EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
There’s nothing like
a perfectly cooked steak
By Heather Allen
I am an unrepentant meat eater. And while not a complete
carnivore, I have been known to eat vegetarian every once in
a while, I will crave a thick juicy steak every now and
again. The other day was one such day. Perhaps it was the
vegetarian meal I had eaten the day before that kicked off
the need for a steak. Perhaps there is some cycle related to
the moon, or the traffic, or even what appears to be the
onset of the cool weather season, or “winter” as the locals
like to call it.
I called a good friend and we made reservations at the Steak
House at JJ Market. And while the place was not packed out
it was busy so I was glad to have made the reservations. My
friend and I were both drawn to one of the monthly specials
on offer, their specials change regularly so be sure and
drop in to check what they are because if they are anything
like ours, it is worth the extra effort.
I opted for a baked spinach and cheese starter and while my
friend confessed she was not a huge fan of spinach she found
this quite good. The cheese was baked to a nice melted
crust, the spinach was not overcooked. Soggy spinach that
looks like wet seaweed is, to me, extremely unappealing, but
this was delicious.
We both ordered the surf and turf. She had the baked potato,
I had French fries. Her potato looked tasty but let us face
the reality, you don’t go to a steak place for potatoes. I
am quite fussy about my steak and have often found that Thai
cooks do not quite grasp the complexities of medium rare. I
do not necessarily want it mooing but it had better be quite
red. Pardon my graphic description to any of the vegetarians
still reading, but I am pretty sure most would not be
reading a review of a restaurant called “The Steak House”.
So, to the steak. It was cooked to perfection. I cannot say
more than that. It was tender and juicy and definitely
medium rare. Worth the steak alone but the prawns were also
quite good. They tasted very fresh without that often
slightly grainy taste that prawns in Chiang Mai can have.
They were cooked on the grill to the right amount of
“doneness” and were not chewy or either overdone or
underdone. I often avoid seafood in Chiang Mai as I wonder
at its freshness but this was just right.
The portions were not huge but then I prefer not to eat huge
meals if I can help it. Not only does one feel like a
roasted pig with the apple in its mouth, but rather looks
like that too after too many large meals. I was happily full
but not so full I couldn’t try a brownie which was rich and
Without alcohol our meals came to about 1400 for the two of
us, and considering the excellence of the steak, the
pleasant ambiance, the excellent service and the friendly
host, it was an evening well spent.
RECIPES BY NOI
Tam ma keua yao
Pounded grilled long egg plant
The smell of grilled eggplant always activates my digestive
system! Tam ma keua is made from grilled long eggplant with
the skin removed.
The base chili paste is Nam prik noom which we can find and
buy in any market in Chiang Mai but it’s always better to
learn and cook by ourselves.
It won’t take long time, just a few simple steps;
First grill garlic, shallots and fresh chilies. Pound them
all together and salt to taste. For Nam Phrik Noom we add
chopped coriander and spring onions to the paste.
Now we can add our grilled long eggplant and pound in the
chili paste. Last step just add chopped mint and Vietnamese
Oh, oh! I would be the bad guy in this story if I don’t tell
you that boiled egg and fresh mint go extremely well with
our dish. Now please excuse me for leaving to take care of
my Tam ma keua and I hope you’ll enjoy yours.