Saturday 28 December 2013

Steak of the Day

Wonderful food at reasonable prices by an ex-Four Seasons chef in a relaxed informal setting. 5 star food at 3 star prices!

Thanks to a recommendation by a friend, I've been to Steak of the Day 3 times since it was opened several months ago, and it seems they're just going from strength to strength. They just seem to be getting better and busier each time I go, and there are new dishes to try each time.

I think their success is mainly due to the great, quality food at reasonable prices, and the location. There is a lack of quality Western restaurants in the area (other than in resorts and hotels). There are a lot of expats living around here, as well as lots of resorts, so Steak of the Day is in a pretty ideal spot.

Ok, on with the food...

New Zealand Tenderloin - It was great! -  Nice and juicy, very well seasoned and presented. Served with lovely silky smooth mashed potatoes (very nice!). 439 baht.

Salmon Steak - . I stole a little bit from grandma, who said it was "Aroi MAK" - "VERY nice", and I agreed. It certainly looked great too.  259 baht

Pork Loin and Mashed Potatoes - this is from Steak of the Day's standard lunch time menu, which also has other items eg. chicken, sausages, etc on it. Very nice and tasty pork and gravy, and the same mashed potatoes and side salad. Fantastic value at 89 baht!

Steak of the Day has other things on the menu as well eg. various salads, hamburgers, pasta, etc. The Caesar Salad is fantastic (highly recommended!), as is the cheese tortilla. 

Even though they can get really busy, I found the service still very warm and friendly. 

Steak of the Day
Mae Rim Plaza, Mae Rim
Closed on Sundays
Tel: 081-256-7292

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Friday 27 December 2013

I am Gourmet

Merry Christmas, everyone! Sorry I'm a couple of days late! 

Today's post is about an unexpected Christmas dinner I had. My family don't really celebrate Christmas, but we thought we would pay a second visit to a restaurant recommended by a friend. 

I will have relatives coming to Chiang Mai soon (tomorrow!), and I'm always scratching my head as to where to take visitors. You'd think I'll have a list of restaurants ready in hand, and I do, (and will share with you soon), but it's always nice to put in a mix of new restaurants. 

... So here we were, back at I am Gourmet, to try out other dishes on their menu to see if it makes the cut (to bring visitors). 

I am Gourmet has a selection of good American food, as well as good Thai food...and it's not easy to find a restaurant with good Thai food, and Western food all in one place! 

So, there we were for our Christmas dinner! 

The special of the day was the Turkey Dinner Set. My first ever Turkey Dinner, and I had it in, of all places, Chiang Mai! There were several pieces of roast turkey (very nicely done, I must say), mashed potatoes (very good!), stuffing (I haven't had these for years! ... and it was great!), bean salad, and what I thought was beetroot (LOL), which turned out to be cranberry jelly (I guess), and a plate of salad. The whole thing was great, but my favourite on the plate was the stuffing! 250 baht for the set - very, very good value! 

The next thing we wanted to try from the previous visit were the BBQ Pork Ribs, which were nice and tender, and falling off the bones. The sauce was very tasty as well. You have a choice of chips or salad on the side.  Only 100 baht!

As my 6 year old nephew and 3 year old niece from Australia will be visiting, we were on a look out for something that they'll eat. I am Gourmet has a good selection of Thai dishes at very reasonable prices. Last time we tried the Pad Thai, which was pretty decent. This time, we had the spring rolls, which were very nicely done - nice and crispy, probably too peppery for the kids, but fine for us.

The most astounding thing for me here is the very reasonable prices, particularly of the American dishes eg. Pork or Chicken Burger cost 50 baht plain and 70 baht with cheese, onions and bacon; a reasonably generous serving of green tossed salad cost 35 baht! And as mentioned before,  the BBQ ribs were 100 baht.

