Sunday 29 March 2015

Rustic and Blue - Handgrown Produce and Artisan Food

This artsy cafe in Nimman Soi 7 is certainly a very charming and inviting place. The decor is rustic and oozes warmth, and there's a large backyard with outdoor seating, comfy looking sofas and even teepees!

There's a whole wall of various kind of fragrant tea blends, created by the owner of the cafe. (The cafe used to the a tea shop). I didn't get a chance to try the tea this time, but will definitely come back to try some.

My friend and I dined indoors in the air-conditioned room that warm evening, but the other patrons chose to eat outside in the garden.

The menu is quite interesting and unusual, like the Duck Prosciutto Crostinis with Mango Black Tea jam. I'd be really interested to see what this 'mango black tea jam' tastes like. I might try it next time.

This time, we opted for the Rustic Warm Brie Salad, which turned out to be really lovely - a whole heap of various super fresh mixed green veggies; still slight warm grilled pumpkin, bell pepper, and zucchini; various seeds eg. pumpkin, sunflower and chia; topped with cereal. I've never had cereals in my salads before, and it added a nice and chewy texture. The dressing was lovely too. The menu said "home made jam dressing" - which I thought would be sweet, but it wasn't at all - it was like an oil based dressing with orange juice - quite refreshing and uplifting, actually. And the warm brie? A slice of brie cheese was toasted with a slice of baguette which gives a nice contrast to the salad. 225 baht.

The Beef Chilli with Homemade Chorizo & Poached Egg was quite good as well. The beef chilli was nicely made. The chorizo had a deep flavour. I think the best thing though was the poached egg which also it pulled everything together! I piled everything on the toasted baguette and had a bit of everything at the same time... yum! 325 baht

There is also a large selection of drinks to choose from, including craft beers, regular beer, wine (and of course, tea). Rustic and Blue serves breakfast, and also have vegetarian and gluten free dishes like the Gluten-free Chickpea Crust Pizza. 

The prices are on the high side, but at the same time, the food is quite lovely and creatively put together, very different from what you'd get elsewhere. The ambience and service is wonderful as well. I definitely want to go back and try other dishes and drinks.

Rustic and Blue
Nimman Soi 7
(Opposite Hong Kong Lucky Cafe @ De Marche)
Tel: 086 654 7178
Opens: 8:30am-10pm

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Wednesday 18 March 2015

Khun Mor Cuisine @ Nimman Soi 17

There are a never ending list of restaurants to choose from in Nimman area. Many come and go, and many have also stuck around. Khun Mor Cuisine has been around for a while, having opened its doors on Nimman Soi 17 about 16 years ago.

"Khun Mor" is what Thai people call a doctor. Khun Mor first started with a humble boat noodle shop in Mae Taeng, and later opened her shop in Nimman in 1999.

The menu is quite extensive with most of the dishes being traditional Thai and Northern Thai dishes. If you're travelling through and would like to try new dishes other than the good old pad thai and green curry chicken, Khun Mor Cuisine is a good place to be adventurous and try a few new dishes!

Having said that, the pad thai here is great! The "Pad Thai Jun Goong Sod" (sorry, not photos... no idea how I missed taking the photo of this one!) is very well done, the texture and taste was just right. There were also 3 huge prawns on top. 129 baht.

I also like Khun Mor's home made sai ua, a northern Thailand specialty - herbed pork sausages. It was quite herby, and I noticed also that the sausage didn't have a lot of fat (compared to other sai uas that I've eaten). The unusual thing to me is that sai uas are not usually served with condiments on the side - garlic, ginger, chilli, etc. I did try a piece of the sausage with some condiments, but I prefer to just eat the sai ua by itself as I found the ginger and garlic pieces tend to overcome the flavour of the sai ua. 89 baht.

"Krathong thong" - Minched chicken and sweet corn in crispy golden cups. These are quite lovely. The filling has a vibrant curry flavour, and compliments well with the crispy cups. Good appetiser!  69 baht.

