DINING OUT & Khun Ocha's Cookbook
A Meat-Lover’s Paradise At Kantary Hills Hotel
Meat eater’s buffet at the
Carvery Night buffet dinner at Kantary Hills Hotel.
by Paul Surtees;
pictures by Sunny Leung.
is situated near the bustling Nimmanhaemin Road (at 44,
44/1-2 Soi 12 Nimmanhaemin Road/ tel. 053 222 111), the
Kantary Hills Hotel offers a fairly secluded setting,
because it is set back off a quiet soi. They even have
outside seating, under cover from the rains, which is a
pleasant option as these cooler months reach Chiang Mai.
A fine array of breads, as
well as desserts and many other dishes make this a great
restaurant offers a variety of buffets. On other weekday
evenings, an extensive salad buffet is laid on there –
which, in fact, embraces much more than simply salad items.
Their smoked salmon is one of the more memorable salad
accompaniments. That costs THB 270 each, plus tax and
Wednesdays, meat-lovers descend on the place to partake of
their carvery night buffet, from 6 to 10pm. Our group
reached there at 6:30 pm, at which hour there were not many
diners. However, by an hour later it was full, requiring the
frequent replenishment of the food supplies set out on the
buffet tables – which was done efficiently.
were a reasonable THB 150 each, and this place offers a
wider-than-usual choice of wines by the glass, as well as by
the bottle. Their carvery night meat buffet costs THB 640
per person, plus tax and service.
selection of salads is provided – so many, that you would
struggle to try them all. A wide range of salad dressings
and accompaniments was provided. There was also a
suitably-meaty Mexican spicy soup, containing mixed
vegetables plus delicious meatballs. The range of breads
included sliced baguette, German salted rolls, grissoni and
A rare Yorkshire pudding at
the Kantary Hills Nimman Grill Carvery night.
On the other
hand, while their offerings of sliced meats did included a
tasty shredded chicken, it also incorporated less-impressive
spam, rather than ham. Another memorable and toothsome
starter there was truffle gnocchi in a rich cream sauce.
That went well together with their broccoli with almonds.
Grilled shrimps were also available, as was a more unusual
dish – ox tongue in a rich sauce, which was great.
buffet table offered spare ribs, roasted chicken, and an
enormous red snapper, cooked to perfection, from which you
could carve off the pieces yourself. Actually, the flesh of
this fish simply fell off the bone, since it was well-cooked
joints of meat included roast Australian lamb, from which
slices are carved off for you. This was presented rather
underdone – as many people like it. However, on request they
will roast it for a little longer, for those of us who
prefer to have our roast meats well done. That was
accompanied by mint jelly – the first time I have seen this
traditional accompaniment to lamb here in Chiang Mai. The
roast joint selection of course also included a local
beefsteak, with huge slices the size of tea plates being
carved off for the hungry guests. Again, this was presented
very rare – almost raw, to my eyes – but could readily be
cooked a bit longer upon request. These nourishing roast
meats were offered together with the all-too-rare (here in
Asia, that is) traditional Yorkshire pudding. The garnishes
included a choice of three types of mustard (including the
strongly-flavoured English mustard), plus five types of
gravy. Horseradish sauce was another choice, to accompany
hotel had made such great efforts to provide all the usual
trimmings to go along with their good-quality roast meats,
it was unfortunate that they hadn’t thought to also provide
roast potato, which is traditional - instead, potato wedges
able to eat, after all this, could partake of fruit salads,
nice macaroons, a range of cakes both large and small,
chocolate ice cream and a popular tower of melted chocolate,
in which dried fruits on sticks could be dipped. The meal
ends with a dish of lovely chocolate-covered ice cream
balls, which arrives with the bill.
All in all,
and especially for the goodly range of delicious items
offered here, this must rank as one of Chiang Mai’s best
Gourmet Delights at Dhara Dhevi
The cheese board was extensive, as was every other
option at the buffet.
By Paul Surtees; pictures by
and very-stylish Dhara Dhevi Hotel [situated just
out-of-town at 51/4 Moo 1, Chiang Mai-Sankampaeng Road] has
many catering treats to offer their rather well-heeled
resident guests and also their restaurant visitors. By far
the best of these are their weekend specials.
