City Buzz

 |  February 29, 2012

Fabulous, a new café recently opened by the owner of the Ramida Guesthouse, offers the perfect place for coffee lovers who are looking for something special in their morning cup of Joe. Fabulous distinguishes itself from other coffee shops by using only the best ingredients and machines – raising the bar in Chiang Mai’s coffee scene. At Fabulous, coffee is not just a drink but an art. They know that coffee shouldn’t be used solely for a much needed morning jolt, but it should be a delight for your taste buds as well. They offer only the highest quality imported beans from around the world including Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Thailand. This small but sleek cafe offers the perfect place to chill out and savour every sip.

Open Daily 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Soi 13 Nimmanhaemin Road
080 500 0969

In the mood for some fluffy Boston cream pie? How about some melt-in-your-mouth chocolate lava cake? Look no further. This traditional, British homemade bakery, set in a beautiful garden, serves up some delicious treats that will satisfy even the strongest sweet tooth. Lovin’ Sweets also offers a wide range of tasty food and snacks, just make sure to leave room for dessert. Have a cup of tea in the clean and airy restaurant and you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported directly to a quaint, yet sophisticated cafe in the English countryside. If you want to relax, choose to dine outdoors in a peaceful garden setting…either way, Lovin’ Sweets gives you good reason to eat dessert first.

Open Daily 9.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
closed on Wednesdays
16 Hussadhisawee Road Opposite
Santidham temple,
near The Pacific Cool Six building
053 404 515 ext.888, 08 8406 6469

Don’t be deceived by this humble roadside restaurant, it’s definitely worth going out of the way for. Located on the Chiang Mai-Phrao Road this eatery is ideal if you’re on the way somewhere or just want to get out of the city. They serve a range of Thai and international dishes, we would recommend trying the pork knuckle, which has a crispy skin and succulent tasty meat inside. Also for sausage lovers you can order a plate of sausages in different shapes, sizes and flavours to dip into mustard and ketchup. Also try the gung chae nam plaa, (raw prawns in spicy lime sauce) which are stylishly displayed in a rack of shot glasses. Ice cold ‘frozen’ beer is served in hefty mugs, along with a selection of decent red and white wine and whiskeys. Prices are all reasonable and if you don’t have time for a meal grab a fresh coffee and one of the sweet cakes, pies or cookies. The layout is laid back with tables spread across the grassy lawn. The chef here really cares about the food quality and taste, oh and last but not least, there is also a selection of BBQ meats grilled to perfection.

Open Daily 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
In front of Ornsirin 2 Village, Chiang Mai-Phrao Road, Sansai
053 014 903, 088 804 3002

137 Pillars House has a charm of olden days gone by. Guests will be spoilt rotten, surrounded by opulence and classically designed architecture and interiors. The hotel is a heritage listed building, and its main building – with 137 pillars, no less! – has had minimum modification, though maximum restoration, and is in keeping with the original design and features. The hotel building has rich historical background it was previously the East Borneo Company (a teak merchant) headquarters as well as the home of Louis T. Leonowens, the son of Anna Leonowens, of The King and I. There are a range of guest suites, a lounge bar, a restaurant and a spa. Elephants, associated with the North of Thailand especially in the past when they were used for timbering, make up the main theme for decorative items in the hotel. 137 Pillars House is an elegant place to stay overnight, or equally can be enjoyed for a day visit to the spa, restaurant or bar.

137 Pillars House, 2 Soi 1, Nawatgate Road
053 247 788

Part restaurant, part home decorating store, Cuisine de Garden is located slightly outside of the city, but it’s well worth the trek. The Asian-fusion, nature-inspired cuisine is both gourmet and affordable – two attributes not often successfully paired. They have a talent for taking fresh ingredients, mixing them with a little bit of science, and turning them into an artfully crafted meal. Prices are shockingly low and the food delicious. With its open kitchen and simplistic, yet intimate, atmosphere, it provides a nice sanctuary for a romantic date or a fun night out with friends. Al fresco dining on the serene garden patio is also available. Try the ‘Terrarium’ smoked salad, which is playfully served inside a smoke-filled glass jar. Once the smoke clears, get ready to dig in.

Open Daily 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Closed on Mondays
99 Moo 11, Nongkway, Hang Dong
081 774 1479, 089 997 4103

This is an open air rather large scale ‘Balinese resort style’ restaurant, serving Thai and Western fusion food, with a pretty view of Doi Suthep. Citylife was impressed with the salmon and mango salsa dish, a new combo which tickled our fancy. Another good dish is the somtam Bali, which the chef concocted himself and constitutes a mix of fruits, chicken breast and spicy sauce, the chicken wings and chili mayo are also a naughty but nice treat. There are a range of cocktails, and other alcoholic drinks, also a walk in wine room. This restaurant is perfect for big group meals, or for a rendezvous supper away from the city.

