Wednesday 20 August 2014

Pun Pun (Lung Mor / behind Chiang Mai University branch)

Chiang Mai is a great place for vegetarian food. There are so many wonderful vegetarian restaurants out there, and I must say Thai vegetarian food is fantastic - generally healthy, fresh, and tasty sans meat version of the whatever Thai dish.

Pun Pun is actually a small organic farm and seed saving centre, as well as a self-sustainable community in the countryside of Chiang Mai. They promote sustainable living, and you can actually take courses there from how to build mud huts to organic farming.

They currently have 2 restaurants in Chiang Mai, and another branch is being built. The original restaurant is at Wat Suan Dok (Suan Dok Temple) on Suthep Rd. It's a simple set up, but very atmospheric eating under the bodhi tree and watching monks walk past. A couple of foodie friends introduced me to the restaurant a while ago, and I thought the food and drinks were lovely.

The other night, I had a chance to visit Pun Pun's 2nd branch "Lung Mor"(behind Chiang Mai University). It seems that the menu is pretty similar to the 1st branch, and has dizzying array of interesting dishes to choose from!

The Salad Dok Mai sounded particularly fascinating - edible deep fried flower salad & greens. It looked really pretty too, and the serving is quite large. There are lovely and crispy deep fried flowers on top of a bed of salad greens. I asked the staff what the flowers are, but he said he doesn't know. He just knows that there are rose My guess is that bougainvillea flowers are used. The salad is served with a refreshing side dressing - which I think might be made from pumpkin. 65 baht.

The Gang Musaman (musaman curry) is quite lovely too, and comes with serving of very nice brown/red rice, perfectly cooked. The taste is quite surprising - quite different from the mussaman curries I've had before. I half expected a sweeter tasting curry, but Pun Pun's version is more savoury and has more spice than other mussamans I have tried. The mushroom, tofu and potato give the curry a nice texture and crunch. 55 baht.

Nam Hed Song Kreung (homemade fermented mushroom sausage with garlic, lime, onion and ginger). Nam is a common local dish, normally made from fermenting pork, rice, garlic, salt, sugar, chilli,..etc for a few days. The fermentation process gives the dish a sour flavour. This is actually one of my favourite Thai dishes, particularly Deep Fried Nam Pork Ribs!

Ok ok..back to the mushroom "sausage" (which is actually hidden under the coriander leaves in the photo below!). I must say the mushroom "sausage" tastes rather like the "real" thing (i.e. the pork variety), and pretty similar texture too.

I'm not too sure if Westerners would appreciate the flavours of this dish, but if you'd like to try something different, I'd say give it a go. I think it's quite nice, and goes very well with the chillis, lime, shallots and cashew nuts. 60 baht.

Now to dessert... astoundingly, Pun Pun offers some rather exciting sounding vegetarian desserts! I think these are brought in from somewhere else, but the offering looks amazing from the photos and the description shown on the menu.

We opted from the Mango Cheesecake. Ingredients include mango, cashews, coconut, vanilla, dates, himalayan salt, love and consciousness. I mean, who can resist? Got to to try it. The "cheesecake" is served cold and really lovely and refreshing, albeit on the cute & small side! It's a bit like a smooth mango mousse on a firm coconutty base. Very, very nice.

The drinks are great too. There's a large range of herbal drinks, juices, smoothies and shakes to choose from. I went for the Iced lemongrass, hydrocortyle and mint drink and it was perfect compliment for the food and the hot, sticky weather.   30 baht.

Pun Pun Vegetarian Restaurant 

Branch 1 - Pun Pun Wat Suan Dok
At the back of Suan Dok Temple, Suthep Rd
Tel: 084 365 6581
Opens daily from 9am-4pm.

Branch 2 - Pun Pun Lung Mor
Suthep Rd, at the base of the mountain & near the entrance to D-Condo.
Tel: 086 181 6051
Opens from 10am-8pm

Please check out Google Maps for location!

View Pun Pun in a larger map

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this place. The banana flower salad!!!


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