City Buzz

 |  April 27, 2011

• Cosmos Café & The Bottle Shoppe

Open less than a month, is Cosmos Café, a sophisticated yet intimate bar with dark mood lighting, subtle wall water features and a modern open-style kitchen. The menu features 29 different cocktails ranging between 95 _ 220 baht as well as an extensive, but affordable, wine, beer and finger food list. Bang for bucks value is excellent as a large and full-to-the-brim glass of martini costs only 120 baht.

The Bottle Shoppe next door stocks a large variety of wines imported from Italy, France, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile. Wine can be purchased here and taken into the café for a 200 baht corkage. They also offer a good selection of imported cheeses. At the moment you can pick up 3 bottles of red or white house wine (The Pump, South Australia) for 1,000 baht – bargain!

Cosmos Café
Open daily 7 p.m. – late
Nimmanhaemin Soi 17
(opposite the Glass Onion)
Tel: 053 215 105

The Bottle Shoppe
Open daily 5 p.m. – midnight
Next door to café
Tel: 053 215 205

• Book Bees

Book Bees has recently opened offering a broad selection of new books in both Thai and English. Although the book store is not located in the centre of the city, it is certainly worth the drive. Book Bees displays a large bee out front, stemming from the idea of working bees who love reading books. As well as selling various categories of books, in particular on design and decoration, Book Bees offers a coffee shop and free wi-fi. On the 2nd floor, you can enjoy a gallery with displays of furniture, lamps, paintings and a gift shop.

Open Daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Mahidol Road opposite Esso Petrol Station (next to the
large yellow bee)
Tel. 053 272 084

• Le Meridian Chiang Rai

Many foodies have been rather frustrated when visiting Chiang Rai over the years due to the dearth of fine restaurants…and even worse supply of fine wines. Well, the crisis is over! The stunning Kok-front Le Meridian, with its sweeping gardens and lusciously luxe rooms, offers up the most scrumptious dining in the Rai. If you are a fan of Chiang Mai’s Favola, then you know what to expect. Wander to the pool- and river-side bar for a cool sunset cocktail before walking over to the restaurant. Chiang Rai’s Favola offers outdoors chilled dining as well as a like-your-mamma’s-kitchen Tuscan style interior dining room. The menu serves up the freshest of Chiang Rai’s famed Royal Project products alongside imported culinary delights. The wine cellar is well stocked and reasonably priced, with bottles starting at around 1200 baht. A wonderful dining experience.

Kwaewai Road, Muang, Chiang Rai
053 603 333

• Why Not?

Sergio Canale’s – formerly of Buonissimo – new restaurant Why Not? offers his usual delectable fare at great prices, new to the menu is a range of Mediterranean cuisine. You can choose to sit inside with air-conditioning or outside in a funky garden surrounded by palm trees, a dazzling mural and Italian vespas. Why Not? has a lunch and dinner buffet daily at only 189 baht per person. Children under 12 receive a 50% discount. Eat all the barbecue, pizza, hot soup, pasta, tapas, and salad you like for 90 minutes (40 baht extra for every 30 minutes after). On the first Saturday of each month Why Not? will put on a grand Italian buffet extravaganza offering a diverse spread of fine dishes such as imported beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, veal osso buco, first class Scottish salmon, fois gras, and cheese just to name a few for 699 baht – again, eat all you can! For those with a sweet tooth, Why Not? has a home-made Italian ice cream shop that serves up top notch sherbet and gelato. Their red brick wine cellar is a sight to be seen with over 2000 bottles of imported wines at prices only Sergio can seem to offer in Chiang Mai. And house wines are some of the best in the city at a pretty impressive 69 baht per glass only. Why Not? will surely bring in the crowds, especially the big eaters looking to go back for seconds.

Open daily for lunch 11.30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and
dinner 6 p.m. – 11.30 p.m.
Nimmanhaemin Soi 11 (grounds of old Ice Chic)
Tel: 053 289 262

• Pont Café

Located on the Maemalai-Pai Road, 40 minutes away from Chiang Mai city, this coffee shop is an excellent destination for a one day (or, better yet, overnight) trip offering beautiful mountain views. Pont Café, is located in Rawee Waree Resort and Spa, is a stunning resort nestled in a cosy mini-valley with a serpentine swimming pool wending its way past villas and well crafted grounds. Take a seat on colourful soft sofas overlooking the scenery of the Mae Tang River bridge and breathe in the fresh aromas of freshly ground coffee. Pont Café also offers a library with free internet. While you’re there, why not take an adventure trip to the hill tribe villages, jump on an elephant’s back at Maetaman Elephant Camp, go bamboo water rafting or simply check into Rawee Waree Resort’s lovely spa?

Open daily 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Next to Maetaman Elephant Camp, Maetang
Tel. 053 317 539 – 40

• Drive-thru @ McDonald’s

Chiang Mai’s first drive-thru! With the pace of life getting more frenetic, Chiang Mai seems to be ready for its first seriously fast fast food, which has recently opened in Meechoke Plaza, left of the Raumchock intersection. At the first window, you will see a large menu board and be greeted by the friendly McDonald’s crew awaiting your order. You can double check your order on the screen to confirm. Once the order has been processed, you will be asked to drive to the next window to pay your bill. You will receive a receipt and drive to the following window to pick up your goodies. Your food should be ordered, paid for and ready to eat in about 3 minutes, not bad for hot fries and burgers! (Though that’s another bad altogether)

Open Daily 6 a.m. – midnight
Meechoke Plaza