99/6 Moo 5 Canal Road, Suthep
10 a.m – 12 a.m
053 271 122, 053 281 474

Chai’s passion for flower arranging began at the age of 7 years old, on the annual teacher’s day at school Chai wished to give flowers to his teacher, he asked his teacher for help arranging a bouquet, this was the inspiration for Chai’s future career. Excusing the pun, Chai has a cutting edge approach to flower arrangement and design, which is instantly obvious in the unique and original designs he creates. Chai designs and makes bespoke floral decorations for any occasion, festivity or celebration, including parties, weddings, birthdays, funerals and opening events, he also arranges flowers to be given as gifts, perhaps as a romantic gesture or as a thank you present. He has his own flair, with a truly remarkable and unconventional use of colours, textures, shapes and sizes, which produce quite spectacular displays. Many of C.S Floral Design’s flower arrangements look like sculptures or works of art rather than just an outdated bunch of flowers.

Chai Somyana
089 636 5109

Back in the office, Citylife’s imaginary mouth is suitably watering again re-thinking over the delicious meal had at Susie Cucina. Susie, the owner and chef, really knows what she is doing when it comes to food, after living in LA for ten years and studying cooking in Italy we confirm that she can whip up some masterful dishes. We believe her slogan ‘A taste of the Riviera and beyond, using slow cook techniques for best flavours’ really hits the spot as did the many Mediterranean style dishes that she gave us to try. Highly recommended choices include; a delectable seafood tagine, served in fabulous Moroccan bowls with a pita bread side, grilled beef tenderloin with truffle mash and condensed mushroom jus and duck confit with potatoes dressed in orange sauce with a touch of vanilla. The dessert was equally good; warm chocolate lava pudding, with homemade vanilla ice cream. Dishes arrived decorated with slices of orange and sprigs of rosemary, we really think this eatery pays attention to detail. The layout is an informal bistro style, however is not lacking in sophistication and class.

Close to U Chiang Mai Hotel, Rachadamneon Road
(Sunday Walking Street)
Open Wednesdays – Mondays, closed on Tuesdays
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
085 172 1490
facebook: Susie cucina Chiangmai

When the words ‘wine bar’ enter one’s mind, the words ‘posh’ and ‘hi-so’ often immediately follow. House of Wine is trying to change that. This small, cosy hang out is the perfect place to start off your evening with a casual glass of wine (or two…). The H.O.W. staff is eager to take the intimidation factor out of drinking wine and are looking forward to imparting their wisdom on those who may be new to the wonderful world of wine. Wines on offer include those from Australia, Italy, France, and America, which will please both veteran wine drinkers and wine virgins alike. H.O.W. also offers a few western bar snacks to help cool your buzz – didn’t your mum tell you not to drink on an empty stomach? They also hope to offer educational wine tastings in the near future, so if you want to be able to use the phrase ‘this wine has nice legs’ and actually know what you’re talking about, House of Wine is the perfect place to start.

Open Daily 2pm – 12 am
1/1 Nimmanhaemin Rd. Soi 15
082 3898633

The Scene Condo is another new housing development recently added to the Chiang Mai landscape. It is located on the canal road, so good for those who need to travel on the nearby main roads. There are enough shops and restaurants to keep you busy in surroundings areas near the university or Nimmanhaemin. From the living units there is a nice view of the mountains, especially from the top floor which houses a 25 metre swimming pool. There are a range of units from a studio apartment to a two bed room suite. Units are fitted with all mod cons, there is also a gym available. This is an upmarket and stylish condo for chic living.

Available for reservation
Sales office is located on Irrigation Canal Road,
approximately 3 kilometres away from Payom Market
088 252 5021

Many people envision opening up their own coffee shop, the owner of 9 Street Cafe, was lucky enough to fulfil his dream by creating this trendy new spot. Having worked in coffee shops he has now gained a lot of experience with coffee and values good machinery and products to produce the perfect brew. This coffee shop specialises in four types of coffee including Doi Chang, Arabica, Central African and Indonesian. The shops style is a cool and contemporary gaff with buffed cement walls and wooden Chiang Mai furniture. Inside, like a mini gallery, there are artworks hanging up. And if you fancy something a bit stronger than coffee there is wine, cocktails, beer and spirits on offer. This cafe is good for a daytime caffeine break or an evening slurp.

Open Daily 9 a.m – 9 p.m.
Soi 9 Nimmanhaemin Road
086 188 7779