The restaurant itself is simple and unpretentious, and it's totally unexpected to have a Western restaurant in a setting more like that of a large Thai noodle's shop. So don't expect anything fancy here! The service is warm and friendly, and the American owner very approachable. 

I am Gourmet
Chiang Mai-Doi Saket Rd (118)
If you come from the city towards Doi Saket,  once you pass the pedestrian bridge at Bohin, slow down and stay in the left lane. I am Gourmet is on the left just before the next U-Turn. 
GPS: 18.851894,99.093761 
(Keep in mind the restaurant wasn't there when Google came around a few years ago!) 

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Monday 16 December 2013

Matsu Japanese Restaurant

How fortunate us Chiang Mai-ers are to have a plethora of Japanese Restaurants to choose from. It's amazing how many good Japanese restaurants there are here. The other day, I visited the new Central Festival Mall, and wow, there must be about 25 Japanese restaurants there... Thai people must really like Japanese food!

And here I am to introduce another Japanese restaurant to you, thanks to the recommendation of a couple of my friends. This one is a little hole in the wall place in the Old City. The shop looks a little ordinary, and the service so-so,  but their salmon sashimi is great! Served at just the right temperature, very buttery and smooth, melt in your mouth deliciousness! 160 baht.

Ten Zaru (Chilled Buckwheat Noodle with Tempura and Dip). Very nice and refreshing. The tempuras were quite nicely made and the prawns tasty. Very nice dish as well, and pretty good value! 95 baht.

Well, that's all I tried, and I was quite impressed with the quality of the food, and the price! The restaurant was packed when we arrived, and there were quite a few Japanese patrons too, which is always a good sign.

So, I'll definitely want to go back to try other dishes, which also look pretty good. The offering is pretty standard Chiang Mai Japanese restaurant menu, but the salmon sashimi is one of the nicest ones I've had here in Chiang Mai.

Matsu Japanese Restaurant
74/2 Singhrat Rd
Muang, Chiang Mai
(In the Old City)
Tel: 081 472 0171
Opens: 11am-2pm & 5pm-10pm
Closed on Mondays

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Friday 29 November 2013

Mixology Bar and Grill

I first "saw" about Mixology from..Instagram! I would never thought of Instagram is a place where we can find new restaurants to try, but there was Mixology, featured in a few of fellow Chiang Mai foodies' photos. It's definitely a photogenic place!

May be it was the warm, quirky look of the bar/restaurant, the creative presentation of the food, or may be it was Junior, the bar's resident dog at attracted me to look into it further, and I found a very enthusiastic review, so of course I had to visit!

I wasn't disappointed at the first look. It's a very cosy looking place, and certainly very unique. The bar / restaurant itself is quite small with only a few tables. A I received a very warm welcome from a friendly waitress.

The waitress recommended their signature dish, the Mixology Chiang Mai Burger. A patty of minced pork spiced with various "Chiang Mai herbs" in a pandan sticky rice "bun"! The dish came out very nicely presented, with some greens and "kab moo" (deep fried pork rinds - a very popular local snack). As for the flavour, I can only say it's unusual. Perhaps it wasn't the taste that I expected. The ingredients were obviously very fresh and of good quality, and the vegies very lovely! The serving was slightly small, but that wasn't a problem. 160 baht.

For a starter / snack, we ordered Buffalo Wings, served with sweet chilli sauce. I rather enjoyed this dish. The wings were nicely made and tasty. I didn't need the sauce. If you're expecting an American style buffalo wings, you may be disappointed because this one is definitely Thai style!

And last but not least, I had to try some of their signature cocktails, after all, this is what Mixology is famous for. I decided to go for the sinful sounding Sin Angle - a very mellow and refreshing mix of peach schnapps, apple schnapps, fresh apple, lime & syrup. It wasn't overly strong, and I really enjoyed it. 220 baht/glass.

