City Buzz

 |  April 3, 2009

Chef Gustavo Maurelli presents a gastronomic banquet at Favola every Sunday. Kick starting this Sunday treat is a dizzying array of antipasti so delicious one sneaks back for more. You can then order pasta and carne dishes from the open kitchen such as the mouth watering ravioli with duck confit and the tumbling-off-the-bone lamb shank with squishy polenta. However, the desserts are the créme de la créme of the show and so exquisitely presented one dithers in indecision before piling up platter after platter full. Chef Gustavo claims that his wife fell in love with him after tasting his tiramisu. While cupid did not pierce our hearts as Citylife licked the last crumbs off the plate, we can understand how it happened.

770++ per head and 1,330++ with unlimited Italian wines and local beers.
11 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.
2nd floor, Le Méridien Chiang Mai,
Chang Klan Road Tel: 053 253299

Chiang Mai’s coolest hotel has a special promotion to keep you cool during the scorching month of April. The stylish Thai contemporary-designed Devarana Spa (Sanskrit for Garden in Heaven) is now offering an extra, and free, 30 minute Maritime Compress of deep-sea elixir for any two hour package booked. Lie back and think of the ocean as a coconut bundle is dipped into heated elixir with deep sea water. This treatment oil contains extracts of Polynesian noni and algomonoi which intensely hydrates and remineralises the skin. The deep-sea water is drawn from depths of over 900 metres from the seas of Bora Bora. When applied to the entire body, the compress helps to relieve sore muscles while it nourishes and moisturises the skin leaving you relaxed and refreshed. Bliss.

Throughout April
Open daily 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
dusit D2 hotel, 100 Chang Klan Road
Tel: 053 999999

The latest American diner has just landed in Chiang Mai, seemingly thrust through time from 50s USA, replete with TVs on tables, girls in (tailor-made) hostess uniforms, tall thick milkshakes and bountiful burgers. And all this in front of CMU, would you believe it. Joe Jets 150 gram pork and beef burgers come in many shapes and sizes, with grated cheddar, as well as being made to order; the thick cut Chiang Mai potato fries are as good as you’ll find anywhere in the west never mind the east. They also serve chili, by itself or with cheese. Hot dogs are available in various forms including the chili dog, and there is also a range of desserts and drinks. So get down for a bit of Americana, hook onto the free Wi-Fi and watch the world go by outside. Every last Thursday of the month is Fino night, with the best looking Yamaha Fino winning a prize. Discounts will also be given to anyone with a Fino key.

Open everyday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Next to the Boat restaurant on Huay Kaew near CMU entrance.
Tel: 080 0577588

This budget boutique guesthouse is designed in a charming Sino-Lanna style with each 4×8 metre room adorned with an original Lanna wall mural and all furniture made of golden teak. Thirty-three warm and cosy rooms come complete with Jaspal bed sheets, fruit baskets, wet and dry bathroom areas and free Wi-Fi. The guesthouse is near Wat Chiang Man in the heart of the old city and is a perfect base to return to after a day’s exploration. From now until the 31st of October, Sawasdee Chiang Mai House is offering a 400 baht discount on rooms from 1,400 baht per night to a very affordable 1,000 baht per night. And rooms with private balconies are discounted from 1,600 baht to 1,200 baht.

Prapokklao Road, Soi 13
Tel: 053 418907 Mobile: 089 7645433

Red Kafé is not just another café; it is a philosophy of indulging cravings amidst great conversation and the fine appreciation of freshly made espresso. The owner has an evident passion for coffee and the attention to detail is tasted in every cup. The baristas are meticulously trained, making creamy cardamom lattés, decaf coffee, strong espresso as well as home-blended Indian chai, a variety of ice teas, and smoothies. There are yummy sweets and antipasti too, from middle-eastern soft cheese to biscotti cookies. For relief from the heat, try Red Kafé’s delicious Mango Lassi, with a perfect balance of sweet and sour, or their delicate Iced Rose Tea. Set at the entrance to Rimping Supermarket in comfortable air-conditioning, pop in for a treat.

