EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
Exciting new menu!
Pern’s on Huay Kaew Road has been established for a few
years, providing inexpensive ‘Mediterranean’ food in
pleasant if slightly conventional and underlit surroundings.
Happy to report that the owner Brian and his charming Thai
partner have given the eatery a complete - and highly
successful - revamp, making it more comfortable, lighter and
the menu smaller but with two important additions.
The new menu does contain some established favourites from
the original but the selection from the countries
represented has been sensibly reduced and each night a
special is added. The important change is an extensive tapas
menu, with a choice of some two dozen different ‘bites’,
ranging from the 20 baht tasters to more substantial
offerings at around 50 – 60 baht. You are given a clearly
printed list and simply tick those you fancy: a colourful
menu illustrating many of the tapas comes with the longer
You can choose a couple of these as a starter and then a
main course or stay with the tapas. Naturally you can choose
exclusively from the main menu. It’s very pleasant to have
the choice. The other great and welcome change is the
introduction of Continental draft beers: my personal
favourite is the Leffe blond, but you can have their dark
beer or one from Bavaria. There are plenty of bottled
options and the less expensive local beers, plus a so-so
house wine and some decent wines by the bottle. By the way,
on Wednesday’s the house wine is half price and there is 10%
off the beer, with a few bin end wines at lower prices.
The other improvement is in the ambiance to Pern’s. The bar
has been extended to most of the length of the restaurant
and this is ideal for those coming in just for a drink with
perhaps a few tapas to help it down. This is a bright and
attractive background, with seating for about 10 people, to
the eating area which has a couple of casual tables and a
main slightly raised section for a further twenty or so
diners. The lighting is greatly improved making it easier
for those of us who need it to read the menus.
As said the inexpensive main menu derives from the original
with Greek, Turkish and Italian dishes among others plus
Australian steaks at a more pricey 750 baht and the various
daily special, typically at 250- 300 baht with vegetables
and rice or potatoes. There is a handful or starters, a
cheese board (199 baht) or much cheaper puddings to follow
and even grappa and port to go with them.
Much of this style of food, pastas, seared salmon and so on
can be found elsewhere but with the addition of the tapas
menu Pern’s may just have found a special niche for those
who like to eat out and perhaps have different tastes. The
tapas, as mentioned, start at just 20 baht and these are
inevitably small but tasty such as bell peppers with a
sliver of cheese right up to a dish of fried mushrooms in
garlic or goujons of sole with a dip, which would make an
excellent first course. This is an attractive way to eat and
one can simply order a few to share and then repeat the
favourites or move on to pastures new.
Pern’s is on Huay Kaew Road opposite the Shell garage (where
you may park free) and they open each evening except Mondays
from early evening until late. (Photo courtesy of Neil
RECIPES BY NOI: Pla Tu Kem or Salted Mackerel
rainy season has arrived at my village and there will be no
holiday for farmers unless the rice farming is done.
Normally the farmers start farming after Songkran or anytime
when we have the first rain of the rainy season.
About 20 years ago when I was a kid, when the rice fields
were still free from insecticide and the rivers were very
clean, my mom and I used to walk 7 km to our rice fields
every weekend while my dad worked and slept in a hut there.
My bag was full of my snacks and toys but Mom’s bag was
always full of dried and canned foods for Dad which can keep
tfor a long time.
Mom would never forget to bring Pla Tu Kem or salted
mackerel (often called tuna by Thai people). It was our
favorite because we could cook it with different ways, add
in vegetable curry or soup, grill, deep fry or grill in a
banana leaf. The uncooked Pla Tu Kem can be kept for months
and the deep fried one will be good till a few days outside
the fridge. When we start working we don’t have time to do
anything else, even cooking.
Nowadays we have a road cut through the rice fields and
going to work takes just 15 minutes on motorbike. We have no
problem with food anymore but Pla Tu Kem is still the
favorite fast and convenient food for farmers.
This is an easy recipe for deep fried Pla Tu Kem.
All we need is just Plat Tu Kem, cooking oil, crushed
garlic, chopped shallot and dry chilies.
First deep fry garlic, shallot and chilies. Then use the
same oil to deep fry the fish. Do not cook the fish first
because after deep fringthe fish the oil will turn smelly
and cannot be used for cooking anything after that.
See? Very easy and fast food!