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Chiang Mai trip report and request for help (2012)

chloehk | Jan 1, 201207:55 PM

Hi out there,

Wondering if el jefe or anyone else with recent Chiang Mai experience can help us out.

My sweetheart is a very demanding diner. He will eat almost any cuisine, but is intolerant of anything less than very fresh, well-prepared food; polite, attentive servers who do what you ask them to; soft, comfortable seating; and pleasant eating environments with no live music or smoke.

We've been in Chiang Mai 10 days and have nearly exhausted my list of suitable restaurants. We'll be here another 2.5 weeks. Here's what we've found:

Piccola Roma -- Hands-down one of the best dining experiences we've had so far. Wonderful pasta and mushrooms, great service, nice environment.

Giorgio -- Good pasta, so-so pizza, acceptable environment.

Chez Marco -- Really nice owner, decent food, too much smoke. Unremarkable, but acceptable.

The House -- Good roasted tomato appetizer, ok nicoise salad, some other misfires, uneven service.

Uddomit -- Great little restaurant in the Nim shopping center near Rimping. Very fresh, carefully prepared food, bright flavors, sweet, attentive staff.

Hong Taew Inn -- Pleasant decor, carefully plated food, somehow lacking in flavor. My sweetheart wouldn't go back. I would.

La Fourchette -- Strange menu (very old-fashioned?), reasonable taste, nice people, convenient location in center of city.

Lemon Tree -- Reasonably fresh food, but too informal for us.

W by Wanlamun -- Mixed bag: artificial environment, carefully-presented not-so-fresh or flavorful food, but...fantastic macarons for dessert. Pastries are gorgeous!

Beccofino -- Ernest staff, comfortable dining room, nice presentation, ok food. Slightly depressing atmosphere.

Su Casa -- Palatable little tapas (spinach w/chickpeas, lamb skewers, etc.), confused staff. We had an ok time, but have no desire to go back.

Charcoa -- Big hotel quality food in a little guest house. Impressive accomplishment, but not what we like. Too processed. Funny menu.

La Terraza -- Lost our reservation, out of two wines and many food options, confused staff, smoke blowing in from terrace, lots of French people, bizarre menu, ok food. Sloooow.

The Whole Earth -- Never again. Didn't bring anything we asked for, unremarkable food, slightly hostile vibe. Pleasant setting.

Moxie at Dusit D2 hotel -- Staff didn't tell us restaurant was closed, took reservation and set a table in the hotel reception area.

Pun Pun -- Appeared to be closed.

The Blue Diamond -- Dismal food, filled with tourists, but...they have kombucha (which I like).

The Riverside -- Food looked so bad we walked out.

Here are the places we've might try:

Huen Phen
The Chedi hotel restaurant
Saenkham Terrace
Pongyang Ang Doi resort restaurant
The Rachamanka hotel restaurant
The Duke's
Cafe de ThaanAoan
The Salad Concept

If anyone can guide us to other great restaurants, we'd be much obliged.

Also, I love street food and saw the most promising looking stands near the Chiang Mai gate on the south side of the Old City. Is that the best place to graze?

And more question...can anyone recommend a cooking class with a great market tour? Basil Cookery School has good reviews on TripAdvisor, but you can never tell.


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