Retro style décor but the cooking is fully up to date.
This spacious new restaurant – located between sois
7 and 9 off Nimmanhaemin Road – offers superbly cooked and
presented western food at moderate prices, ranking it with
smaller venues such as La Fourchette, La Terrasse and Café
Mini as one of the very best eating places in Chiang Mai.
What makes I’m Chair distinctive (apart from the slightly
odd name) is both its size and the fascinating décor and
style. There are only about 24 covers in the very
comfortable banquettes, which are nicely placed at angles
for semi privacy but in addition there are low slung tables
and sofas for more casual eating and drinking with further
seating on a patio at the main entrance. There’s a juke box,
1970s style furniture, a TV of the same vintage and many
lamps and ornaments from the period – but the service and
overall quality is resolutely modern.
The menu is extensive and offers selections of appetisers,
plus about six different soups, a range of pastas, a few
fish dishes, meat choices and some five or six puddings.
Wine is served by the glass, by carafe on a free-flow basis
(290 baht) and from a wide selection of displayed bottles.
Naturally there are beers, soft drinks and spirits on sale
The starters include salmon Carpaccio (250), aged camembert
served with an onion sauce, walnut halves, grapes and
raisins and very moreish little bread rolls (180), other
cheeses, potato wedges, spicy prawn salad and BBQ spare ribs
among many others ranging from 70 to around 250 baht. On one
occasion I was tempted to the ravioli with prawns in a
delicious sauce, which was quite memorable - creamy, tasty
and ultra-fresh. This you’ll find on the list of pastas not
starters. From the soups my companion on a recent visit
vouched for the French Onion (100).
The menu is too extensive to list but special
recommendations from fellow diners and myself include the
risotto, coq au vin (350) – perhaps a little heavily salted
but with very good chicken – and especially the lamb cutlets
cooked and served to order. All the main come complete with
fresh vegetables and potatoes. From the fish selection I
really enjoyed the piquant pan fried prawns with a black
pepper sauce and look forward to the baked fish on a later
The selection of desserts is sensibly limited but my friend
and I shared a chocolate brownie, with a light chocolate
sauce and excellent vanilla ice cream. If hungry you might
choose the crepes or perhaps go for the soufflé. The
portions are fair and it would be a difficult to leave
hungry after a two course meal, let alone three. Whoever is
behind this enterprise has given considerable thought to the
venture and compounded it with a top class chef.
The service is very efficient and the staff well trained,
making the whole dining experience pleasant from the warm
welcome on. The seating is so comfortable that one can
easily linger or move outside over a final glass of wine or
a coffee. Most evenings there is an excellent musical duo
from 8.30 pm. They are open only in the evenings and closed
on Mondays. There is a large car park adjoining the
restaurant and you find this fairly new - and welcome -
addition to the Chiang Mai scene running between sois 7 and
9 in the Monkey Club vicinity. Phone on 053 218489 or drop
in for a glass of wine and check them out.