Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Jia Tong Heng (Faham Branch)

Being of Taechew Chinese heritage, one of the restaurants we often go to when we have our family reunion dinner is Jia Tong Heng. Family members often remark that the food is "just how grandpa made it"- that's a pretty good endorsement to me!

The Faham brach on the Super Highway has only been opened about a year or so, and is in a huge building with dining areas surrounding a Chinese garden, and also lots of private rooms that you can book (extra charge).

The service is usually OK and fairly efficient, but it can get quite frustrating slow when they are very busy (eg if they have a wedding - I had a particularly bad experience in the original branch at Sridonchai Rd). As for private rooms, a lot of the times, there is no staff stationed there, so we often would have to go out to look for someone to help us. Still, we keep going back because the food is good, price reasonable, and it's close to home!

Jia Tong Heng has an extensive menu, specialising in Taechew food, but also has other Chinese and Thai dishes as well.

My favourite is 'steamed bitter melon - Chinese style'. Bitter melon, I'm sure, is not on many people's list of favourite vegetables (or is it a fruit?). Bitter melon is cooked with tofu, various vegies, pork and mushrooms. The sauce has a nice combination of mild bitter and salty flavour. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it!

Other dishes I've had:

Suckling pig, called 'Hong Kong Roast Pork' in the menu. Beautifully roasted, the pork skin is nice and crispy with a thin layer of fat and meat underneath. Dip in the sweet soy sauce and eat with the steamed bun and pickled veggies. The only complaint I have is that they only give us one steamed bun, which is really not enough. The roast pork is one of the pricier dishes, but you do get a whole piglet - 1800 baht.

Deep Fried intestines - I can hear the squirms now (LOL). Innards are not something I would ordinarily order, if I had to choose, out of all the internal organs, I like intestines the best. There's something about the crispy "skin" and the soft chewy "meat" that makes it rather appealing, and Jia Tong Heng's version is pretty good. Really worth trying!

"Fried fish steamed" - well, that's the name on the menu. The fish has been deep fried and then boiled in a soup with sour plums. Very nice sourish soup and the fish was very fresh.

Fried Chinese Noodles (mi sua) - Very nicely stir-fried mi sua (wheat noodles). Not too oily and mildly flavoured, so it can be eaten by itself, or with other dishes.

Steamed mixed vegetables with pork. This is a very nice and healthy dish with steamed cabbage, dried mushrooms, lotus seeds and pork. The whole thing is packed into a bowl and steamed for around 3 hours. 

The verdict
Jia Tong Heng is a very popular restaurant, and is always packed with diners. The food is consistently good. The service is usually OK, but can sometimes be a bit slow. Very good value - most dishes range from around 60-300 baht. When my family went last time (9 people), it worked out to be about 400 baht/person and the Hong Kong Roast Pork (suckling pig) was ordered. 

Jia Tong Heng
Faham Branch
222 Moo 5 Chiang Mai - Lampang Rd (Super Highway)
T. Faham A Muang
Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 242 242

Sridonchai Branch (near Night Bazaar)
193/2-3 Sridonchai Rd
T Changkhlan A Muang
Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 820 860-2

View Jia Tong Heng in a larger map

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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Khao Soi House @ Chaing Mai Airport

So you live in or have just visited Chiang Mai and fell in love with Khao Soi, and would like to have one (or more!) last bowl before you leave, Khao Soi House could just be the place to satisfy your craving.

It's not street cheap, though, at about 100 baht per serving of the Chicken Khao Soi, but you do get more than twice the amount that you would off the stalls, not to mention good quality ingredients and a nice and creamy, coconuty broth. I find (from the one time I've been there) that although the broth is pretty decent, it's a little mild and lacking the intensity and deep flavours from khao soi places "off the street".

Khao Soi House seems to be a popular restaurant at Chiang Mai Airport (not that there are many resturants there!). I think it's not a bad place to go if you're happen to be at the airport, or even as you arrive in Chiang Mai to wet your appetite for more khao soi to come.

Water is pretty expensive here though at 45 baht/bottle!

Khao Soi House
Chiang Mai Airport (Domestic Arrivals Hall)

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