Wednesday 10 February 2016

Lumdee Ti Kua Daeng (ลำดีตี้ขัวแดง)

I was first taken to this restaurant, whose names literally means "Delicious at the Red Bridge", by a Chinese customer who lives in Chiang Mai. I have driven past V Community next to Payap University so many times without even realising that there's a restaurant there.  I've seen their signature red bridge in many social networking sites, but never thought of going myself.

So there I was, with a Chinese family who spoke very little English and Thai, and me with my broken mandarin. Somehow we managed to communicate, did business together and ended up together at this restaurant.

Lumdee Ti Kua Daeng has a large indoor and outdoor sections. BTW, a big thank you to Zalora for the bag! I love it!

I was taken straight away by the large and very reasonably priced menu. Their favourite is the Deep Fried Tilapia with Herbs, and wow, it was good. They told me that you can get an even better one in Lamphun! These Chinese people do get around! LOL.

Since then, I've been back many times with my family and also have brought visitors here and everyone enjoyed the food here very much.

The real test though was my last visit when I brought a local Chiang Mai friend who just came home from a stint overseas and a Thai friend from Lamphun. I wanted to know how authentic a Northen Thai restaurant Lumdee Ti Kua Daeng is and I'm glad to say my friends gave their thumbs up.

The spread.. The food even came out all around the same time!

Pla Tubtim Tod Samunpri (Deep-fried Tilapia with Herbs). 200 baht. This is the fried fish that I was talking about earlier. It's not exactly Northern food, but it's good!  The fish meat is cut up into cubes, deep fried then reassembled on the fish and the the herbal sauce is poured over the whole thing. The cubed fillets were very nicely fried, slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. Just the right amount of sauce is absorbed into the thin flour batter, leaving it full of flavour, yet still crunchy. Perfect. The price is great too - normally you'd expect to pay 300 baht for something like this at other restaurants.

Deep-Fried Tilapia with Herbs

Fried Chiangda and Tomato with Egg. 60 baht. Chiangda (Gymnema, a herb with blood sugar lowering properties) is stir-fried with eggs and tomatoes. This is a dish with more subtle, slightly salty flavour and makes a great (and healthy) combination with other dishes, especially spicy ones.

Fried Chiang Da and Tomato with Egg

Naem Peek Gai Khua Daeng. Northern style cured chicken wings. 80 baht. "Naem" dishes have been fermented to give a sour flavour. I normally quite enjoy naem pork. The chicken wings are pretty good, but I found it a little too sour. Served with roasted peanuts, ginger and chilli.

Naem Chicken Wings

Gai Muang Neung. Steamed chicken with herbs. 90 baht. It was delicious and full of flavour. The "soup" was fantastic too. In this dish, the chicken pieces are steamed with various herbs (such as tumeric, garlic and lemongrass). Yum!

Steamed Chicken With Herbs

Nam Prik Ong. 50baht. This is a classic northern Thai pork, tomato and chilli dip. Actually, there are many different chilli dips you can try at Lumdee Ti Kua Daeng. This is my Lamphun friend's favourite Northern Dish and he said Lumdee's Nam Prik Ong has all the right flavours. The chilli dips are served with steamed vegetables (or sometime fresh herbs and veggies depending on the restaurant). Lovely and not too spicy with the veggies and steamed rice or sticky rice.

Nam Prik Ong
Lamdee Ti Kua Daeng also serves many northern soup dishes. I've been told that all the soups are made fresh to each order. Most of the dishes are not all that spicy either. There are also more adventurous dishes to try like the soup with ant eggs!

The service is friendly, efficient and quick. The food is great, and quite inexpensive.

Lumdee Ti Kua Daeng
V Community
345 Moo 3
T. Sanphranet, A Sansai, Chiang Mai
Tel: 086 688 3688
GPS Location: 18.799160, 99.033259

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Friday 5 February 2016

Fukuro Japanese Restaurant

I've had cravings for Japanese food all week! After a busy and tiring week, a friend thought it would be good to go to one of the many Japanese restaurants in Central Festival. Central Festival is a convenient choice - close to home and has very good parking, but I felt I wanted to go to a small, homey and more personal place.

I remembered Fukuro. I've been there a few times before and was always impressed with the food and the price. The owner is an ex-Four Seasons chef, and the unassuming Japanese Restaurant is located right next door to the very popular Steak of the Day at Mae Rim Plaza.

Mae Rim Plaza is a bit of a hike from my home in Sansai / Doi Saket area (about 30 min or so drive), but it was totally worth the trip.

This little restaurant only has a few tables, and is very homey and comfortable. Khun Nes, the owner came out and made a few recommendations from the Specials of the Day board.

Eggplant Miso Sauce. 79 baht. These were wonderful and very different from what I've had in other restaurants. In other restaurants that I've been to, the eggplants are covered with miso sauce (which I love as well!). Fukuro's version has just a touch of the sauce and the eggplant is sprinkled with sesame seeds and bonito flakes, which gives a smokey flavour. All the flavours worked well together.  Khun Nes said the eggplants are organic and she gets them from a local farmer in Pong Yang, so the supply is quite limited.

Japanese Pork Hot Pot. 199 baht. This was a great dish for a cool night! Loved the soup, which was sweet but not overly so.

Salmon Sashimi - 99 baht (4 pieces). Beautiful melt in your mouth sashimi. Delicious!

After all that, we had room for one more dish...

Crunchy Roll. 89 baht. This is not your traditional Japanese dish, and it provided a stark contrast between this and the previous dishes which had subtler, softer flavour. The sushi rolls are made, covered in a small amount of batter and fried. Served with chilli-mayonnaise sauce.

And just as we were ready to pay the bill, Khun Nes surprised us with a complimentary dessert to thank us for coming such a long way!

The dessert of the day was.... Strawberry with Marshmallow Toffee Cream. 99 baht. Wow, it was good - creamy and refreshing. The toffee cream was lovely and smooth (with a nice caramelly flavour) and sprinkled with tiny marshmallows. There was nothing left on the plate after we were through with it!

We enjoyed our meal at Fukuro very much. Too bad it's a bit of a drive otherwise I would go there all the time!

339 Moo 1
Mae Rim Plaza
A. Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
Tel: 0867832034
Opens: 11am - 9pm
Closes on Tuesdays
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