Tuesday 27 November 2012

I Din Klin Krog (ไอดินกลิ่นครก) - Som tum shop

Som Tum (aka papaya salad) is one of those street food dishes you can find pretty much anywhere in Thailand. Green papaya, long snake beans, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, fresh chillis, garlic, dried shrimp (and other ingredients) are pounded together to produce some of the most amazing flavours.

I Din Klin Krog (which I think translates to something like "vapour from the earth, aroma from the mortar") is a nice restaurant specialising in som tum. You can choose from 19 different varieties such as fried somtum (deep fried papaya somtum) and apple som tum. They also serve various other Thai dishes as well. Som tums are served in "krogs" ie mortars, and these are consistently good.  Don't forget to ask for "mai ped" (not spicy) if you can't handle chillis! Last time I forgot to do this, my som tum was very nice and (very) spicy, and together with a spicy soup and larb (see below), my tongue was on fire and I couldn't taste much of the other dishes! 45-65 baht depending on the variety.

What do we eat som tums with?

Generally, som tums are eaten with grilled chicken or pork, fried chicken, and of course, sticky rice. Sticky rice is particularly good when rolled into a ball and dip in the flavourful som tum "sauce". Mmmm.  It's also good to have the sticky rice (plain) when you want to tone down the burning on your tongue! hehe

Here we are: Fried Chicken Wings. These are yummy appetizers that went down way to quickly! Very morish. The serving is way too small, but I guess we can't complain too much as it's only 49 baht.

Tom Sap ("Spicy soup") - Very "Sap" - ie very spicy and sour at the same time - yum! This is a really lovely soup full of herbs like kaffir lime leaves, shallots, lemongrass, sweet basil, etc. Kind of like Tom Yum soup with a lot more complexity of flavour - tangy, firey and earthy at the same time. The pork is slightly chewey, which gives a nice contrast to the herbs in the soup. 69 baht.

Fried Chicken Larb - You can read all about larb here on shesimmers.com. What makes larb larb is the nutty aroma of the toasted rice powder. The fried chicken here is more like soft chicken nuggets, but they do soak up the lovely seasoning / dressing (fish sauce, lime juice & dried red chilli) of the larb (which is also quite spicy!). Delicious! 59 baht.

I Din Klin Krog does have some non spicy dishes as well. The deep fried larb is also quite nice. These are balls of larb - nice and crunchy on the outside, lovely and soft on the inside. As for the taste, I can't really say much as my taste buds were numb from all the chillis from the other dishes! 59 baht.


All in all a nice restaurant. Good food. Good service. Nice ambience.

I Din Klin Krog
Behind Big C Extra (Super Highway) near Wawee Coffee
(Chiang Mai Business Park)
Opens daily: 10am-10pm
GPS: 18.798256,99.023754

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Saturday 10 November 2012

Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant

Pizza, pizza, pizza! There seem to be no shortage of supply of great pizza in Chiang Mai, well, at least to me, anyway... and we don't always have to go to the city to find it. I've heard about Mamma Mia for a while, and finally have a chance to visit for lunch today. The little restaurant has been opened for about a year and serves both Thai and Italian food - something for everyone.

At this point, some of you might ask how the Italian food is if the restaurant serves Thai food as well? I must say, it's pretty good! There is a wide range of pasta, pizzas and salads available, all seem quite authentic, and at very reasonably priced too.

Seafood Pizza

The seafood pizza arrives amidst oohs and ahhas. Thinnish crusty base and generous amount of cheese. A little bland for my taste (perhaps my tastebuds are now accustomed to more intense Thai flavours!) - a bit of cracked pepper fixed that...and I'm embarassed to say...a bit of chilli sauce - on the second piece (just to see what's it's like - sorry, Chef!). The base was pretty good too, nice and crunchy but may be slightly dry (?). All in all though, it was a very good pizza (even without the chilli sauce!), and really good value at 160 baht. I'd love to come back to try other pizzas like the Sicilian Pizza & Napoli Pizza.

Lasagna Mamma Mia

I don't normally order lasagna, but I felt like I needed extra calories! This pork based lasagna is beautiful, the pasta perfectly cooked, has lots of cheese and has the perfect amount of seasoning for me.  My favourite for the day! 150 baht.

Spaghetti Mamma Mia

Very nicely cooked pasta with pork & tomato sauce. We sprinkled parmesan on top. Tastes a bit like the lasagna, but less cheesy, as you would expect. A very good, simple dish. I couldn't eat much as I as so full by this stage! 110 baht.

The verdict

Very nice & comfortable little restaurant. Good food, good value. Nice & friendly staff.

Mamma Mia
Chiang Mai-Phrao Road. From the city, drive pass Meechok Plaza, Susco Petrol Station.  Land & Houses Sansai-Mae Jo. The restaurant is in a set of shop houses just after Land & Houses & before AFM building.
GPS co-ordinates: 18°52'14"N   99°0'54"E
Tel: 053844322
Closed every Wednesday
Opens: 11:30am-2:30pm ; 5pm-10pm

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