I don’t even go to new places close to their opening but a friend and I were looking for somewhere we hadn’t been before and this was on my radar. My friend loves northern Thai, while my experience with Thai has been stellar. I’m glad I took the risk. Northern Thai is quite different.
I got there to a quiet restaurant and asked to be sat near the back, where it seemed quieter. Back here there are low stools rather than chairs. There’s a good view of the bar area, where barbecuing takes place. By the time we left it was heaving with people.
We were recommended four sharing dishes so we deliberated. Here’s what we had:
Barbecue Tamworth Skewer - 1 each. This is marinated belly pork alternated with some of its fat and barbecued on skewers
Gai Yang Chicken with Sriracha - This had an extraordinary sour and spicy flavour that surprised me. I would have this again, while from the menu it hadn’t sounded interesting at all (friend’s choice)
Smoked Aubergine with Egg & Chill - an intensely smoky whole small aubergine with a lovely runny poached egg and some lovely herbs
Northern Thai Style Mutton Laab - this was a bit salty but delicious. It was strewn with herbs and chili. Spicy!
Stir Fried Cornish Greens & Soy - our nod to vegetables. Nicely done!
Lardo Fried Rice - I chose it since it’s described in reviews as ‘A must-have.’ So we had to have it! The rice was greasy in a good way and studded with green chillies, crispy lardo and some egg. I did really like it but now I’ve had it, I’ve had it and would move on to a plain jasmine rice, which I hear is bottomless.
I’d go again! (And the price was a nice surprise!)
OK, you’d caught my attention at “Tamworth”. That is just such a tasty piggy.
the skewers were very small but lovely, smothered in some sauce and tasty
That’s a nice take on modern-Northern-Thai, especially the mutton laab. I’ve seen pork, duck, fish, and chicken laab with varieties based on organs, but never a mutton laab.
I wish they would open a branch near me in Chiang Mai.
how does it look to someone in thailand. i really don’t like words like ‘authentic.’ in my experience, it rarely is. however, i think fusion cooking is interesting and gives people a bit more leeway for improvising and coming up with something really wonderful.
I have a particular “thing” against “authentic”. In food terms I regard it as pretty much meaningless. It pretty much assumes there is only one way to make a particular dish and that is just nonsense - unless you are trying to recreate, say, one of Careme’s inventions. Our version of Lancashire Hotpot is different from Mum’s and different from Michelin starred chef, Nigel Haworth’s version (a Great British Menu dish). All three versions are recognisably hotpot, as in they are lamb stews, but very different.
There’s good authentic and bad authentic.
I would call this “upscale modern Thai”. There are lots of new restaurants opening in CM all trying to serve creative Thai food. I think that’s partially because if you want a traditional version of a Thai dish, it’s not hard to get it for 40-80 baht (1GBP=43THB). If a restaurant wants to charge more, they have to justify it. My new favorite restaurants in CM are now doing exactly that, with updated versions of standard Thai dishes. I’ll be on the lookout for a lamb laab to go with the “pork rib in a red wine sauce with Thai spices”, the Massaman lamb, and the lobster khao soi.
I’ve started wondering if that was duck laab and not mutton. I will research and report back. Anyway, it was good but perhaps too salty for me! Love salty but my blood pressure doesn’t.
am so envious of that food and those prices, jeff!
The photo of your receipt said Mutton Laab.
No need to be envious of Thai prices. If you save $20 per meal over the cost of what you’re paying in the UK, after 25 meals you paid for half your airfare.
LOL Jeff. Well spotted. Had noticed that the menu online stated Duck and not Mutton. It’s good to know I’m not losing my mind or my taste discernment. As for your arithmetic, hmmm…