EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
Full House Korean BBQ Restaurant
By Christopher Sujarit
Expectations can ruin a good thing, especially in
relationships. “Give people room to impress you Chris” is
the favorite dollop of advice recently doled out to me.
When I stepped into Full House, the newest Korean restaurant
in Chiang Mai, with my loyal eating partner Blaire, I
carried with me the foodie expectations that came with
growing up with a Korean mother, and having lived in Seoul
for two years and two days. If I didn’t “know” Korean food
by now, I might as well spend the rest of my eating Japanese
kimuchi and calling it macaroni.
Full House is a new, well- appointed restaurant with a
private banquet room sat between two levels of 10 large
wooden tables with barbecue grilles embedded in their
centers, and is pretty much Gangnam-y 4 star hotel style.
The menu is split up into four Set menus, Soups, Traditional
Dishes, and Meats a la Carte. Blaire and I opted for the
5-Meat BBQ Set Menu for 399THB, which came with samgyeopsal
(3- layers pork), spicy- marinated samgyeopsal, moksal (pork
neck), and two kinds of beef. The Set Menus come with
bibimbap (vegetables on top of rice with red pepper paste),
kimchi jiggae (stew), and three different kinds of banchan
(side dishes): sardines (myaelchi), cabbage kimchi, and
potato salad; all of them were great. Korean restaurants
usually rotate banchan offerings seasonally.
The bibimbap was my favorite part of the meal and had a very
roasty, nutty taste and aroma, and had a magic mix of sesame
oil and spices not usually found in paradigmatic
presentations. Second, the kimchi jiggae was surprisingly on
point, with ingots of firm fresh tofu floating around with
chunks of pork. Blaire, who hails from Upstate New York, had
fun clumsily poking at the myaelchi sardines with her heavy
metal chopsticks for a minute before she dared to try them
for the first time. “They are like little fish with eyes and
bodies,” she acutely observed and then ate half the dish.
Samgyeopsal is basically thickly sliced bacon, and Full
House marinates their pork somewhat sweetly, which threw me
off a little but not enough for me to stop eating and
enjoying it. The beef was good but was gone way too soon
(portions could be larger). The 5- Meat Set feeds more than
enough for two hungry eaters. All in all, the fact the food
was great was the biggest surprise of the night.
Things didn’t start this way. When I walked into Full House,
I was told the barbecue grilles in the middle of the tables
are currently un-operational, thus all the cooking is done
in the kitchen taking away from the essential
cook-it-at-your-own-table Korean BBQ experience. The staff
is euphemistically novice, and doesn’t speak a lick of
Korean, not even the names of the dishes. The service was
Full House began as unreviewable, a jagged little pill.
After my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised. In the
future, I’ll remember to not let expectations get in the way
of enjoying potentially good food. Full House Korean BBQ is
food you ought to know- know -know.
Full House Korean food is located down Nimmanhaemin Soi 13,
past NYNY and just to the left at Soi “Godzilla.” Lunch
11am- 2:30pm, Dinner 5pm- 10pm.
RECIPES BY NOI: Nam Phrik Ta Daeng Makok
Nam Phrik Ta Daeng is another well-known chili paste beside
Nam Phrik Noom. The main ingredient is spicy dry chili. This
is why it makes our eyes red from crying! (Ta Daeng means
Even though it sounds like a cruel chili paste it is
actually very versatile because we can add grilled fish or
frog meat, roasted galangal, grilled tomato or Makok (Hog
For us now, Makok is a good choice because it fruits only
once a year, and now is the time, from November to January.
To make this paste first take roasted dry chili, garlic,
shallots, dried fish or shrimp and salt. Pound together
until well pulverized with the mortar and pestle. Add the
tamarind, shrimp paste and cooked plara (fermented fish) to
taste and mix well. Add Makok with the skin removed and
pound that in too.
To make a dish out of this you can eat it with Cap Moo (deep
fried crispy pork skin) and steamed mixed vegetables such as
pumpkin, mustard greens, radish pods, whatever you wish!
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