Saturday, June 29, 2013

nomming @ café de nimman

Earlier this month, Hot Tuna was feeling sentimental and asked me, "Why are we such good friends?" I replied, pretty sure that he was too inebriated to remember anyway, "Because you're crazy."

But really, as Ricky Gervais says, relationships stand the test of time because of "things in common, a sense of humor and mutual respect." And in our case, one of our common interests is food.

Case in point: On 12 June 2013, we were discussing where to have dinner and Hot Tuna suggested Café de Nimman in the posh section of Chiang Mai. I had never heard of it and I didn't even know know that there was a posh part of town, but since he'd been there a couple of times before and liked it, I knew that I would like it.

A quick look at the online reviews before we set off resulted in our ordering the liver, boiled eggs and squid.

Stir-fried pork liver with garlic and pepper, 120 baht.

Soft-boiled egg with mushroom fish sauce, 95 baht.

Stir-fried squid with salted egg, 140 baht.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

where the locals eat

The internet is undoubtedly a great tool, but for extremely popular destinations like Chiang Mai, sometimes there's just too much information out there and it takes a lot of effort to sift through it all in order to find what's credible. Sometimes it's better to forget about research and planning, and just hit the ground running. If you keep your eyes, ears and nose open, eventually they will lead you to where the good eats are.

1. Right after we checked in at Funky Monkey Guesthouse, the owner Nuy gave us a map and pointed out The Moat Restaurant & Bar (82/2 Chaiyapoom Road), one of her favorite restaurants and just a stone's throw away. She said that it's usually full during peak hours and the service can get spotty when there are too many customers, so when we passed by on our first night in Chiang Mai and saw that it was empty, we figured that we might as well go in and sit down.

Chiang Mai sausage, 60 baht.

Spring rolls, 40 baht.

Tom yam with shrimp and seafood, 70 baht.

Verdict: Did not live up to the hype, sadly. The Moat's spring rolls and tom yam soup were perfectly edible, but nothing special. As for the sausage, I'd been dreaming about Chiang Mai sausage ever since I first ate it over a year ago, here. This was a far cry. Still, The Moat is a sufficiently nice place and the prices are reasonable. Plus they have AC.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

to market, to market

I love markets. I especially love local markets which are untouched by tourism-- where nobody speaks English and I can barely tell what's going on. I think that they're the best way to get to know a people. What do they cook and eat everyday? What do the farmers grow around the area, what do the fishermen catch? How much does it cost to feed a family? A market can reveal all these things and more.

On 13 June 2013, we were trying to catch a songthaew (a sort of taxi) from Holiday Inn Chiang Mai to Anusan Night Market when we saw a nameless temporary market being set up in a vacant lot. Of course we had to investigate.

As with all of the Thai markets that I've visited, there were the usual suspects. Such as the skewer lady,

the braised pork leg lady,

the curry lady,

and the fried pork rind lady.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

funky dog near somphet market

One of my favorite places to have breakfast in Chiang Mai is Funky Dog Café. The human owns it, but obviously, it's the dog who's the boss.

The local coffee was nice. Not as strong as Vietnamese coffee, but definitely better than Nescafé.

The Funky Dog Iced Coffee is a fresh coconut shake with honey and a shot of coffee. Great for cooling down on a sweltering day.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

toys for little boys

The most important thing that I brought back from last week's trip to Thailand was this. Bought it at Anusan Night Market in Chiang Mai.

First, you soak it in hot water. Then a short dip in cold water.

accidental shopping

I can honestly say that I didn't go to Thailand to shop. I didn't really need anything, but there were a few things that I couldn't resist buying... such as assorted edibles.

Honey from Sompet Market in Chiang Mai.

Ready-to-cook spice packs from Aroon Rai in Chiang Mai. 

Munchies from Gourmet Market at Emporium in Bangkok.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

so many books, so little time

I have been reading. Including Cloud Atlas, eight books already this year. That's about 1.33 a month. Not a lot, but some of us have a social life, y'know...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

my first superhero

Henry Cavill looks delicious in spandex.

But to me, he'll always be the 1st Duke of Suffolk.

Just look at him wearing a suit of armor.