There are also other dishes on the menu I'd love to go back to try, like the Mixology Potato Skin with a Northern Thailand twist  - you can choose from toppings of Northern Sausages, Grilled Pork, Sour Cream and Sweet Chilli (which is now sounding quite traditional!) and Nam Prik Ong (a local chilli dip). The Nam Prik Ong one sounds great, actually.

Mixology Bar and Grill is definitely a place I'd like to go back to and hang around with friends and sip cocktails!


Mixology Bar and Grill
61/6 Arak Rd, Phra Singh, Chiang Mai  (Old City)
Tel: 0882613057, 0830706190
Tue-Thurs: 3pm-12am
Fri-Sun: 11am-12am

Map: coming soon! Sorry, Google Maps isn't co-operating today!

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Monday 25 November 2013

Oyori the Grill

Oyori the Grill is a place you can have a lovely meal, and at the same time, feel that you've contributed to the good of society. Their facebook page states, "We are supporting women's and young people's empowerment by food business."

What this means is that they train under-priviledged young people and women in the restaurant business so that these people have the skills to obtain a job in other restaurants or hotels. Trainees come from various backgrounds, including an ex-gang member!

I think this is a great way to empower and help people - to give them the skills they need to survive in this world. Teaching people to fish, so to speak.

The chef is from Korea, and is incidentally training a local woman in culinary arts to take over his role.

The food here is lovely, and is very good quality, and prices reasonable. There is a good variety ranging from sandwiches, grilled dishes, BBQ buffet. The salads here are great - very fresh, and organic vegetables are used. Bread here is made by a Japanese baker, and preservatives are not added.

We ordered:

Duck & Lentil with Honey Orange Glaze -  Nicely cooked duck, slightly chewy (as we asked for well-done), lovely honey sauce with a little tang. 260 baht.

Salmon Soy Radish - Surprisingly, a very large piece salmon (with nice and crispy skin) was served - quite a bit larger than many other restaurants. Served on top of a bed of radish, cucumbers and snow peas. This is an Asian influenced dish with a slightly tangy soy sauce dressing. 

Farm Raised Chicken Caesar Salad - Very nicely done. The lettuce was crispy and fresh, nice and tasty rye bread croutons. 160 baht. 


If there is a party of more than 6 people, you can have a BBQ Party! You get a selection of beef, chicken and pork, as well as an organic salad bar. I had this before, and really enjoyed it, particularly the salad bar! The vegetables here are SO good!  350 baht/person. Min 6 pax.

Oyori The Grill
14/6 Soi 11, Sirimankalajan Rd
Suthep, Muang, Chiang Mai
Currently opens Tue-Sun 11am-10pm
From December 2013 - Opens daily

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Wednesday 13 November 2013

Chef Steak (New location, New Review!)

For meat lovers...and vegetable lovers as well!

A couple of years ago, I did a review on Chef Steak. They've done so well, now they have moved down the road and around the corner, and is a "proper", and even a little fancy restaurant! The price is still great though - only 169 baht/person (drinks extra). The food is very good. No wonder the restaurant is filled up every night (well, at least when I visited!).

What we came for was the steak..and this can be found in the BBQ area in front of the restaurant. Take as much pork, pork ribs, chicken or fish as you like. My favourite is the BBQ pork ribs.

If you're not so much into meat, there is also a salad bar with lots of beautiful fresh vegetables, and also a selection of dishes to choose from including pasta, some stir-fry dishes (depends on the day), and very, very good mashed potatoes. I always need at least 2 servings of this!

So we have it..a very nice, healthy meal (if we don't overeat!).

Chef Steak
T. Sanphranet, A. Sansai
Tel: 053 000 000
Facebook page:

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Wednesday 30 October 2013

Papa's Meal @ The Chill Park

At first I thought this rather cute and comfy family-runned cafe is an Italian restaurant... and I guess it's sort of is, to the extent of the use of pasta...but with a definite Thai twist. The result is dishes like Grilled Pork Carbonara, Baked Spaghetti Chicken Mussaman Curry with Cheese, Organic Greenshell Mussels Pesto Sauce with well as a large selection of more traditional Thai dishes. The dessert menu is also quite large, which would satisfy diners with a sweet tooth.

