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Somtam Search Continued ...


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Boy we've really moved on from somtam, haven't we? If I knew how to separate the threads of Isan and southern Thai I would (being a moderator here) but I haven't gotten that advanced yet I'm afraid ...

BTW Chanchao, apropos of your comment about PL being somewhat Chinese, 'Southern thai' cuisine is made up of both Chinese and Thai Muslim components, since of course southern provinces tend to have a Chinese majority in the capitals, where the cuisine developed for the most part. As for the Malay influence, there are virtually no dishes in classic southern Thai cooking that also appear in Malay cooking, although several dishes are similar (particularly mok vs otak-otak) and of course there are many, many shared ingredients. In general Malay curries are thicker and contain a longer list of spices than most southern Thai curries. Matsaman, for example, doesn't exist in Malaysia, neither does kaeng tai plaa or kaeng leuang (well there's one curry that comes pretty close) or khanom jeen naam yaa. Yet these are all classic southern thai dishes.

Roti kaeng, one of the most commonly seen Malay dishes in Malaysia and S'pore can be found only at a very few spots in southern Thailand, as far as I've been able to tell. Some folks refer to roti kaeng as a southern Thai dish, but it's not, that's why I mention it. I do know of several Malay restos in the south. Krabi town has several. I love both cuisines. Wish Thailand could match Malaysia for good Indian food ... Hey there's another thread, why is Indian food in Ch Mai so bad??

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Indian food in CM wow you hit a sore spot

ok here it goes Royal india hit or miss sometimes great sometimes not so good and what a dump for the advertising they do as a great Indian Rest.

best so Far on a small soi on Sri Phum and Moon Muaing rd?

Indian lady very good cook :o

rest on left excellent check it out!!!

Lots of Vegetarian Rest on that Soi

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Wow, good replies..! Famous Khao Man Kai in Chiang Mai would be Khao Man Kai Nantharam; there are a few branches. Main one near Wat Nantharam in the Pratu Hai Ya area.

See: http://chanchao.fotopages.com/?entry=69223

As for roti & curry.. yes you really have to be in Malaysia (or South India I suppose) for that. A put a picture up for comparison with the Thai sweet roti up here (no comparison really, but hey) :

http://chanchao.fotopages.com/?entry=78372 (Last picture)

Cheers,

Chanchao

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Martabak ("Roti Mataba" in Thai) is out there. Mostly at Muslim Roti sellers, just ask.

(It's mostly not as good as in Malaysia of course, and doesn't come with any curry sauces or anything.. But it IS a savory type of roti.)

Gado Gado..... I already have trouble finding good peanut sateh sauce for the Moo Sateh... ;-) Any thoughts anyone? With good peanut sauce, Gado Gado is only a fried-veggies order away! ;-)

Cheers,

Chanchao

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Martabak - there's a vendor on the S side of Soi Ban Haw (the soi with the Ban Haw mosque, between Charoen Prathet Rd and Chang Khlan Rd), near Khao Soi Islam, that makes good chicken martabak. He's open roughly from 7am to 5pm as I recall. Khao Soi Islam and nearby Khao Soi Feuang Fah are my favourite spots for khao soi (I also like Samoe Jai on Faham Rd).

Best satay peanut sauce I've had is at Sa-Nga Choeng Doi in Santitham, but everyone seems to have their favorite for this. Come to think of it, Khao Man Kai Kiat Ocha has pretty good satay sauce. Sa-Nga CD also has far and away the best khao mok kai in town, as far as my research has gone thus far anyway. All the other places I've tried pale by comparision (thought Feuang Fah on Soi Ban Haw is not bad).

I've tried Nantharam, good chicken and good rice, but I don't think the sauce is as interesting as Kiat Ocha's, which has a pleasantly smoky flavour (from what I don't know). Have you been there, Chanchao?

Just picked up a Thai muslim cookbook, with some great recipes and interesting history on various southern thai dishes.

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Back onto the topic of Somtam...

I have to admit I really just don't like the dish, but my better half loves the stuff, and I have it on her advice that the best Somtam in CM comes from a restaurant I can only call the "Big Chicken", given that it has a 4 foot high carved wooden rooster out the front. You'll find it about 80 meters south of the CM Ram hospital (the one next to Kad Suan Kaew).