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai is a location that cannot
be beat and one of the best buffets around.
On Sundays, from 12
noon to 3pm, they have a truly exceptional international
buffet brunch. This is at the Akaligo restaurant – actually
staged within what is otherwise called their REN Japanese
restaurant and, sure enough, they have a wide range of
delectable Japanese sushi items available as part of this
all-you-can eat buffet. But their range doesn’t stop there.
On a recent visit, the
feast started when their French chef cooked up some
incomparable French foie gras (goose liver) for us. That was
followed by plates of lobster – either (or both) of these
gourmet items being excellent ways to begin such a sumptuous
banquet. They also have other seafood dishes of so very many
varieties that it is difficult to even try all of them.
Smoked salmon is of course there, plus three different types
of oysters (the Tasmanian ones being the best), giant
prawns, squid, smoked fish, scallops, king crab from Alaska
and more besides.
They have an extensive
and excellent range of French and other cheeses, all at the
peak of ripeness, matched by the best Western breads that
we’ve ever tasted here in Chiang Mai. Then there are the
cold meats, including Iberian and Parma ham. You can have a
dish of pasta (numerous varieties are available) prepared to
your wishes: the rigatoni with lobster sauce that was
selected, complemented by two different types of parmesan
cheese, was really delicious.
Chinese duck and other
Asian items, including of course many Thai dishes, are
available in other corners of their comfortable dining room.
Yet another cooking station, out on the terrace, offers
high-quality beef steaks, lamb, pork, and more – again, all
grilled to your liking, with a huge variety of sauces to
choose from. Great though their grilled offerings are in
terms of both quality and variety, that’s not to say that
they are perfect: even at the second attempt, the squid
still came out rubbery. And to accompany the grilled meats,
some potatoes would have been welcome – but were not
The range naturally
includes soup and dozens of different salad items, including
the Middle Eastern dip hummus, plus some less-commonly-found
things such as a bean salad.
Once you’ve chomped you
way through all these, the desert station tables also groan
under the weight of a myriad of choices. They’ll fry up a
crepe suzette (Grande Marnier) pancake for you. Wonderful
ice cream (mango & vanilla) is there too, together with
dozens of types of little cakes – each a masterpiece of cute
and imaginative decoration. A lighter option is their fresh
fruit display. Even the hungriest customer would be
challenged to be able to take so much as a single bite of
every dessert item, because there really are so very many of
them to choose from.
If you make a fair
attempt at sampling the range of this extensive Sunday
buffet brunch, then no dinner will needed that night! This
feast includes fresh juices, other soft drinks plus tea or
coffee. While this Sunday brunch buffet (with VAT and 10%
service added, it comes to THB 2,100 each for their buffet /
or THB 3,500 per person if including free flow wines) cannot
be said to be a cheap option – and yet for the vast range of
gourmet delights that it includes, not forgetting the
stylish venue and the very-attentive service, it is well
That same REN venue on
a Saturday night, from 6 to 10 pm, offers a delectable and
wide-ranging Japanese buffet, incorporating stone grill
items, sushi, sashimi and much more - which is also
outstanding - at THB 1,470, inclusive, per person. Bookings
for both can be made to 53 888 888 ext. 8621.
Readers can debate if
these are Chiang Mai’s very best hotel buffets…..certainly,
they would be hard to beat.
British Bread and Butter Pudding
One of the staples in the British diet is the dessert known
as Bread and Butter Pudding. Enormously popular in the UK,
and if you are cooking for a British expat, they go into
raptures over it.
The recipe calls for
Demerara sugar which is a large-grained, somewhat crunchy,
raw sugar with origins in Guyana (a colony formerly called
Demerara). It is rare to find it in Thailand, so just use
Preheat oven to 180°
C fan-forced. Grease a 5 cm-deep, 17 cm x 28 cm (base)
baking dish. Whisk eggs, milk, cream, caster sugar, vanilla
and cinnamon in a bowl.
