Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cheap Eats Chiang Mai - East of the Moat

{The information below was gathered from October 2010 onward and is being gathered on the 'Chiang Mai Cheap Eats' Page. I'll be updating the posts regularly, but am keeping them predated (4 Feb 2010) so I don't clutter up the home page and bore everyone to tears. My apologies to those who are subscribed to new posts.}

Cheat eats east of the moat. See the map for numbered locations.

1. Hinlay Curry House See the map for numbered locations.
Not an easy place to find if you don't know the area. Hinlay Curry House sits in a garden setting, with both open and sheltered areas. The curry was great, I had Hinlay beef, rice, water and half a rotti bread for around 110 Baht. Smallish portions, but ample for lunch or a light meal.
2. Mayflower Restaurant See the map for numbered locations.
Italian fare and Thai dishes. A large crispy base pizza, which feeds two, 200 Baht. Our table ordered five, all could have done with a minute longer in the oven, but were tasty. The amount of topping didn't match the photos, but considering the cost of cheese in Thailand and prices in surrounding restaurants, it wasn't too bad. Large Leo 95 Baht, a little on the expensive side.
Sorry...we were really hungry.
3. Ratana's Kitchen See the map for numbered locations.
At 320 Tha Pae Rd, Ratana's Kitchen faces the beautiful white statue encrusted walls of Wat Bupparam.
It is mentioned on Fodders, Lonely Planet and various other travel websites, as being one of 'the' places to eat. So, I am always surprised to find seats available. We've eaten there three times already and find the meals delicious and well priced, perhaps a little on the small side. Choose to eat inside in air conditioning or at one of the few large wooden tables outside on the pavement.
Pumpkin, egg and mixed seafood
Sweet and sour pork
Soups and meals start at around 30 Baht, those above, about 50 Baht. I haven't tried any Western food on their menu...why would I!

4. Ruen Pae I Restaurant is situated lakeside. A lovely, quite spot to stop for lunch if your doing the arts and craft circuit out in the Bo Sang area. The dishes start at 50 Baht and just about anything is available on the menu, from frog, pig belly or tongue to spring rolls and the usual Thai fare.
The frog was understandably a bit bony, but tasty!
The restaurant entrance.
Heading eastish, away from Chiang Mai on highway 1006, turn left at Baan Celadon Pottery. See the map for numbered locations.

5. Gekko Garden Restaurant. D I'm not sure why everyone raves about this place. Sure the atmosphere is nice and retreat like, but on my first and only visit here, it left me quite disappointed. I would give it another chance though. The Gekko has daily farang specials, today's was fish and chips for 95 Baht. OK, according to Stray and the price is quite reasonable.
I, however, chose a shrimp salad and expected something a little more 'special' for 115 Baht. Don't let the size fool you. Underneath the generous serve of watery, tasteless shrimp lies a mountain of lettuce. Perhaps if I'd drowned in one of the 12 condiments presented on the table, it may have been a bit more palatable.
I should have stuck to Thai food, which is probably more appetising and half the price.See the map for numbered locations. ...*post edit. A few months later... OK, so I thought I'd give this place one more try. We ordered the special of the day, steak, chips and salad. To help customers choose the way they like their steak cooked, there are photos in the menu. We chose Medium Well Done...still pink in the middle. The waitress starts pointing to the Well Done photo and asks me if I speak Thai? 'A little' I say. With that commences a barrage of Thai and hand motions. If I'm any good at charades, I'm sure she was saying that the Well Done steak is hard to problem that's why we're not ordering it.

Several minutes later she and another staff member appear, presenting two raw steaks on a plate. Unlike a bottle of wine, we could hardly taste test it. We both agree that they look OK, nice and thick, round and not too much fat...but a little.

Quite some time goes by and out come our meals. Somehow those nice round steaks had unravelled? Between the ultra well done meat were huge amounts of gristle, which I left in a pile, as a 'statement' on my plate. The salad: A few pieces of lettuce, slices of onion and tomato. The chips...well, to their credit, they weren't out of the freezer.

6. Nam Mae Ping.See the map for numbered locations. ....loved it!
Very reasonable prices, tasty Lanaa style food served in a pleasant garden setting. Forgot the camera, but their website explains it all. By the way, my link has been run through Google translator, so it's in Thainglish! Here's the original Thai version. I tried a simple pork and vegetable platter, and selected the minced pork and tomato dipping sauce (80 Baht). If you visit the website, you'll see that there are more traditional Lanna dishes to choose from. I've been several times and enjoy a change from the over flogged Thai style dishes on menus around town.
Also, I'm not sure if I've located it correctly on the map, but you can see the Pornping Tower, across the river, from the restaurant.

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

hinlay is just around the corner from us. yummy stuff!! if you make it to the bake n bite on this side of town you've walked past our house.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Lucky you! I commented to my husband that Hinlay was such a nice area...quiet and treed...very pretty. I'll have to check out Bake n Bite...I'm slowly eating my way through Chiang Mai ;)

Tribal said... Best Blogger Tips

Hai! I'm glad you found Hinlay- it's a favorite of ours too. Did you know that this area is historic? It used to be called the Bain Compound and the large old home on the back of the Hinlay site is one of the original houses. The rest of the site is now being developed as an exclusive resort, but they're keeping some of the old teak buildings. It is a very beautiful area. The wife of Hinlay's chef/owner is a member of the Bain family and her father has a wonderful, idiosyncratic museum at Wat Ket, called Jack's Museum- he can occasionally be seen there. Doncha just love Chiang Mai! --Susan

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Susan, the lovely lady we lunched with did tell us a little of the history, but I didn't know the location of the (Jack's) museum... now I do :) Thanks for sharing.

I've been looking at all the wonderful art and jewellery on your blog and website, some amazing pieces!

Alaska Dave said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Snap,
We liked Nam Mae Ping too. But there is a terrific khao soi place on the same road just north of the bridge, Lamduan Fa Ham that you should include in your East of the Moat list. My girlfriend is Thai and fussy about khao soi -- she thinks this place is quite good, second only to a small shop in Doi Pui. I agree. For 40 baht it's a bargain. Their moo satay is good too.

Thanks for the recommendations.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Alaska Dave thanks for the suggestion...I wish I was still in Chiang Mai to try the Lamduan Fa Ham restaurant :( Maybe next time. So many good eating spots tucked away, in a relatively small city. One could spend many years finding and trying them all.