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Chinese at the Gold Leaf Restaurant; Imperial Mae Ping Hotel

By Heather Allen
A friend of a friend was in town visiting recently and since we were both tired from a day of sightseeing decided to eat dinner at her hotel. I had heard good things about the Chinese restaurant at the Imperial Mae Ping so we took the elevator down to the 2nd floor and dined in a quiet rather elegant space with attentive staff.
The menu was huge and neither of us inclined to over order, I can see this would be an excellent restaurant for larger groups, order many different dishes and share, but for the two of us, the menu was a little overwhelming.
I wanted duck, and crispy Peking duck they did have, but it was a large order and would have been too much for the two of us. So, sadly I had to forego the Peking Duck. However, all was not lost as in the back of the menu they have a set menu for one. Actually they had four menus of which the main course could be swapped out for one offered in another of the set menus. I chose the duck, my friend chose a menu but substituted the roast pork instead of chicken.
We were then given small portions of soup, salad, fish, the duck (or pork), fried rice (or white- we both chose fried) and fruit for dessert. All for the princely sum of 480 baht. Perhaps it was 450 baht, I forgot to write the exact price down. But it was around that and for the rather extensive dinner, quite a reasonable price.
The food was delicious, not British or American style Chinese food of course, but more Thai style I think. Still, much closer to the real thing than the overly sweet dishes one gets served in Britain.
I really enjoyed my duck dish, it was roasted somehow and quite good. Not fatty or oily as duck can sometimes be. My friend also had good things to say about her pork dish, the dishes that came before and after were also quite good and too many to enumerate. Including the lychees in ice at the end, I think there were at least 5 or 6 different dishes delivered to each of us!
If you are looking for tasty Chinese food at a very good value but without the hustle and bustle of some other Chinese places or the MSG then this is your place to give a try. Open daily for lunch and dinner and located on the 2nd floor of the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.

RECIPES BY NOI: Preparing Makor fruit

Makor is fruit from a palm tree. The tree can be as high as a coconut tree, the leaves look like big big palms- palms of hands that is, hence the name. Makor produces fruit only once a year, about this time of year - during rainy season July-August. One tree can have more than 20 kilos of fruit and yes 20 kg of fruit sounds like a lot but for a big tree per year it is very little. That’s why we don’t have so many of Makor trees.
Before we eat Makor, we need to preserve in salt water for a week or two depending on the weather at that time, it cannot be eaten raw. There are 2 ways to preserve the fruit; with or without skin .Personally I prefer it without skin.. In my village we can find Makor ready to eat in small plastic bags, selling at about 10-20 Baht a bag. Normally we just eat it as a snack or we can eat it with rice. Our last recipe was for fish roe, but what do we do with all the leftover fish? Let’s clean the fish with clean water and the add some salt. Grill on a low heat fire. So, now we need sticky rice, flatten it out to the size of our palm. Place the grilled fish and preserved Makor fruit in the middle of it and wrap. This we call Kao Pan, if you can’t imagine how it looks like, just think about Japanese rice ball or Onigiri. Kao Pan can have many things added to it other than Makor and we will talk about that in next issue’s recipe.

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