Spread both sides of
each bread slice with butter. Cut each slice in half
diagonally. Arrange half the bread in rows in prepared
dish. Sprinkle with half the sultanas.
Pour egg mixture over
bread. Sprinkle with demerara (brown) sugar. Bake for 30
to 35 minutes or until golden and set. Serve.
|White bread, crusts removed
||8 thick slices
|Brown sugar as an alternative
Update September 24, 2016
Hot Avocado Dogs for Kids
When dealing with any recipes using avocados there is always
a problem in deciding if the fruit is ripe under the hard
green skin. Many markets sell avocados that are hard and
unripe, because they’re less likely to bruise and spoil. If
the avocado is rock hard, it will need a few days to ripen.
If an avocado yields slightly to gentle pressure, it is ripe
enough to slice. If pressing the fruit leaves a small dent,
it is too ripe to slice, but is suitable for guacamole. If
pressing leaves a large dent, the fruit is overripe, and the
flesh will have darkened and spoiled. Hard avocados ripen
at room temperature in three to six days.
Combine bell pepper, onion, vinegar,
sugar, salt and ground black pepper; gently stir in chopped
avocado to make the avocado relish.
Cook hot dogs over medium heat in a
large skillet, turning once.
Spread cut sides of buns with mustard.
Place hot dogs in buns; spoon avocado relish on top and
|Red bell pepper chopped
|Ground black pepper
|Hot dog sausages
|Hot dog buns
|Yellow mild mustard
Update September 17, 2016
Golden Fried Prawns
This week’s recipe has its origin in India. Some of the
ingredients may be difficult to source, but any Asian market
should be able to supply them for you. Indian recipes tend
to be very complex, which is why the tastes are quite
different from other Asian dishes. The original recipe calls
for the Japanese Ajinomoto seasoning, but I have substituted
Asian Five Spice because of some reported allergy problems.
Take the large prawns and remove head
and tails and shell. Remove vein from
back of prawn. Wash and chop the prawns
salt, wine, black pepper and prawns
properly and leave this mixture for 20
Take a bowl and prepare a mixture of
corn flour, white flour, egg whites,
Five Spice, baking powder, water and
Stir it until the mixture thickens.
dip the prawns in this mixture.
prawns in the wok.
Golden Fried Prawns are best
complemented with mint-coriander
|Prawns (king size)
|Asian Five Spice
|Red wine or sherry
|Oil for frying
|Salt and pepper to taste
Update September 10, 2016
Tom Yam Talay
Tom Yam Goong (Hot and Spicy prawn) is one of the best known
Thai soups; however, this variant with prawns, mussels,
squid and crabmeat has much more to offer, both in the way
of substance, nutrition and taste in my opinion. This dish
does take a little time in preparation, but it is worth it.
The recipe calls for shelled prawns and it is also best to
remove the head, though this is not standard Thai practice.
The chilli paste is available commercially in all
In a pot, heat the
water, adding the lemongrass and lime leaves. After it boils
add the seafood. As soon as it comes to the boil again,
remove from the heat and stir in lime juice, fish sauce and
chilli paste. Now add the fresh and dried chillies and serve
in individual bowls.
|Squid (cut into pieces and scored)
|Lemongrass (crushed and chopped)
|Kaffir Lime leaves (torn into pieces)
Creamy prawn pasta
Pasta is always a good dish to prepare
when entertaining. A central large bowl
with the special pasta spoon can be used
as a main course, or as an entree. You
can substitute the crab with prawns or
even a white meat fish. Do not overcook
the seafood as it makes it rubbery.
Wash pasta, drain and then cook to al
dente. Drain again, rinse in hot water
and keep warm. Melt butter in large
skillet over medium heat, add onion and
garlic; cook until tender. Add flour,
salt and pepper; cook and stir until
smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk
and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until
mixture boils and thickens, stirring
constantly. Add parsley, Swiss cheese
and mushrooms; cook and stir until
cheese melts. Stir in crab meat; cook
until thoroughly heated. Spoon over
cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan
|Cooked crab meat tinned
|Fresh parsley chopped
|Swiss cheese shredded