EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
An oasis of calm in the busy Nimman area
I confess I am not a fan of buffet style dinners;
somehow that “all you can eat” title seems like a challenge.
I am also not a fan of huge portions, while certainly value
for money I was taught to clean my plate, especially at a
restaurant and so I feel compelled to eat it all. If you
want bite size portions at reasonable prices and a stunning
glass or three of wine, then El Patio on Nimmanhaemin Soi 11
is your place.
The ambiance is great; an open air walled in patio with a
real Spanish feel. It is cozy without being claustrophobic.
There are comfortable couches to lounge on while sipping
your wine and savoring your tapas. For the hot season there
is an inside air conditioned room, or for those who just
like to sit inside. The owner plans on putting up some kind
of retractable roof for the rainy season. It is lovely and
relaxing; an oasis of calm in the heart of busy
But the food is the main focus of any eating out review, of
course. The chef is a charming and friendly young Spanish
man who makes some really unique and exquisite food. The
brie and sai oua (Chiang Mai sausage) on bread is fabulous
and really just a perfect combination. You only get one
piece per order so be sure and order a few of these. The
garlic prawns are deliciously garlicky, just the way I like
something that has the name garlic in it. I have never
understood those people who order some dish with the name
“garlic” in it and then complain that there is too much
I really liked the seafood salad with passionfruit dressing
served in a little passionfruit cup. In fact, many of the
seafood dishes were my favorites including the deep fried
squid, although I must say the lamb skewers were tender and
juicy. There are a few vegetarian options as well including
mushroom croquettes and a really creamy but tiny shot glass
of pumpkin soup. The asparagus in tempura was crunchy and
not bitter like asparagus can sometimes be here in Thailand.
Chris recommended a fresh Mesta white wine for us to try and
it certainly went well with the food. All in all, this
restaurant is a repeat on my list when I want a relaxing
place to eat and chat with good friends.
Each individual tapas is served separately and prices range
from 15 to 35 baht per piece. El Patio is open daily 5 p.m.
to after midnight and is located directly on Nimmanhaemin
Soi 11 next to Beer Republic.
RECIPES BY NOI: Nam Phrik Jao
very rare and unusual to eat Nam Phrik Jao in my village. I
went to a market to buy some ingredients for the menu and I
had many questions from the seller and villagers ‘Who’s
heading south?’ or ‘Are you going to Bangkok?’
It’s a very popular chili paste to take away from home
because its ingredients are deep fried so it can keep for a
long time. Going to Bangkok from my village takes 12 hours
by bus. People who are away from home for a long time are
happy when they bring mom’s homemade food with them. At
least they can feel home even though it’s almost 800 km
away. My sister would stuff almost a kilo of mom’s chili
paste in her fridge in Samut Prakarn; it last for months.
Jao in northern language means “stir fry with a little bit
of oil” (Thod is deep fried). So we first need to deep fry
sliced shallots and garlic. Then pound dry chilies with
salt. When the chili is well pulverized we’ll mix it with
the deep fried shallot and garlic. No need to pound but just
stir until well mixed. Some people will add deep fried
kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass which is also a good
combination. Then we need to heat a couple spoonfuls of
cooking oil in a pan and throw our ingredients in to stir
fry for a few minutes. After that just remove from heat and
leave until cool and then store in well-sealed container and
keep in the fridge.
I like to stir fried minced pork and add it to the chili
paste to give more taste but it might not last for months
because the pork. I guarantee it’s going to be finished
before it goes bad though!
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