DINING OUT - RECIPES BY NOI
How do you get your restaurant reviewed?
The question that comes up time and time
again for the Dining Out team, usually re-directed from the
Chiang Mai Mail itself - “How do we get our restaurant
reviewed?” The answer is really quite simple - invite us!
There is no charge. You do not charge us, and we do not
With hundreds of hits each week, the Dining Out column of
the Chiang Mai Mail is one of the most read columns in the
newspaper, and it is obvious that people do follow the
Dining Out team around. Some restaurateurs have even
reported having diners coming in with the Chiang Mai Mail
newspaper in their hand and referring to it as the evening
For some restaurant owners, one worry has been just how many
people will come and dine? I know there have been occasions
where other reviewers from different sections of the media
have arrived with a football team in tow. We do not do that.
For the Chiang Mai Mail Dining Out team the reviewers are
myself and one other, unless there is a specific children’s
element to it, or some real reason for there to be more than
two people. Items such as fondues often need more than two
people to make it work, for example. We choose different
items from the menu and sample each other’s choices, so we
end up with some consensus as far as the item is concerned.
Some restaurants want to provide special
items for us to try, but we do not believe in that either.
The food we review should be the same food that you can
order - exactly the same. That goes for the size of the
portion as well. We do warn the establishment that we will
be taking photographs of the food, so huge helpings given to
us, but not given to the ordinary diner, is soon shown in
For the above reason, we do not come for Dining Out to
sample special food that the chef had specifically made for
us, and find it is something which is not on the menu. To
write “the truffles were excellent,” when there are no
truffles on the menu, is not good for the restaurant at all.
In the review we like to give an indication of the price
ranges the diner may expect. Not doing so is a disservice to
both the restaurant and the potential diners. To find that
the items are beyond the family budget when you actually sit
down to eat and read the menu is embarrassing for everyone.
Of course, you must remember that food prices can alter
between the week of doing the review and the actual printing
in the Chiang Mai Mail, so please don’t start a fight with
the Maitre d’ if the price of the lobster bisque has gone up
We have been asked why there are no ‘bad’ reviews, but we
counter that by saying, “What earthly use would that be?”
Diners are not going to try a restaurant that receives a bad
rap, are they? And contrary to some of the feared reviewers
in the US and the UK, who can make or break a restaurant, we
do not feel that our function is to break someone’s rice
bowl. No, if the restaurant does not come up to the standard
we would expect, we advise the owner/manager and stop the
review at that point, and do not write about it. We advise
what is wrong, and if and when they are ready in the future,
we are happy to come back for the full review again.
Following our dining, we confer on the event and our final
summation takes into account the overall dining experience
which covers the venue and the ambience, the food, taste and
presentation, and the service staff. In a cheap and cheerful
restaurant we do not expect silver service - but in a fine
dining establishment we do. However, all restaurants should
know by now that white wine is served cold and red wine
served around a cool room temperature, and preferably
allowed to ‘breathe’ for a few minutes.
You can contact our marketing team to request a review of
your restaurant. E-mail: [email protected]
RECIPES BY NOI: Med Kanoon Tom
(Boiled Jackfruit seeds)
After the last cool breeze said goodbye to us in February,
we can now officially welcome the hot season. The first sign
is that we have very different temperature between day and
night then the dreaded haze followed by Songkran. Anyway, we
can’t complain about the heat because we are in a tropical
climate. Luckily the rain, sun and humidity bring perfect
weather for some fruits that can cool us down. What about
fresh pineapple, watermelon shake, mango with sticky rice,
fresh coconut water or an awesome durian? Ah ah, today we
will talk about jackfruit. It’s the fruit of rainy season
but now it’s the fruit of all seasons because we know how to
Jackfruit has an interesting history. During the Buddha’s
lifetime, the monks went to collect white cotton rope that
was used to wrap the deceased, after requiem then they sewed
the rope together to the size that they can wear. The rope
was dyed with the core of the Jackfruit tree. It gives light
orange-brown color. Also the color will keep the rope lasts
The fruit has unique smell, some might not like it. So why
don’t they try to eating the boiled seeds instead. At first
when my mom introduced me to boiled jackfruit seeds, I
refused to eat them because they don’t really look like
something we can eat. Anyway, I trust mom like I trust my
dentist and teacher. Surprisingly, it tasted quite good and
much better than I thought. Young jackfruit can be eaten raw
with northern Thai spicy fish salad and you can even cook
and mash young jackfruit.
After cleaning the seed boil it in water with a small amount
of salt. Only 20 minutes and it will be cooked. The taste is
like chestnut but not that sweet.
The name in Thai is Kanoon, which is one of the sacred
trees. The name itself has similar pronunciation as Noon
(supporting) We believe that the tree will bring good luck,
and that by having it people will always support you and you
will always get help when in trouble.
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