They've got all the varieties, and make no bones about that they think of their food - the bottom line fo their sign reads:

"Plad mai dai" (not to be missed)

Hope this helps..

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The place with the big rooster outside is called "Ruam Jai Kai Yaang" pronounced with the rising tone on "jai" according to Kham Meuang rules.

I love som tam, and I think theirs is great, but I should think a real Isarn food buff would scowl at theirs. Remains to be seen though.

I should add that I like my som tam on the priao side, Tam Thai, mai tong waan, phet phaw dii (sourish, Central Thai style without Pla Ra, not too sweet, and medium spicy).

The peanuts they use for the som tam always taste good and fresh, the papaya has the perfect texture (I like it krawp krawp), and they know how to utilize the lime juice properly.

Also, their "khaw muu yaang" (pig's neck) is to die for, with extra points for the nam jim jaeo that goes with it (perfect for dipping the balls of sticky rice).

Tom saep is decent, khao niao very good. It is a bit on the pricy side compared to the place opposite Siam TV, but I reckon it's well worth it.

The grilled beef is sometimes very good, but you should ask in advance if it is stringy today - on occasions, it's been too chewy, but the staff have been honest enough with me and GF when we´ve eaten there to tell us when we've asked them.

On the minus side, the string beans they serve on the side are almost always a bit too old.

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Meady, your review of Ruam Jai Kai Yaang makes it sound like the one to try. As soon as I get back to Chiang Clang from Luang Prabang will give the somtam a go, with my usual request for haa met in the chilli department ...

Also aim to get back to the place next to kai thawt rot fai, as the last time I sampled somtam there, maybe seven months ago, it was very good. When bird flu hit, the chicken place closed, and the somtam place with it. I've heard the chicken's on again, so hopefully the somtam is as well.

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Meady, your review of Ruam Jai Kai Yaang makes it sound like the one to try. As soon as I get back to Chiang Clang from Luang Prabang will give the somtam a go, with my usual request for haa met in the chilli department ...

Also aim to get back to the place next to kai thawt rot fai, as the last time I sampled somtam there, maybe seven months ago, it was very good. When bird flu hit, the chicken place closed, and the somtam place with it. I've heard the chicken's on again, so hopefully the somtam is as well.

Yeah, chicken is back in town, finally :o

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Can vouch for the SomTam at the entrance to the road that leads to Kwan Viang. Just 20 metres of the main Hang Dong Road. Also some mean CM sausage. Clears the digestive system!

Not sure how Isaan it is, the somtam, but tastes great.

Can someone clue me on the Southern Curry Place in Suthep Rd. Why can i never find it....Perhaps better not to be too honest on that answer:-)

Always end up in the excellent veggie place there. Great veggie Kao Soy.

Thanks

CT

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> > with my usual request for haa met in the chilli department ...

Actually I order by the handful, depending on my mood and the type of chilly :D So there! :o

My girlfriend on the other hand doesn't deal with spicy food all that well, and would often opt for just the spicyness that's still lingering in the khrok/mortar from the last batch of somtam! Also she once managed to order "som tam Lao", but "without pla ra and not soo spicy". :-) Lao lady looked for a second like she was considering hitting her on the head with her pestle. (Which would have been fully deserved. :D )

> Can someone clue me on the Southern Curry Place in

> Suthep Rd. Why can i never find it....Perhaps better not

> to be too honest on that answer:-)

Not too sure if it's just 'curry' but the best Southern food on Suthep Road (or in Chiang Mai for that matter) is at Phuket Laikhram, which is on Suthep Road PAST the Canal Road intersection on the left side. Regular shophouse, look for the blue sign.

See here: http://chanchao.fotopages.com/?entry=70782

More a 'Southern Curry' place off Suthep Road is around the corner on the Canal Road, past Payom Market into I think the first or second soi after Payom market on the left.

Or when you're on Suthep road anyways, the Chinese grilled duck stuff at Ped Yang Yaowarat is really good too, this one on Suthep road before you get to the Wing 41 road when coming from the city driving towards Doi Suthep.

> Always end up in the excellent veggie place there.

> Great veggie Kao Soy.

Where about's that? Oh wait, the place run by the Vegetarian Society or some such? Forgot exactly where that is, too..

Cheers,

Chanchao

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