EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
By Heather Allen
Although I recently said I rarely venture out to the Night
Bazaar area, this month seems to have been my time to do so.
I recently visited Billy Restaurant on Kampaeng Din road and
must say that it was a bit of a chore to find. The affable
and friendly owner, Billy, a charming man from Burma who
worked in well-known Italian restaurants in Chiang Mai and
the North for many years, was encouraged to remedy the sign
situation as not only I, but my friend, drove past his
restaurant trying to find it.
To miss it would be a shame; Billy offers tasty Italian food
with very good portions and interesting combinations at very
reasonable prices. His small café style restaurant seems to
be popular with expats and Thais living in the area as even
though it was a week night, several tables were full despite
it being low season.
His dishes range in price from around 120-200 Baht each and
his pasta selection was quite good with all the pasta under
140 Baht. I had penne in a cream sauce with a generous
amount of spicy Italian sausage. My friend had a very nice
salmon steak with salad and a cream sauce while another
friend had the pizza. The pizza was thin and crispy although
not as thin as the true Italian style can be and, a bonus,
Billy is generous with his toppings, something that can
often be lacking in other places. I confess, I prefer a
pizza with plenty of food on it!
The service is friendly and prompt and the atmosphere homey.
A far cry from last issue’s very elegant meal at Le Crystal,
but then it isn’t easy to remain elegant for every meal!
Billy Restaurant is located on Kampaeng Din Road, if you
turn right from Loi Kroh it is right next to Wat Chiang
Kong. Open daily from Noon to 11 p.m.
RECIPES BY NOI
Bamboo shoot curry
food suits rainy season most? It doesn’t take too long for
me to give the answer. Kaeng Noh Mai (Bamboo shoots with
mushroom curry) is the symbol of rainy season in the North.
Although people in my village believe that the bamboo shoot
has no nutrition and that eating an egg gives more nutrients
than the bamboo shoots from the whole mountain. Also it’s
forbidden for the sick people or those recovering from an
illness to eat, my grandmother told me they believe the
illness will come back if you do.
However, bamboo shoots are very high in fiber and protein,
low in cholesterol and saturated fat.
To make the curry paste take 5-10 fresh chilies, 5-10 cloves
of garlic, 1 tsp of shrimp paste and pound them together
Then, take 600 g of thinly sliced bamboo shoots, 250 g of
pork, 50 g of wild betel leaves, 50 g of Acacia pennata, and
100 g of the interestingly named “Jew’s Ear mushroom” also
known as the jelly ear mushroom, some salt, 2 tbsp of Pla Ra
(fermented fish) and 1.5 l of water.
Boil the bamboo shoots for about 30 minutes to remove the
bitter taste, then clean it out with cold water.
Boil the 1.5 l of water and add chili paste, then bamboo
shoots and pork. When the pork is cooked add Pla Ra and the
mushrooms. Remove from the heat, salt to taste then add the
acacia and wild betel leaves.
We really love having Kaeng Noh Mai for lunch because in the
morning we go hunting bamboo shoots in the mountains and
come back home to cook it for lunch.