Open Daily: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Nawarat Branch Rimping Supermarket,
129 Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road
Tel: 089 0333110

If you have a hankering for western food, Ridgley’s can more than satisfy your craving. Succulent ribs, customisable pizzas, pasta, sandwiches and big steaming bowls of BBQ chili are all prepared right in front of you at their beautiful outdoor kitchen. Ridgley’s started as a funky roadside pizza stand, selling their pies to passers-by and has quickly grown into a popular and friendly restaurant. Ridgley’s is hard to resist, especially with a dessert like the Cookie Monster; a warm, gooey, chocolate delight topped with vanilla ice cream. Whether it is a dinner for two or a social event, Ridgley’s offers great tasting food at some of the cheapest prices sighted in Chiang Mai; believe us, it is well worth the short drive.

Open Mondays – Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Located on Old San Sai Rd.
Tel: 053 490846.

If you like your pasta freshly made, your pizzas straight out of a wood-fired oven, your meats tender and salads crisp, then you needn’t look much further. The same owners of recently closed La Casa restaurant have opened this fine Italian trattoria serving delicious Italian antipastos, pastas, pizzas and carne. The prices are on par with most of the city’s Italian restaurants, reasonable. An open-planned restaurant with very suave looking staff, as well as a terrace for smokers, this new Italian is set to be a neighbourhood favourite among Nimmanhaemin’s spoilt residents. As with any new restaurant, there will be some growing pains, but overall the quality of food as well as the taste was spot on.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6 – 10.30 p.m.
20/2 Soi 5 Nimmanhaemin Road
Tel: 053 226590

Craving the real thing? Miguel’s authentic Mexican food hits the spot! Their extensive menu, huge portions and unbeatable prices will keep you running back for more. After the success of Miguel’s in the heart of the city, they have opened their first franchise. Miguel’s Café & Bar has the same menu and taste but with an addition of a fully stocked bar, pool table and big screen TV. Miguel’s Café & Bar is unlike anything in the area, and with their Thai prices, it is quickly becoming the local hang out. Get away from rice and pasta for a day; with two locations and delivery available, it is easy to fulfil your craving for real Mexican.

Miguel’s Café
Open daily 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
On the moat, near Sriphum Corner, Chaiyaphum, Road
053 874148

Miguel’s Café & Bar
Open 11 a.m. to midnight
Chiang Mai 89 Plaza, Chiang Mai-Lamphun Rd.
053 334442

Not far down the Mae Jo Road in a charming wooden house with an outdoor moon-gazing terrace, and a cool glass-walled interior, this little gem of a restaurant serves up some surprisingly innovative cuisine. Petite bite-sized portions of Thai favourites are served with a fusion twist and all very artfully presented. Burmese, Indonesian, Laos, Indian, Malay and all sorts of other regional influences appear in the wide selection. of dishes which range from innovative spicy salads to curry roti Their wine selection is limited but solid and the best thing is the price, which is downright inexpensive considering the quality. A great place to go with a group of friends for a night out or for a romancing couple.

Open daily 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
338 Moo 2 Chiang Mai-Phrao Road
(on the right hand side heading towards Mae Jo)
Tel: 053 345362

Doi Kham resort sits camouflaged amongst tall trees at the base of Doi Kham Mountain (behind Night Safari). The resort has seven wood cottages each with a distinctive personality and a main building with another ten rooms. Their signature lodge, the Jamjuri House, is perched in an old jamjuri tree whose limbs grow around and through the quaint tree house. The atmosphere at Doi Kham emulates the natural environment, with a raised wooden walkway that snakes through the green landscape leading you to rooms sculpted from polished wood. Sitting in the middle of the cottages is a campfire pit, where you can roast hot dogs, satays or even marshmallows. Doi Kham, while in tune with nature, also offers all mod-cons including a swimming pool.
During Songkran, Doi Kham will be offering a special promotion for room rates, more details can be found on their website.

58 Moo 3 T. Mae Hia
Tel: 053 114 099-102,

Soho is a salon styled friendly neighbourhood bar by the side of busy Huay Kaew Road where patrons huddle by the bar catching up on news and gossip or lounge on comfortable sofas and discuss issues from politics to religion, current affairs to philosophy. Though the clientele is predominantly gay, Soho’s fans are from all walks of life and sexual orientations. Decent prices for drinks which run the gamut from well selected house wines to spirits and beers, a cosy vibe with private corners for intimate conversations, a charmingly urbane host – Scott – and three bed rooms upstairs to rent if the drive home is too daunting, has made this newly revamped (and under new ownership) bar an instant success. Food can be ordered from Lemontree next door, so stop by, meet some interesting new people and while the evening away with fine conversation, fine wines and at an even finer price.

20/3 Huay Kaew Rd.
Tel: 053 404175,