Sunday 28 August 2011

Fern Forest Cafe

What a better way to catch up with a friend over coffee and cakes in the lovely tropical garden of Fern Forest Cafe.

Fern Forest Cafe

Fern Forest Cafe is set in a wooden Thai house in one of the lanes in Chiang Mai's charming old city. You can dine in the shady tropical garden, or in an air-conditioned room in the house. The menu is quite extensive, with lots of different types of cakes, coffee and other drinks, as well as meals like quiche and sandwiches. Meals weren't available at lunch at the time of our visit as the cafe didn't have enough too bad for us - we had to eat cakes for lunch, which was just as well! : P

Fern Forest Cafe

I opt for the Banofee Pie - very interesting! I have never seen anything like it! The base is nice and crumbly and crunchy, laced with caramel, I think. There are lots of just plain old bananas, as you can see, and a layer of caramel syrupy thing is spreaded over the top, and the "pie" is then topped with a thick layer of cream. Very nice and lightish (if not for the cream!). 75 baht.

Banana Pie

My friend chose the Coconut Pie, which is also quite nice. The pie is filled with shredded coconut in smooth, soft and creamy (something like) custard. Also 75 baht. Incidentally, quite a few people from various internet sites recommend this pie.

Coconut pie

The coffee is fine. Apparently Fern Forest Cafe grows their own coffee. Coffee connoisseurs may not find it too impressive though, but I find it quite pleasant, and not bitter.

All in all, I think Fern Forest Cafe is a lovely coffee shop. Very nice relaxing ambience, very good (and interesting) cakes, pretty good coffee, reasonable prices. It's worth a visit if you're in the area. It's also quite a popular place with streams of people coming in an out the whole time we are there.

I will definitely go back to try the other cakes. : )

Fern Forest Cafe
2/2 Singharaj Soi 4
Muang, Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 416204, 081 4725347
Open daily 8:30am-8:30pm

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Monday 22 August 2011

Baan Toong Restaurant (Stewed Duck Noodles)

Baan Toong Restaurant

Stewed Duck Noodles (Kuay Tiew Ped Toon) is the order of the day, and we drop by at Baan Toong Restaurant on the way back from a morning at San Kamphaeng Hot Springs. Looking at it now, this noodle shop is almost in the middle of nowhere, next to rice fields, and on New San Kamphaeng (but actually just up the road to Huen Jai Yong!).

The specialty of this restaurant, you've guessed it, is the Stewed Duck Noodles (30 baht - regular; 35 baht for a bigger portion), but they also have other dishes as well - eg. Stewed Chicken Noodles, Pork-Leg with rice, Duck with rice, Stewed Beef Noodles, as well as dishes like papaya salad.

Baan Toong Restaurant

What does the stewed duck taste like, you ask? Well, the duck is stewed in a mixture of spices (five spice powder), and some herbs (like coriander roots and garlic). The soup is very tasty, herby and fragrant, and served with fresh herbs and vegies and crispy pork rinds (yum!). I find the soup a little too oily (from duck fat, I presume) on first tasting, but this is quickly remedied with one or two teaspoonful of the vinegar/red chilli mixture (found on the table). Personally, I think the dish quite interesting, but not really my cup of tea - the herbal taste too strong for my liking.

Stewed duck noodles

Here are a couple of other dishes we ordered - stewed duck wings (quite good) and papaya salad - very nice.

Stewed duck wings, Papaya Salad

I think this restaurant is worth a try if you're in the area. It's very popular with the locals. People who are used to eating Asian food may enjoy it. The restaurant is on New San Kamphaeng Road. Coming from the city, go pass 2nd Ring Road (121) and the road that takes you to Borsang. Keep going until you see Moo Baan Siwilai on your right. Drive for another 300-400 m and the restaurant will be on your left. Please have a look at approximate location on Google Maps:

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