EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
Homemade Japanese food in an intimate setting
By Heather Allen
I recently visited Hatena on Nimmanhaeminda Road, Soi 11
with a few friends and while the outside is a bit
unprepossessing the interior is cozy and charming with the
feel of an old Japanese inn. The staff are friendly and
attentive and the food, delicious at fairly reasonable
prices. My friends were hungry and ordered a wide variety of
dishes, including kimchee, which was interesting to find at
a Japanese restaurant.
I had the beef sashimi which was tender and quite good if
simply presented and quite reasonable for the price (about
220 baht). My friends ordered gyoza, or Japanese dumplings
which were quite delicious. Not overly cooked so as to be
hard but nor were the undercooked and chewy. The filling was
quite tasty. They also ordered a tasty pork dish with an
unknown ‘special sauce’, which was quite tasty in fact. Both
the beef and pork here are quite tender and not chewy in the
least. A good find in Chiang Mai.
Outside is a little ramen stand, it didn’t appear to be part
of the restaurant but they were happy to allow my hungry
friend to bring in a bowl of ramen from the stand. The
noodles were quite good and appeared to be homemade. The
broth was delicious and the enormous bowl was brimming with
meat, vegetables and noodles. Needless to say, my friend
didn’t quite manage to finish it all.
The atmosphere is quite cozy and has either traditional
chairs and tables or the larger seats with the hole in the
floor for those who don’t feel quite so comfortable sitting
on their feet for an entire meal. They had several beers on
offer including Singha, but since we were eating Japanese
food we felt a bottle of Asahi was in order. They only serve
the large bottles so be aware of that when ordering or you
will end up with two large bottles of beer like we did.
The restaurant has a small but pretty comprehensive menu
with sashimi as well as other traditional Japanese fare. It
is a popular place among many of the local Thais and
Japanese expats and now, after my first visit, I can see
Hatena is found on Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 11 just past the
Why Not restaurant and is open in the evenings from 6 p.m.
to 10 p.m.
RECIPES BY NOI
Kaeng Pak Kee Hoot
(Radish pods curry with catfish)
Pak Kee Hoot is the
Thai radish, we eat the pods and flowers so I really have no
clue if it has roots like the western radish and how those
roots taste. It also it makes me wonder if the western
radish pod tastes the same as Thai ones or not. Poor western
radish! People just eat it’s root a long long time before it
can produce flowers and pods. I looked up recipes for the
western radish pods. I believe they taste all good.
Pak Kee Hoot
(Radish pods curry with catfish)
Like the western radish, it likes cool weather so it is
usually found in someone’s backyard during the cool season,
that is most likely why it can only be found in Northern
Thailand. It grows fast, does not need much care and can be
cooked in different menus.
Today we’ll cook a curry with fish called ‘Kaeng Pak Kee
First, we start off with the curry paste! You will need 2-5
cloves of garlic, 1-2 shallots, 5-10 dry chilies, 1 stalk of
lemon grass, ½ teaspoon of shrimp paste and 3 teaspoons of
salt. Pound them together until well pulverized. This is the
same curry paste s our Banana Blossom Curry from the last
Now for the curry, 300 g of Pak Pak Kee Hoot : I suggest to
nip off the head and tail part of the pods and roughly crush
them by hand before cooking.
300g of catfish : chop into 2cm thick pieces (you can use
pork, pork ribs or beef instead)
5-10 cherry tomatoes
500ml water, the curry paste and fish sauce to taste.
Boil the water and add as much chili paste as you prefer
Add the fish and wait until the soup boils again then add
the Pak Kee Hoot and cherry tomatoes. Watch closely as it
only takes a few minutes to cook the vegetables. When tender
remove from heat. Add fish sauce to taste.
Good news! Now enjoy eating.