Monday 19 October 2009

Yod Sap Restaurant

Having been eating in "finer dining" restaurants, we thought it would be good to take a break and have some simpler food. So there we were, at a local Thai restaurant where local families have their dinners.

Right this moment, a lot of you might as "Yod Sap"? What on earth... ? I guess a loose translation of "Yod Sap" would be "Extremely spicy"! There are lots of restaurants around here with similar names, by the way. One occassion, we went to another restaurant with "sap" in its name, and, boy, our tongues were on fire!

So this time, I was not the only one in the group who wondered if Yod Sap Restaurant would live up to it's name...and one of the dishes we ordered...the Gaeng Pa (Jungle curry) did. Gaeng Pa is a curry with lots of vegies and herbs like galangal, basil, lemongrass, krachai roots, chillis (of course!) but no coconut milk. It was so spicy I could only have a bit of the vegie with heaps of rice, and even then I had a stomach I guess this is not something I would recommend, unless you're Thai (may be from Issan???) and really can eat such spicy food!!

Fortunately, the other dishes we ordered were OK.

Deep-fried Naem Pork Ribs. These are pork preserved with garlic, which, apparently gives the dish a sour flavour. Often, naem is eaten uncooked, which I am not game to have, but deep-fried naem is so yummy it's one of my favourite Northen Thai dishes....and of course, you should have it with beer! : )

Another pretty good dish to have here is the Hor Mok Talay. Translations for this dish varies from "Thai Curry Terrine" to "Steamed seafood souffle" to "Curry Seafood Moose". I would describe it as a semi-solid steamed curry. For Malaysian readers, it's similar to "otak otak". Yod Sap's Hor Mok Talay was cooked in aluminium foil, and was filled with seafood and lots of fish balls. It tasted great though, particularly since it wasn't sweet like many other Thai restaurants.

Pad Pak Ruam (Stir-fried mixed vegetables) - a pretty standard Thai restaurant dish. All I can say is that the vegetables were lovely - fresh and crunchy, healthy and delicious!

Our meal came to around 380 baht for 3 people.

Yod Sap Restaurant
Doi Saket Road
(In a little lane just before PTT service station just after the Outer Ring Rd)
Tel: 053 399 300

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Saturday 3 October 2009

Buonissimo Italian Restaurant (Closed)

There seem to be no lack of good Italian restaurants in Chiang Mai I have previously reviewed Arcobaleno, today we visit Buonissimo, a restaurant with a deli and wine shop attached on the bank of the Ping River.

Sit back and relax and enjoy the views of the Ping River as you dine. You can choose to sit out in the fresh air (if it's not too hot!) or in air-conditioned comfort.

The menu is huge with a dizzying array of dishes, written in Italian, English and Thai. We were feeling a bit like, "We have no idea what to order!!" - well, it was a Friday evening after work and we were all pretty tired! After several moments of deliberation, we decided to have:

Verdure alla griglia in Olio Extra Vergine de Oliva (no wonder we had a bit of a headache!). Translation: Cold Grilled Vegetables with Garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. These turned out to be grilled thin slices of eggplants, zucchini and capsicum, topped with fresh garlic and drizzled with olive oil. It was excellent! Very healthy and light, yet delicious. The sliced fresh garlic gave the vegies a slightly spicy flavour. 99 baht.

Fetta Salad - A dressing-less salad of fetta cheese, olives, tomatoes and lettuce. Although it's dressing-less, you are given bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (and a huge pepper mill), so you can add as much or little as you like. A pretty good and healthy salad, and quite a decent serving too. 119 baht.

Penne alla Siciliana Pasta (Penne pasta with eggplant, olives, capers, garlic, cherry tomatoes and oregano). A nice tomato based pasta but I find it too salty for me. Just as well we were sharing. I found the penne quite firm, at least firmer than what I'm used to with other restaurants. An Italian friend once commented that most restaurants cook their pasta too soft, so may be Bounissimo's pasta was actually cooked to perfection - al dente. 179 baht.

Frutti di Mare (Seafood Pizza) - A very nice pizza (but again, slightly too salty for me) with plenty of prawns, calamari, mussels and even a few scallops. Nice non-oily thin crust. 190 baht

To finish of the meal, we had a homemade tiramisu, it was quite a large slice and tasted great. Only 79 baht. The lovely raspberry sorbet was also delicious. 40 baht.

Other things of note :

The bread basket, and in that, cheese and onion focaccia (yum!). You can buy this and other things in the deli in front of the restaurant.

There is also a huge selection of wine, and a wine shop in front of the store as well.

Total price - 760 baht for 4 people.

Buonissimo Italian Restaurant, Deli & Wine Shop.
425 Chareonraj Rd, Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 266 431-2

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