Tuesday 22 April 2014

Talom Culture Cuisine (Northern Thai & Thai food)

I drove past this very good restaurant in a garden setting many times and never thought of stopping by. It's relatively new and a little bit unknown, I think, as I never see a lot of people there when I go. I've visited few times already, and I find the food great, prices reasonable...and grandma loves it too!

Talom does Northern Thai food and Thai food. As Northern Thai food isn't our specialty, we relied on our excellent and knowledgable waiter a lot...and all the dishes he suggested were great!

Spicy Roasted Fish Dip (Nam Prik Pla Jee) - This is a bit like the green chilli dip (Nam prik noom) mixed with mashed up grilled fish. Lovely, a touch spicy and and served with steamed vegetables. 65 baht.

Deep fried Pla Nin with Garlic  (Pla nin = a type of fish) - this was fantastic. The fish was very nicely done, and the meat was lovely and soft. Very, very nice! 190 baht.

Gaeng Pak Wan with Dried Fish & Vermicelli - "Pak wan" is a local vegetable. This soup is for the adventurous only! The flavour is quite good, but I think it contains "Pla ra" or fermented fish, which I'd say is an acquired taste.  A lot of westerners may not like this one. 85 baht.

Pak Chiang Da Stir-fried with Egg. "Pak Chiang Da" is a type of local vegetable. Very nice when stir-fried with egg- slightly bitter and salty flavour. 75 baht.

All in all a very nice and enjoyable meal. There are heaps of other dishes on the menu, so if these dishes don't appeal to you, then there are lots more to choose from!

I've been to Talom a few times, and the food has been very good and consistent, and the price very reasonable.

The bill for 6 people came to 985 baht (only about 160 baht each)!

Open air area 
Indoor dining ...and lots of wines to choose from too!

Talom Culture Cuisine
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Talom-chiangmai/490487534373167
413 Moo 6, Sanphiseur, Chiang Mai
Opens: 5-11pm except Mondays.
Next to Nakorn Payap International School

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Saturday 12 April 2014

Magical Garden Cafe (now closed)

It was a nice breezy night as we entered an lovely cafe with several bamboo salas scattered around the leafy garden. Each sala has a name on it - these are gifts from generous donors from Singapore who supported the Magical Light Foundation, a non-religious, non-profit organisation that is dedicated to building schools for underprivileged children in Northern Thailand and Myanmar. The proceeds from Magical Garden Cafe is used to support Magical Light Foundation's projects to help educate local and hill-tribe children.

Within 6 months of opening, Magical Garden Cafe has shot up to rank no 6 of listed restaurants in Chiang Mai on TripAdvisor. I was curious if the cafe lived up to its fame when my trusty foodie friends took me to have dinner there.

The ambience was certainly very nice and relaxed. Peter and Shii Hua, the people behind the foundation and the cafe, were very friendly. The food by Chef Noi, a local Thai chef, was great. The food did come out quite slowly, but was worth the wait.

First up to quench our thirst - Strawberry Fruit Shake. 55 baht. Nice and refreshing blend of strawberries and ice, very thick, almost like a thick shake! Didn't have to ask for "mai wan" ("not sweet"). I wouldn't mind some now, actually.. since it's been SO hot!

The spicy fries (45 baht). Very nicely done, dusted with paprika to give a slight punch (very slight!). The Seasonal Greens salad (85 baht) - very fresh and lovely with the honey mustard dressing. There are also two other choices of dressings - Thai and Oriental Soy Sauce. 

The Bruschetta (75 baht)  - Tomato and Basil & Mashed Eggplant with hard boiled egg served on Toasted Baguette. The tomato and basil bruschetta was very good, but I loved the mashed eggplant with hard boiled egg.. that was WOW!  I was quite amazed that eggplants and eggs go so well together!

The Hummus was lovely too. (75 baht). You have a choice of chickpeas, broccoli, or roasted tomatoes hummus, served with cucumber and carrot sticks. We opted for the chickpea hummus, which was really great.

Magical Garden Cafe also has some Thai dishes. We had the Crispy Morning Glory Salad. (65 baht) which consisted of deep fried morning glory leaves in a Thai dressing - tangy, slightly spicy, salty, all in one. Very nice and loved the crunch!

The verdict:

I really like Magical Garden Cafe. The ambience is lovely, and the food is great too! The servings are on the small size (more like snack sizes), but that also means we can try many dishes. The food did come out quite slowly, so please be patient. Very nice, dedicated, friendly staff.

The proceeds, as mentioned earlier, does go to a great cause to help underprivileged children get an education, and Peter and Shii Hua are doing an excellent job keeping everything running.

If you would like to volunteer or help in anyway, please talk to Peter and Shii Hua. They would really appreciate it, so will the children!

Magical Garden Cafe
24 Sriwichai Rd,
Suthep, Chiang Mai 50220
(Behind Wat Suan Dok)
Tel: 093 135 3288
Opens daily (Except Wednesdays) 5pm-10pm
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/magicalgardencafe/

Note: Magical Garden Cafe will be close during Songkran 2014 for renovations. Please check their Facebook page for details!

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