I couldn't go pass the Baked Spaghetti Chicken Mussaman Curry with Cheese - It just sounded so interesting. I certainly haven't had any curries with cheese before. I think the name explains it all.  I thought the mussaman curry could be a bit tastier, and I couldn't really taste the cheese. On the whole though, the dish was quite nice, and the curry very smooth. 90 baht.

Spaghetti Ki Mao - "Drunken" Spaghetti - The "Italian" version of the famous Drunken Noodles. This one has Thai taste all the way. Pasta with basil, chilli, garlic, fish sauce, and in this case, chicken. Very nice, full of flavour, and nice and spicy too!

My favourite, though, is the Seafood Tom Yum Black Fettucini - talk about awesome flavours - very delicious with smooth tom yum sauce, almost creamy. Mmmm. I'll definitely have it again when I go back next time. 95 baht.

With these two tasty dishes, no wonder I thought the mussaman curry was a little bland.

We did order a more traditional Thai dish - Gaeng Som Cha-Om Kai Goong - Acacia Omelette & Prawns in Sour (Tamarind) Soup. Normally, this is one of my favourite Thai dishes, but it was quite sweet here at Papa's Meal. 75 baht.

After a big meal, dessert was in order! The menu has quite a lot of scrumptious looking desserts. We opt for what seems to be a very popular dessert in Chiang mai recently, Honey Toast. Each cafe has their own version of the Honey Toast, which is basically a couple of very thick toast with honey, and topped with something. Papa's Meal has a healthyish version of this dessert - topped with fruits, and served with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. Quite nice, and you don't have to feel too guilty after this one! 95 baht.

The Verdict
A nice quiet little cafe with a big menu, and good food. Nice and friendly service, and reasonable prices. The food does take some time to arrive, so please be patient! : )

Papa's Meal
@ The Chill Park - on the 1st (Middle) Ring Road, opposite Big C Hangdong
Facebook page:
Tel: 081-950-9552, 081-530-8537
Opens: 10am-10pm
GPS: 18.742588,98.959984

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Sunday 13 October 2013

Solao - โซลาว - Isan food

"Sap" - the spicy and sour taste - is the order of the day at Solao, an Isan (north eastern Thai) restaurant in Sirimankalajan Rd (Nimmanhaemin area).

Occasionally, one may have a craving to eat something 'sap'. On these occasions, the place to go is a somtum restaurant. 'Somtum', or papaya salad, is a ubiquitous Thai dish with all the delicious Thai flavour - sweet, spicy, salty, sour- especially spicy and sour!

Solao is a simple and clean open air local restaurant. They have more than just somtum - the menu is actually quite large and includes various fried fish, grilled pork neck, tom sap ("sap" soup), larb....

The somtum here is very good. There are many varieties to choose from eg. with crab, fermented fish, etc. We chose the Sao Chiang Mai (Chiang Mai lady) Somtum...the regular papaya salad with Chiang Mai crispy pork skin and pork loaf. The pork skin gives a nice crunch. Very good, and very spicy and "sap"!

One of Solao's most famous dishes that I see when ever I see a review is the "Peek Gai Tod Nam Pla" - Fried Chicken Wings in fish sauce - these are chicken wings marinated in fish sauce and deep fried. Solao's chicken wings are definitely very yummy, and, I guess, dipped in a slightly sticky sweet and salty sauce - very tasty indeed, and also a good respite from the fiery papaya salad.

The "Plachon Dad Diew" - deep fried sundried snakehead fish, served with green mango salad - very nice! The sneakhead was very nicely fried - fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

A very good and popular local restaurant. Good value too - you can expect to pay about 100-250 baht/person.

