thai restaurants. And getting them to understand no fish sauce (what, no fish sauce?!) is not always easy. But both locations seem well aware of this requirement of our vegetarian friends and are happy to oblige in serving “jae” food.

Single dish offerings are available with chicken and basil on rice and similar such dishes for around 50 baht. I like to order the laab with pork, they can make it as spicy as you like but, alas, as with most Thai restaurants, find it hard to believe that I like it really spicy. So, while it does have a nice bite, sometimes it’s just not hot enough. But they are generous with the pork and the flavors are well mixed with just the right amount of sour to make it tasty. I order a thai omelet over rice and a beer and my bill is never more than 150 baht. A nice little place to drop in for a quick, nutritious and tasty bite to eat. While the bigger location is more likely to be a date destination with its charming garden and house. Just beware in the rainy season as inside seating is upstairs.

Open daily until 10 p.m. they are located on Huay Kaew Road, next to the popular Mexican restaurant Tacos and Salsa and the new Soupasteak. Parking is available at the Shell station across the road.


Savory scrambled egg

Scrambled egg is one of the best known breakfasts. “Go to work on an egg” was the advertising slogan for the Egg Marketing Board many years ago, and many people did and still do. However, sometimes you need to just add a little something more to the humble egg, and this is one of the best ‘up-market’ scrambled eggs you can make for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Ingredients               Serves 4
Eggs                                                    8
Milk                                             cup
Onion, chopped                             
Ham, thinly sliced                     1 slice
Mushroom, chopped                cup
Salt                                            1 tspns

Ground black pepper               2 tspns

Cooking Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk using a fork. Whisk in the salt and pepper. The more you beat, the fluffier the scrambled eggs will be.

Heat a small non-stick pan with some butter over medium heat. Quickly fry a handful of finely chopped onion pieces in the butter with the mushrooms and ham.

Pour the scrambled egg mixture into the pan, and cook. Stir, scrape, and cut up the eggs while cooking until no liquid remains, and serve on hot buttered toast!