DINING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
Tengoku + Yaki at Nimman
Top quality Japanese food
By Shana Kongmun
The Nimmanhaemin area is brimming with Japanese and
Korean restaurants not due to just the large number of
Japanese expats living in the area but also the love that
Thai people have for Japanese food.
The restaurants range from pure sushi to Japanese favorites,
costly to cheap. I tend to avoid cheap sushi, I have
concerns over freshness if it is too cheap and sushi is one
of those dishes where you get what you pay for. Tengoku +
Yaki is connected with the fabulous Tengoku de Cuisine near
the Dhara Dhevi and the experience and quality shows at the
newest location on the corner of Nimmanhaemin soi 5 and the
middle road (does that road have a name?) that runs parallel
to Nimmanhaemin Road.
The entrance is on the side, go through two big wooden doors
and step into an old Japanese style tea house or pub. The
wooden beams, the iron work, it is all very cool and makes
for a very atmospheric dining experience. The menus are
clear and for those who don’t know Japanese food so well, a
picture menu is helpfully provided.
We started with edamame and some chicken on skewers as well
as pork with soy sauce dish. We asked for extra wasabi and
got a dish of something green with bits in it. We were all a
bit surprised until we tried it and it was some of the best
wasabi any of us had ever tasted. The green bits made the
whole thing just fabulous.
I ordered the sushi set and was not disappointed. Oftentimes
a sushi set comes out with slivers of fresh fish on a lot of
rice. This was not the fact here, the fish portions were
delicious, fresh, tender and not at all fishy smelling as
sometimes happens with the less fresh sushi. This set cost
800 baht and was, frankly worth every baht. You do get what
you pay for.
My friend ordered the pork cutlet with gravy set (apparently
a Japanese dish!) that came with the obligatory miso soup
and also an interesting savory custard dish. My other
friends ordered several dishes of maki – or rolls as they
are known since one was a bit worried about eating uncooked
fish. I gave her a bite of my salmon sushi and think she may
We had Japanese beer with our dinner and found the service
to be attentive and excellent. Generally I dislike it when
my beer is at the little table off a ways since I tend to
end up waiting for my refill. This was not the case here,
the staff made sure our glasses stayed full and asked if we
want to order another large bottle when we ran out.
We were going to stop at House of Wine but as the only wine
drinker we ended up leaving since they only sell by the
bottle. However, if you are with a group of friends who do
all drink wine, this would be a nice place to stop as they
have a very pleasant outdoor sitting area.
This place is not cheap. It is fairly pricey in fact but I
felt that it lived up to its prices and none of us walked
away disappointed thinking we had overpaid. With Tengoku +
Yaki Nimman 5 you definitely get what you pay for. Open
daily for lunch from 11 am to 2 pm and for dinner from 5:30
pm to 10 p.m. Reservations recommended as the place was
packed at 7:30 p.m. 087 725 9888
RECIPES BY NOI: Kao Soi; the yellow egg noodle with yellow and coconut soup
Who doesn’t know Kao Soi? Who doesn’t like it? For expats,
Thai people and anyone who ever visited Chiang Mai would
have been heard or tried our famous yellow noodle dish at
Here’s a very brief introduction; The most believable
presumption is that Kao Soi first came from a Chinese-Muslim
recipe which Chin Ho (Chinese from Yunnan province, South
China) brought with them when they moved more south to
northern Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. At first there was no
coconut milk in the soup (I can’t imagine Kao Soi without
coconut but I am really interested to try). And of course,
Chinese-Muslims don’t eat pork and that’s why we mostly see
Kao Soi with chicken or beef. Nowadays seafood, pork and
meatball Kao Soi can be found as well but honestly, chicken
and pork are really the best.
There is a very interesting fact about my city, Chiang Khong
and Kao Soi and that is that we don’t have it there! We took
it from Chiang Mai and of course you can eat yellow Kao Soi
in Chiang Khong but when you say Kao Soi, then it will refer
to Nam Ngiew, the previous recipe we cooked.
Let’s make it more complicated. Chiang Rai has the word Kao
Soi but it’s Nam Ngiew with rice noodle/Sen Yai, when Nam
Ngiew is served with Kanom Sen (or Kanom Jeen-fermented rice
flour noodles) then we will call it Kanom Sen or Kanom Sen
Ingredients for the yellow Kao Soi are quite different as
the paste contains dried chili, salt, garlic, shallot,
kaffir lime skin, krachai (fingerroot), Kamin (turmeric)
lemongrass, shrimp paste and curry powder.
I always start by stir frying the past with a few spoonfuls
of cooing oil and add beef. Then add soup and coconut milk.
Beef will take a couple of hour to cook so make sure you
have a lot of coconut milk. When the beef is tender we can
add more sugar and salt.
The special add in the noodle are, deep fried egg noodles,
shallots, coriander, pickled cabbage and a slice of lime.