We made it to Chiang Mai, our last stop in Thailand. We expected Northern Thai cuisine to be a little bit different from what we had been eating and we were excited. We ate at a range of places, from high end hotel restaurants, to unassuming little food stalls hidden away from the main roads, to hawker style food courts. We were not disappointed.
Before we began our Chiang Mai food ranging, we opted for a taste of back home. It was late when we got to our hotel and most of the places around us were already closed. Since we didn’t feel like trying to find our way around a new city in the dark, we ordered in: a Dominos pepperoni pizza. It tasted exactly like Domino’s pizza from back home and it was a little bit comforting. Also, we love pizza and we hadn’t had it in a month and a half! (We usually had pizza like once a week, sometimes even multiple times a week.)
Our first day in Chiang Mai happened to be Christmas. I wrote a blog post about it, including the food we ate, which you can read about here.
My favorite thing we had here, possibly all of Thailand, was the amazing Khao Soi that we got from the modest little outdoor kitchen tucked away from the main road. It was hidden in a parking lot beside one of the many temples in Old City. They only have three things on the menu and are well known for their Khao Soi. The broth was creamy and had a balance of flavors that was perfection; spicy, sweet, sour. The meat (I had pork and Jared had beef) was tender and abundant. The perfectly crispy noodles on top refrained from getting soggy and gave great crunch. Everything about the bowl was amazing and together they were only 70 baht (<$2.00).
One night we found ourselves at a more modern outdoor food truck cafeteria. There were cuisines from all over the world; Mexican, French, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Western, Australia, and many fusions. We sampled a few things as we sat and enjoyed the atmosphere. We had grilled meats, khao soi, grilled corn, and coconut ice cream. There was a live band and they still had their Christmas lights up which made the whole place feel kind of magical. I may have even got a little teary eyed at the band’s rendition of a John Denver song.
We decided to try a restaurant at the one of the fancy hotels in Chiang Mai. It was called The Service 1921, it had a ‘Secret Agent’ theme, and their menu looked amazing. We weren’t able to get in for dinner since they were booked for the whole time we were in town, so we went for lunch. We don’t usually have a big lunch but decided to go all out. We started with a tasting platter which had glass noodle stuffed chicken wings, ground beef rolled in betel leaves, and the most amazing Sichuan style pork skewers. Ahhh, the pork skewers were so good. Unfortunately when we were ordering our main courses, two dishes we were super excited for, they were out. (I wanted their pork larb). We each ordered something else, and they were out of the one I picked (Tom Kha Gai, a coconut milk based soup). So Jared ended up getting his second choice, a Tom Yum variation with banana blossom, and I ended up with my third choice, curry pork belly with ginger and pickled garlic. They were both really good, but it’s hard not to feel like we missed out on our first choices.
Our last night we were wondering through the night markets and stumbled upon a hawkerish-style food court. We got a variety of things things from different stalls; a Turkish doner kebab, pork larb, sour sausage fried rice, some delicious grilled meats (except for the sour pork sausage, could have skipped that one) and of course some Chiang Beer.
After we walked off some of dinner, we ended with a Thai treat: rolled ice cream. The little cart had over 100 flavor combinations. It had two little stations set up where you can watch the ice cream artists spread the cream, scrape and respread it as it freezes, roll it up, add the toppings and create a masterpiece. It was delicious.
We had time for one last lunch before leaving Chiang Mai. We went to a cute little spot on the Ping River. I had a super spicy glass noodle salad with pork and Jared had some fried chicken tendons (they kind of reminded me of pop corn). Also, I had to order some onion rings.
It was during our last meal that a woman came to our table selling hand woven offerings. They were so beautiful I couldn’t resist, and what better time to make one final offering to the beautiful country of Thailand.
Thanks for Keeping Up 😉