Monday 28 September 2009

Mungkorn Fah (มังกรฟ้า / 天龙饭店)

Mungkorn Fah (English translation - Sky Dragon) is an unassuming Chinese Restaurant situated at the PTT Petrol Station opposite Chiang Mai's Immigration office & not far from the airport. The decor is quite dated and simple, but clean. There's nothing much to distract (other than perhaps a large TV showing Korean drama series) from the excellent food.

In fact, I'd say Mungkorn Fah is now one of our favourite Chinese Restaurants in Chiang Mai. We do very much prefer it to the very much more famous Jia Tong Heng - nice food but quite bland for our taste.

OK, back to Mungkorn Fah. Actually, the first thing of note was the rice! I know, we are in Thailand, and rice is served everywhere, and it's not usually something I comment on, but not all rice are created equal. Mungkorn Fah's rice was so lovely and fluffy, and was cooked to perfection, and went so well with all the sauces from the dishes we ordered...

Bitter Melon stir-fried with garlic. I know bitter melon isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I love bitter melon. : ) This dish is rather different, because most restaurants here have dishes like Bitter Melon stir-fried with eggs, but not the garlic. I've only had this in China. This dish was really nice, although the servings was perhaps a bit small. I think I enjoyed the sauce on rice most!

Now if we thought the bitter melon sauce was nice, it was nothing compared to the "Tao Hoo Song Kreung" - normally equates to fried Tofu stir-fried with "everything" eg. minced pork, garlic and various vegies. Mungkorn Fah's Tao Hoo Song Kreung came out piping hot, but to our initial disappointment, it looked rather plain. I couldn't see the usual vegies in sight. Just plain fried-tofu in a brown looking sauce that seemed to contain a bit of minced pork and tiny (and I mean tiny) pieces of mushrooms. We were a bit unsure about this whopping 200 baht for-just-tofu dish until we tasted it. The tofu was silky smooth, and the sauce was marvelous. I can't even begin to describe the flavour, but suspect it has something like Scallop sauce in it. When I asked the waitress, she doesn't seem to know either. Suffice to say, there was not one drop of the sauce left!

The third dish was Pla Chon (Serpent head fish) steamed with Dul See (fermented black beans). It was an unusual dish for me as I've never had steamed fish cooked this way before, and it was lovely. The salty flavour of the fermented black beans complemented well with the soft, fluffy textured Pla Chon. The great thing too, about this sauce is that it's not too salty. The flavour was just right, and yes, a fair bit of it went on our rice, but no, we didn't have that much of the sauce this time. We were getting full (and running out of rice!).

Total price (including Chinese Tea) - 570 baht for four.

Mungkorn Fah Chinese Restaurant
PTT Service (Petrol) Station
Opposite Chiang Mai Immigration Office
Airport Road, Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 201614, 086 1174473
Opens everyday: 5pm-10pm

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foodbin said...

I thought Thailand have the best fragrant Jasmine rice-like the way they sliced the bitter melon (thick and slant)and those gravy are perfect with rice.

Unknown said...

Hi Foodbin : )

Isn't it a great way to cut the bitter melon? I've only ever seen it cut that way here.

Anonymous said...

I also love bitter melon. This is the most appetizing photo I have ever come across. Interesting way of cutting and such bright color! I would love to learn the method.


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