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JunJun Cupcakes on Nimmanhaemin

By Christopher Sujarit
I’ll be honest, sometimes I think it’s ALWAYS that time of month for me… you know, when I’m craving cupcakes, art, and arty cupcakes, all simultaneously. During bright times and bum times, only cupcakes will fully satisfy, and JunJun Cupcakes on Nimmanhaemin 17 gets the job done.
JunJun provides you with a selection of 14 flavors; some are changing daily specials, some old favorites, and others synergistic spins giving you exactly what forgot you even wanted. On the sunny Tuesday afternoon I visited, JunJun had ChocoChip TwoTone, Double Chocolate Orange, Butter with Cream, Chocolate Honey, Vanilla Honey, Coffee, Rocky Road, Vanilla Raspberry Jam, Vanilla Strawberry Cream, Lemon, Chocolate Coffee, and Chocolate RumRaisin. Only 20 baht per cupcake!
My favorite is the Vanilla topped with Honey Cream, which begs the question: what is in the honey, and is the honey for real? Jun, a late 20- something who founded JunJun Cupcakes, gets her homemade honey from her neighbor man friend, no pun intended. Every morning for three to four hours, Jun bakes her love into these plum- sized mini works of art. She tops the Lemon cupcake with a whirl of cream, mixed with bands of lemon syrup; the Butter with Cream cupcake has enough celebratory sprinklage to be perfect for a birthday or the fourth of July; the Chocolate Rum Raisin is topped with a candied cherry, giving it a decidedly sophisticated, sultry air. These cupcakes are fun!
JunJun is part of a larger art gallery/workshop, Gallery Seescape, which has rotating exhibitions about once a month. Jun herself studied Visual Design at Dusit University. In the courtyard of the small complex are tasteful sculptures and a zen-ifying pond (different from the in-your-face, wacky tacky approach of I-berry). JunJun and Seescape are perfectly tailored for a date (day or night), for a friendly bite, or for an escape from the smoke and odor of songtaws and tourists.
I brought oodles of these cupcakes into two of the offices I work at and the salon I frequent, and they were nothing but a hit! The Chocolate Orange was a surprise standout, with the orange flavors infused into a crispy dark chocolate disc on top. The Chocolate Toffee got the stamp of approval from a Dutch colleague, who commented on its adequately creamy richness. The Chocolate Rum Raisin had us wondering why it felt so good… we think it was a hint of brandy in the mix. And of course, the all-around populist pleaser was the Honey Cream, whether we had it Chocolate or Vanilla.
JunJun provides all this for only 20THB a cake, and you can fill a gift box of 6 for 120THB. This is my go-to for a special thank you or an office party gift. The gift box is a great way to become the most popular person in the room! JunJun Cupcake is open is open from 11am to 9pm every day except Monday. So hop in and enjoy one- you deserve it! Nimmanhaemin Soi 17, attached to Gallery Seecape. See the website for Exhibits and Events: http://seescapechiangmai. Open 11am to 9pm, closed Mondays.



Kaeng Khai Bai Phrik

Chili leaf soup with egg

Once upon a time, when I was much younger I used to help mom working in her chili garden. The chili plants are very easy to break. I broke many of them but mom told me to collect leaves from the broken branches to cook for dinner. At first I did not agree as I do not like spicy food but once I ate them, I asked for more. Surprisingly the chili leaves are not hot at all and amazingly we can eat them.

My mother started by boiling water and adding pounded garlic (you can add chilies as well) Then she would wait for the water to come to a boil again so she could add the chili leaves. It takes only a few minutes before adding an egg and roughly chopped shallots. Fish sauce or salt to taste.

My secret recipe for green curry is that I like to pound chili leaves into the green curry paste to make the soup more green and creamy.
So, enjoy dinner everyone.

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