EATING OUT & KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK
 

Moxie’s at D2

Chef Chalong creates the ‘perfect’ lunch

By Brian Baxter

Let’s get one thing straight: the words directly above are my own, they are not those of Khun Chalong who is undoubtedly far too modest to use them. They are simply a perception or opinion, not written in stone, but I would hope no less valid for all that. Perfection – like beauty - has to be in the mind and eye (or palate?) of the recipient. Rather like Sinatra singing My Funny Valentine, if you get what I mean.

Of course, if your idea of a ‘good lunch’ is mulligatawny soup, followed by roast beef and all the trimmings and rounded off by spotted dick and custard then it might be better if you toddle off to the nearest version of an English ‘pub’ where Max Bygraves discs provide the background.

If on the other hand you fancy leaving the most pleasant eating place in Chiang Mai, with your appetite satisfied, your waist line unexpanded and your wallet intact then I suggest you head on down to Moxie’s any weekday lunchtime between noon and 2.30p.m. for their newly created ‘innovative business lunch’. It’s a real treat, offering top quality food, elegant but unfussy presentation, excellent cooking and immaculate service – all at a fair price.

It’s a relaxed event, so you can stay as long as you like and eat as much as you wish. The ‘starters’, soup and puddings are buffet- style with only the main course cooked to order, with ad lib water, Ronnefeldt tea or organic coffee served by the charming staff. Starters are chosen from two areas, a generous salad bar offering produce from the King’s Project, with selected dressings and a much larger area with a moreish choice of ‘prepared’ salad and other dishes, including bruschettas, salmon carpaccio, ripe tomatoes with feta cheese and at least a dozen other dishes. Plus a range of D2’s excellent breads. The temptation will be to over indulge, but be warned there is also a soup of the day if you wish and a choice of main course to follow.

There are four selections on the menu, offered in sensibly modest portions. My companion, photographer (and Editor!) went for the grilled chicken breast, served with a creamy sauce and parley mashed potatoes. There was also that excellent fish John Dory on offer, pan fried with a sweet pea puree and a Pernod cream sauce and for the more adventurous grilled marinated pork accompanied by a spicy sauce and sticky rice. I opted for the pasta dish but asked for it without the Chiang Mai sausages and pork rind. It came steaming hot, with a sensible portion of al dente spaghetti, lightly pan fried with shitake mushrooms and tossed with hot basil leaves and a shred or two of chili. Did I use the word perfect before?

There’s a selection of D2’s mini desserts on offer, of which the very light chocolate mousse must be the star, although there’s ample choice with little fruit tarts, chocolate cake and fresh fruit among them. Shana followed with a refreshing tea and I with a jolt of espresso. A snip at 399 baht net.

For those who know Moxie’s, the above will not be very surprising, Ditto for the readers of this column who may have read my enthusiastic reviews of their monthly International Buffets (with cooking stations) before or of their normal menu, served in what must be among the most stylish ‘spaces’ in the city, spacious but not cavernous, colourful and bright but never gaudy.

By the way the next International event is on Friday and Saturday 24 and 25 September. For the second time the menu will be devoted to Peru and I can only say that if it repeats the success of last year’s event it will be both a sell out and an eye opening success. You will find Moxie’s on the first floor of D2 at 100 Chang Klan Road, very near the night bazaar. There is ample parking and the telephone number is 053 999 999.

 

Garlic Soup

Here is the recipe for a very healthy soup. This is a traditional dish from the Bordeaux region of France and is prepared as a dinner item in the hot summer. It was given to me by Chef Santo Zoppis who indicated you should leave 20 minutes for preparation and 25 minutes for cooking. Good food should not be rushed.

Ingredients                     Serves 4
Garlic                                       200 gm
Olive oil                                      50 ml
Flour                                          30 gm
Beef bouillon or beef stock        1.2 litres
Egg yolks                                           2
Red wine vinegar                           30 ml
Salt and pepper
Pouring cream                           4 tspns

Cooking Method:

Peel the garlic, remove the stem, and chop very fine. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook over a low heat for about five minutes, stirring all the time. Add the flour, stir and add the cold beef bouillon or beef stock. Cook this soup for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a small salad bowl combine the egg yolk with the red wine vinegar and beat with a whisk.

Remove the soup from the heat and add the egg yolk mixed with the vinegar.

Serve the soup in hot soup cups, and swirl in a teaspoon of cream.