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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