Somtum Solao
43 Sirimankalajan Rd
Muang, Chiang Mai.
Tel: 0896355848
Opens daily 10:30am-8pm

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Sunday 15 September 2013

Janey Scoop

You'll have no problem finding good ice-cream in Chiang Mai. There are ice cream parlors every where, from franchises such as Swensen's, Bud's, iberry to ice cream carts selling coconut ice cream for 10 baht.  A reader recently recommended a homemade ice-cream shop, saying that it was one of the best she's off I went to give Janey Scoop a go.

Janey Scoop is a little shop in a little corner of Nimmanhaemin Soi 5 selling not only ice-cream, but various other desserts too. The shop was packed when we walked in after lunch on a Sunday, leaving only two tables outside.

There are exotic flavours eg. Nestea Oreo...I settled for a scoop each of the more mundane sounding green tea & chocolate-orange ice cream. Both were very nice - full of flavour. From the two flavours I tried anyway, Janey Scoop's ice cream seems less creamy and lighter than the usual ice-cream (eg from Swensen's and Bud's)...which is probably a good thing ... and hopefully means we can eat more of it without feeling too guilty.. (not that I do.) LOL. I would love to go back to try other flavours, and desserts .. the honey toast looked really good too.

Janey Scoop
Nimmanhaemin Rd Soi 5
Opens 11am-9pm
Closed on Wednesdays
Tel: 081 288 8889

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Monday 2 September 2013

Kafe Vino Coffee and Wine Bar

Kafe Vino is one of those places that only locals would know (unless you get the word from bloggers like me!)..actually, some locals may not even know about it... This funky cafe is a great place for coffee by day and wine by night! ...Although the you wouldn't want to have a little too much wine after leaving Kafe Vino for fear of driving (or falling) into the very large drain along the road side opposite the cafe (you'll know what I mean when you see it!). Don't let that deter you though...the food here is  good, the ambience nice and cosy, and there's a wine buffet for wine lovers!

Kafe Vino offers Thai and Western food, as well as mouthwatering desserts. Lunchtime specials start from 49 baht. I went for dinner though...with a goal of eating dessert in mind...

So I order a...Crispy Prawn Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, which is lovely and fresh. The thousand island dressing is quite interesting with a peachy orangey flavour. My friend orders the Grilled Beef Salad with Sesame Dressing, which is also very nice ...looks exactly the same, but with tender grilled beef on top. Both 125 baht each.

We also order the Fried Chicken with Wasabi Mayo Sauce to share, which is more of a snack size. I would have liked the chicken to be hotter (but it could have turned cold as I took photos though..hehe) and crunchier, but overall, it's pretty good, and the wasabi mayo adds a nice punch to the dish. 115 baht.

...And now the dessert... There is a selection of about 6 different types of cakes in their fridge and they all look great. The owner recommends:

Green Tea Crepe Cake...crepe cakes seems to be the rage in Chiang Mai at the moment. I have been meaning to try one for a while so here is my chance. The layers of the green crepes and cream looks great. The flavour was quite subtle. The cake is served with a strawberry sauce (very yummy!), but it overwhelms the green tea flavour. Still, the crepe cake is very nice.

Coconut Cake - lovely subtle flavour, only slightly sweet. The fresh cream is mixed with coconut juice, and there's a generous layer of thin coconut slices as well. I really enjoyed the coconut cream (and I'm not normally a cream person).

The ambience at Kafe Vino is very nice and cosy. The cafe is set in a Thai wooden house, and the tables are set in various rooms of the house. There is a very quiet, comfortable and relaxing feel when sitting down for a meal or chat.

Kafe Vino
38 Moo 2
T. Nongjhom, A. Sansai
Chiang Mai
(near Meechok Plaza/Ruamchoke Market)
GPS Location: 18.831780, 99.020130
Tel: 084 595 5777
Opens from 10am-11pm
Closed on Mondays

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