"Kaeng Kae Gai" - spicy tradintional herbal soup with mixed vegetables and chicken. This soup is really lovely, fragrant and smooth. A warning though.. The soup contains shrimp paste and fermented fish, an acquired taste, and may not be everyone's cup of tea! Other herbs used in this soup include chilli, lemongrass, garlic and shallots. It went beautifully with the rice, and I must say Khun Mor's Cuisine's rice was beautiful and really fragrant. There was something about the fragrance of the rice and the soup that was just wow when eaten together! Highly recommended, if you dare! 119 baht.

Khun Mor Cuisine is quite large restaurant and is decorated in Lanna style. Most of the seating is in the open air section. There's also some seating in a small garden and an air-conditioned room (5 baht extra per person to use the air-cond room).

There seem be be a mixed review of this restaurant, especially on Trip Advisor. There were a few comments regarding the service that reviewers were not happy about. When I was there, I thought the service was fine. We were in the air-conditioned room and there was a waiter hanging around outside, so it wasn't difficult to get his attention.

And one of the things I really like about Khun Mor Cuisine is the parking! Coming to Nimman to eat is usually not one of my top priorities because of 1) the traffic and 2) the parking situation (or lack of!). This restaurant has its own parking lot across the soi, and a few spots in front of the restaurant too, which is really helpful!

Khun Mor Cuisine
10/1 Nimmanhaemin Rd Soi 17
T Suthep, A Muang, Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 226 379
Opens: 7:30am-10pm

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Sunday 8 March 2015

Rock Me Burger & Bar

After seeing some social network feeds of incredible looking burgers with knives through them, I thought to myself, I must go check this Rock Me Burger & Bar out!

Burgers are not something I have very often, I guess because we are in Chiang Mai, and good burgers have been hard to come by. I've noticed though, that there has been some good burger joints popping up around town such as Beast Burger, a food truck in Nimman area which I'd love to try!

Anyway, let's get back to Rock Me Burger!

Rock Me Burger's menu is quite interesting with various signature burgers with awesome names like "Rocking on Heaven" which has 150g of ground beef or pork (yes, pork is also available who those who doesn't eat beef), homemade bun, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayonnaise. There's also "Rocking in Hell", which has fried eggs and hot basil sauce. There are also other dishes like Crisp Chicken Sandwich with Lemon Sauce and Traditional Fish and Chips on Bun.

They also serve "old fashion" milk shakes, fruit shakes, and various cocktails and mocktails.

I opted for the beef Rock Aloha - a regular burger with grilled pineapple and BBQ sauce. 180 baht. There was a choice of how the beef patty was cooked - rare, medium or well done.

The burger was quite spectacularly presented, as described earlier with a knife going through it, which I guess would be necessary to keep the burgers together! There was also no way I could grab the burger with my hands and look lady like at the same time, as the burger was way too tall, so the knife did come in handy... to eat the burger with knife and fork!

It tasted great, and I enjoyed the sweet and tanginess of the pineapple, and the sweetish BBQ sauce. The beef was of good quality, and didn't have a lot of fat. The tomato based sauce used on the homemade bun was lovely. The burger was served with a nicely fried & crispy onion ring, and some some fries - I really enjoyed the fries / potato wedges, especially when dipped into the sauce oozing out of the burger. Actually, I was very impressed with the fries and though a few more on the "plate" wouldn't go astray!

My friend  went for the Classic NYC Street Hot Dog (130 baht). This is made from a homemade sausage, chopped onion, bun and mustard. It looked very good, and she said it tasted very good too.

Rock Me Burger has a bar outside the actual restaurant, so you have an option to eat there and watch the burgers being prepared, or you can go inside in the large air-conditioned room. The decor is quite simple but does give a vintage kind of feel.

The restaurant is situated on the tourist area of Loi Kroh Rd, at Raming Lodge Hotel, and is next to the popular Chez Marco. There is a parking lot in a little lane just past the restaurant on the right hand side (about 40 baht).

Rock Me Burger & Bar
Raming Lodge Hotel
17-19 Loi Kroh Rd
T Changklan A Muang
Chiang Mai
Tel: 089 8528801
Opens: 11:30am - 12am daily

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