Saturday 22 June 2013

Cafe Din Dee (Mudhouse Cafe)

Nestled in a little mud house in the carpark of Chiang Mai University Art Centre on the quiet end of Nimmanhaemin Rd, this Japanese runned cafe offers lovely healthy vegetarian meals, fantastic looking drinks (especially on a hot day!) and desserts.

On Sundays, you'll also be able to sample some of their freshly baked bread... and I must say, these breads are delicious - quite heavy, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. The bread is a little salty and no butter is needed. I'll be happy munching on these all day! I even bought some to take home for breakfast for the next few days.

Other than the bread, the menu is pretty extensive, from Muesli with natural yoghurt to sandwiches to curry dishes and salads. Dishes are mainly Japanese, Thai and Indian inspired, and MSG is not added.

After much deliberation on the type of curry I want, I settle for the DinDee Original Curry, which contains chickpeas, kidney beans, vegetables and gram masala. If you can't eat spicy food, you'd be relieved to know that this curry is only very mildly spicy, and it's very lovely with the brown rice - a very nice, light, gentle and comforting meal. White rice is also available if you don't like brown rice. The soup that comes with the curry is great too. 109 baht for the set or 90 baht for curry only.

Yum Bai Bua Bok - Thai Pennywort (Gotu Kola) Salad. Pennywort (or Gotu Kola) is a herb that is generally served pureed as a bright green  drink in Thailand. (It's very good for you!). This salad contains gotu kola leaves, cucumbers, tomatoes, shallots and toasted peanuts. The dressing is mildly tangy and spicy, just enough to make the salad refreshing and vibrant. My Japanese friend loved it!

By this time, we are quite full, and didn't really have room for dessert! From various reports, I've heard that the cakes here are great. I'd love to try their chocolate cake and cheese cakes, so I must make an effort to get back there! :P

The price is pretty reasonable too. It ended to be around 250 baht for 2 people for the 3 dishes above. Free drinking water available. 

Cafe Din Dee
Chiang Mai University Art Center
Nimmanhaemin Rd
T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 289 046
Mobile: 089 755 0192
Opens: Tuesdays-Sundays 9am-6pm
Closed on Mondays. 

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Wednesday 5 June 2013

Kha Moo Chiang Dao 'original shop' (ขาหมูเชียงดาว เจ้าเก่า)

A trip to Chiang Dao (a town about 1 hour north of Chiang Mai) would not be complete without a visit to a "Kha Moo" place. "Kha Moo", literally, "pork leg", refers to a dish of pork leg/hog that has been stewed in herbs, spices and soy sauce for a very long time, resulting in a rich and fragrant melt in your mouth pork.

Chiang Dao, as you may have gathered, is famous for its' kha moos. There are many kha moo shops in Chiang Dao, but the most famous are Kha Moo Chaing Dao 'original shop' and Kha Moo Pornphen (ร้านขาหมู พรเพ็ญ).

The lovely 74 year old owner of Kha Moo Chiang Dao 'Original shop'

Kha Moo Chaing Dao 'original shop' was the first kha moo shop that opened in Chiang Dao over 60 years ago. They still use the same recipe from 'grandpa'. I had a chat with the current owner, 'grandpa''s daughter in law. At 74, she has worked in the eatery 50 years. The shop still retains a lot of its original features, and has a rather charmingly antique feel, with its large round wooden tables and wooden chairs.

The owner used to ride the bike (on the cabinet) to work. 
The kha moo of course, is the shop's specialty. The meat is very tender, and the sauce rich - perfect for drizzling on your rice. A part of the kha moo that I really enjoy is the trotter ('kaki' in Thai), which has mostly skin and tendons. Kaki is very tender, and the skin soft yet a little chewy, and (I hope!) not too much fat underneath!

As there were 5 of us, we ordered 1 leg and rice, separately, but you can also order the kha moo on rice as well for 1 person. A small range of other dishes eg. curry chicken are also available.

The main difference in taste between the 'original' shop and Kha Moo Pornphen is that the Kha Moo Pornphen makes Thai style kha moo, which is on the sweet side, where is the 'original' shop makes Chinese style kha moo, and not sweet at all. So, I can't really say which is the best - it depends on your personal preference, really.

Kha Moo Chiang Dao 'original shop' (ขาหมูเชียงดาว เจ้าเก่า)
Tel: 053455093
Please see map (below) for exact location!

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