Sunday, June 3, 2007

Thai Food..... Oodles of Noodles

Thai’s are great snackers and certainly for the girls - noodles feature at least once a day in their nosh. For should try the classic Pad Thai.. which are non-spicy, stir-fried noodles with bean-shoots, bean-curds, peanuts and whichever ingredient you wish to include...seafood, chicken, pork etc.

Usually the girls will have either Kway Tiaw, a type of glass-noodle, or Ba mi – which are yellow and made with eggs. You can choose to have them boiled in a soup or stir-fried. As with Pad Thai, you can choose the meat which the noodles are cooked with.

Another variation is Kow Soi, a crispy noodle served on a mild curry.

Rice comes in all shapes and forms. A tasty little snack is Jok, which is rice porridge – try the crab stick flavour. If you are ailing, for any reason, and need nourishment but cannot face solid food – try Jok. For breakfast many Thai’s eat Kow Tom, which is a rice soup and can be cooked with small portions of meat or seafood. It is adorned with a spinkling of herbs and crispy garlic.

To accompany other dishes you can order Kow Prao, steamed rice or Kow Pad, Stir-fried rice with a choice of additional ingredient. Especially good is the Kow Niaw, sticky rice. For a special treat...try it with mango and coconut milk – Kow Niaw Ma Muang.

When eating Thai food it is customary to mix and match the dishes and everyone at the table gets a dip into everything. Here are some of the items on the menu:

Gaeng Kheaw Wan Gai Green Chicken Curry
You can also select Seafood...cooked in coconut milk

Haeng Ped Gai Red Chicken Curry
A little spicier than its green daughter raves about the Red duck Curry

Kai Pad Med Mamaung Chicken with Cashew Nuts
Great if you like your food tasty but not spicy

Pak Boon Fai Daeng Fried Morning Glory
If you like your green vegetables with a zing...cooked with garlic and chili

Som Tam Pappaya salad
Served with land crab and out for the red chillis

Tom Yam Gung Spicy Shrimp Soup
This can be very out for the lemon can cauterize your tongue

Kaeng Matsaman Massaman Curry
Can be either beef or chicken..cooked with potatoes in coconut milk

Pad Peow Wan Stir fried vegetables
This is another favourite snack for my daughter

Penang Gai Penang Curry with chicken
You can also select seafood

Pad Grapao Gai Chicken with Basil Leaf
A similar dish is cooked with GingerGai/Moo Tod Krantiam - Chicken or Pork with Garlic
Usually very crispy meat and garlic stir fried.

Not spicy

Gai Jeaw Moo Sab Thai Omlette with pork
Another variation of this is to have a Pad Thai Omlette.

Please note that you may see many different ‘English’ spellings of the above on menus. The transliteration of the Thai alphabet to our ‘romanized’ script causes much in the way of individual interpretation.

Nosh - A Selection of Restraurants in Chiang Mai

I am still working my way through the very many restaurants in Chiang Mai and here are some of my favourites. Most of these can be located on The Nancy Map. I still have many to discover and perhaps you will find even more before I eventually get around to them.

Anusurn Market
There is a group of little seafood restaurants in a square just behind the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road. I usually go for the one at the end of the square – just opposite O’Malley’s Irish Pub. It has a pictorial menu and if there is something that you fancy which is not on the menu - you can mix and match… as they are happy to find it for you and add it to the bill.

Antique House 2
Situated down by the river in an old teak building. Thai food, with menus also in English, and live music. We usually celebrate birthdays there as there is a 10% discount on food if you have your passport with you and today is the day..
154/1 Chiang Mai – Lamphun Road Tel 053 240270

Aroon Rai
One of the oldest restaurants in Chiang Mai. Very reasonable prices. Lots of Thai currys and Northern Thai food. Try the Kow Soi (a type of mild curry with crispy noodles). I think that it’s the best in town. Located just by Thapae Gate.45 The Kotchsan Tel 053276947

Art’s Café
Situated on the corner of Thapae Road by Thapae Gate. Good North American style breakfast complete with pancakes and syrup.

Bier Stube
Sounds like a German café restaurant and is just that…but also does tasty reasonably priced Thai food , Prawn Spring Rolls are great as are the cheeseburgers. You can sit inside or if you want to watch to world go by…there are a couple of benches outside. If you are on your tod….there is always a copy of the daily Bangkok Post newspaper to read. The restaurant is just by the Klong close to ThaPae Gate.
Moon Muang Road Tel 053 278869

Riverside restaurant with Blues/folk guitar on the veranda and Rock inside.. Mainly Thai menu. Just down the road from Riverside and Good View restaurants.
37 Chaorenrat Road. Tel 053 24165

Chez Gilbus Grill House
Good French and Swiss food. Steaks excellent. The Chef Gilbus is a big fellow and a great host. Located on a Soi which runs parallel with The Night Bazaar.
42 Kampaengdin Road. Tel 053 272712

Filmore Steak House
Steaks, Steaks and Steaks…Both Thai and imported. Now located down by the river. Same side as Brasserie/Goodview and Riverside restaurants.

