Thursday 17 February 2011

"Windmill Restaurant" or in Thai, "Ban Gunghun"

Windmill @ Ban Gung Hun Restaurant, Chiang Mai

Am I in Holland? No…still in Chiang Mai. Welcome to one of the latest addition to the zillions restaurants in Chiang Mai - Ban Gung Hun (Ban = house; Gung Hun = Windmill). What a great concept - a variation to the ever popular outdoor restaurants by the lake so prevalent in Chiang Mai.

The food is good - just what you would expect from good Thai restaurants. People go there not to only enjoy the food, and also to see the Dutch style windmill - the trademark of the restaurant, and cute buildings.

Ban Gung Hun Restaurant, Chiang Mai

"Windmill" Restaurant also have some interesting things on their menu. Incidentally, they serve both Western food (various sandwiches, pastas, etc) & Thai food (regular Thai favorites plus a few other "different" dishes. Generally, I wouldn't try Western food at these kind of restaurants (and I wouldn't recommend it either!) - not that I think they will be bad, but I have often been disappointed with "Thai style" Western food. Stick to Thai food, I'd say.

We order the specials of the day and take some recommendations from our lovely & friendly young waitress. (Not sure how the other waiters are though, but ours is very good & ready to help).

"Sai Bua Tom Krathi" - Lotus stem soup/curry with coconut milk. Apparently this is quite a famous and rather hard to find dish - so we have to try it! It turns out to be quite…interesting, but not unpleasant. I wouldn't recommend it to "farangs"/westerners though - unless you've been in Thailand for a while and you are a bit adventurous. It contains lotus stem & coconut milk, plus mackerel fish ("Pla Too"). The taste of the soup is kind of like a coconut milk + "Nam Prick Pla Too" (mackerel with shrimp paste chilli dip). LOL..hope this makes sense!

Lotus stem in coconut soup / curry

"Phra San Plang Chom"…er…what? First let me explain the name as it was explained to me. "Phra San Plang Chom" is apparently a figure in Thai legend. He is a person made from gold, but he goes into disguise and put on a mask that makes him look ugly. Fascinating, isn't it? So what is this dish? It's a sausage wrapped in patty made from prawns and the whole thing is deep fried. Served with plum sauce. It wasn't bad, actually. Just like deep fried prawn cakes + sausage. : D

Sausage in prawn cake

"Yum" apple with prawns. "Yum" is the Thai style salad. This apple salad was really very good. Green apples are used, along with cashew nuts, capsicum, shallots, and topped with fresh mint. Very refreshing and flavourful - a perfect balance of the Thai flavors - sweet, sour, salty & spicy.

"Yum Apple" - Apple Salad

Last but not least, "Hor Mok Talay" , or seafood "hor mock" - a kind of dry seafood curry served in a coconut. Quite a common Thai dish, but not everyone does it well. "Windmill" Restaurant's "Hor mok" is very good, and the coconut was full of seafood - prawns, calimari, etc. They certainly didn't skimp on the ingredients. Good texture and tastes great.

Hor Mok Talay in Coconut

The Verdict:
Lovely restaurant, good Thai food, pretty good service, a bit of a "different" ambience. Ladies should be aware that the restaurant is not stilettos or high heels friendly. It's quite hard to walk through the rocks in the car park in heels, and one of my heels got caught between the planks of wood on the bridge (in the 2nd photo)!

There are also lots of mosquitos outside in the early evening.

The bill came to 660 baht / 3 people, including a jug of beer.

The Rating:
The food: 6.5-7/10
The ambience: 6.5-7/10
Value for money: 7/10

Ban Gung Hun
433 M 4, T. Mae Hia, A. Muang, Chiang Mai
(On the 1st / Middle Ring Road, opposite Land & House Siwalee, between the Big C intersection & Canal Road)
Look out for the windmill! (1st photo)
Tel: 053 274800

Ban Gung Hun Restaurant, Chiang Mai

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