The restaurant is in a garden by a small lake in the foothills of Doi Suthep. Thai Food. A little way out but worth it for the view.
65 Suthep Road (turn left at the end once in the woods) Tel 053 278655

German Hofbrauhaus
This is usually the first stop for a friend of mine who works in Frankfurt. Try the Pig’s Knuckle. German and Thai food. The waitresses are dressed up as if straight out of a Munich Beer Hall. Turn left off from Night Bazaar Road just before McDonalds.
115/1-2 Loy Kroh Road, Night Bazaar. Tel 053 276989

Good View
Down by the river right next to The Riverside Pub and Restaurant. You can see the American Embassy opposite. Popular with both Thais and Westerners. Both Western and Thai food.

The oldest sports club in Thailand. It has a wonderful veranda overlooking a very old Rain tree and golf course. Both Thai and western dishes are served but it is the location and view which is worth the visit.
349 Chiang Mai – Lamphun Road. Tel 053241035

Hole In The Wall
Neville runs the pub restaurant in Rachamankha Road just down from my office. Mainly western food but some Thai. Basic menu but great cheeseburgers and Samosas.
Changkhlan Road

Jerusalem Falafel
Some really great Middle-Eastern food. Try the Baba Ghanoush ! The restaurant is just by the Klong close to ThePae Gate.
35/3 Moon Muang Road Tel 053 270208

Lanna Kareoke – Baan Rom Mai
Literally translated the restaurant name means ‘Wooden Umbrella house’This can either be a bundle of fun…or your worst nightmare – according to your mood and inclination. The actual restaurant is up a side-soi or road off from Chang Klang Road. The menu is purely Thai and there are private rooms where you can dine and croon in front of a kareoke TV and music machine until your heart and stomach are content.

Mad Dog Pizza
Although known for its pizzas there is a full menu available. A mate of mine swears by the roast pork. Pool table and bar there if you get bored.19/1 Moon Muang Road Tel 053 273002

Chilli Dogs, burgers, fries and more. For food on the run or late night munchies.- Mikes is great. Two locations now…one close to Thapae Gate and the other on Nimmanhaemin Road up near the CMU University campus.
34/4 Chaiyaphum Road Tel 06 2699145

Nang Nual
This is one of the oldest restaurants in town on the riverside overlooking what looks like a weir. It has great seafood and combines both Thai and Western styles. Some great wine here. Try the rock lobster thermidor!
22 Koh Klang Road. Tel 053 281961

Pornping Tower Roof Top
I call this ‘The Bat Cave’ even though it is some 20 floors above street level. If you go to visit you will see why. The view of Chiang Mai by night is spectacular. The menu is Thai food including various barbecue meats. I always get a kick out of the live band who play quite an extensive repetoir of 60’s and 70’s music

Pom Pui
To sit in the garden of this Italian Tratorria restaurant is very reminiscent of dining on a Caribbean Island….great laid-back feeling. Franko is the proprietor. Good Pizza, Classic Lasagna and Pasta Alfredo. You can have a meal in itself in the accompanying Italian bread munchies and garlic butter.

Red Lion Pub
I took my Mum along there for Christmas Lunch. Good menu, depending on the day, offering traditional British Roasts, Steaks and also Thai food. Located just off from Night Bazaar Road – turn left at MacDonalds.

River Side Pub and Restaurant
Live music..riverside restaurant, boat cruises and more. Menu both Thai and western. Always busy so book to get riverside table
9-11 Charoenrat Road. Tel. 053 243239

Rose Guest House
The restaurant at this guesthouse next to my office is great. Wonderful English or American breakfasts.. good burgers and pizzas… fish and chips. And of course Thai food

Smile Breakfast Buffet
The best breakfast buffet for money in town. Only 80 baht and all you can eat. The bacon great. Just around the corner from my office.
Ratchamanka Road

Thai Barbecue
Just 99 baht and you can gorge yourself until your buttons start to pop. The Thai food is all laid out on trestle tables. Jot down a map of where your own table is, as the restaurant is so huge…its easy to get lost.
Huai Kaeo Road

The Dukes
If you are in the mood for delicious North American food of the highest quality – this is the place for it. Dave is the congenial host. Great steaks and ribs.. the pizza’s are the size of cartwheels.
Chiang Mai – Lampun road close to Nawaratt Bridge.

The Palm House
You have to go some way out for this restaurant to Doi Saket..but it’s worth the trip. Basically southern Thai food. The owners lived in California for many years and the standard and décor reflects this.

Just opposite my office. A daytime Thai cookery school and in the evening candle-lit tables. Great if you are new to Thai food, as cooked for tourists, and not too spicy! Very friendly atmosphere.
44 Ratctchamankh Road. Tel. 053 208287