Why Ever Leave Nimman?
We do cover other parts of the city, we swear! But the Nimmanhaemin Road area is evolving so fast, with so many fabulous new additions, that we can’t help but highlight them. Here is this month’s roundup.
Now in its 10th year of operation, Pasta Cafe is one of Nimmanhaemin’s longest-running standbys for international food, and occupies one of the only green spaces left in the area. Built around a lovely old house with ample outdoor seating space, air-conditioned interior and an upstairs room perfect for private functions (you can reserve the space for free and get discounts as long as you order food!), Pasta Cafe is perfect for a night out with family, friends or lovers. And now, with a new chef and a new manager, the restaurant is deep in the throes of a full-blown revamp of both the menu and service, with plans to add a variety of new dishes including an Italian-style tapas menu and an expanded selection of wine and cocktails. Don’t miss the perfectly seasoned shrimp kebabs, the delightfully decadent homemade tagliolini gratin (cream sauce and bacon and cheese, oh my!), the tender pan-friend baby sea bream, or the fabulous Phuket lobster baked with cheese. But don’t forget to save room for dessert; whether its blueberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse or tiramisu, bliss is guaranteed, and this month, diners receive a free dessert for every 500 baht spent on food. Also, select cocktails and spirits are currently reduced to just 85 baht a glass.
Open daily, 11 a.m. – 2.30 p.m., 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Closed Mondays)
21 Soi 5 Nimmanhaemin Road
053 357 310
Cafe de Nimman
Slight misnomer since this popular Nimman restaurant has recently moved to a soi off Sirimankalajarn, but it’s close enough. No more annoying waits for a table, with its huge new venue with both indoors and outdoors dining, or parking frustrations with a huge dedicated car park, or even the need to BYOB, since they now have a wine fridge. This is Caf? de Nimman 2.0, but with all the things we love about it remaining the same (other than, well, the Nimman part). The welcoming husband and wife duo have maintained their popular and inexpensive menu of mainly Thai food with a few fusiony dishes thrown in. Check out the creamy green curry with shrimp stuffed squid, the bursting in flavour fried seafood som tam, the aromatic grilled marinated mushrooms, the Thai flavoured pastas, the herb-cream grilled prawn salad…the list goes on. Prices are so right it is a steal and you are guaranteed a fantastic feast.
Open daily, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sirimankalajarn Road, Soi 13
Facebook: Caf? De Nimman
053 218 405
Increasingly popular, this restaurant is known for its southern and central Thai cuisine. Prices are not modest, but the dishes are very generously portioned (we had to take doggy bags home) and ingredients are top notch. Though they call themselves fine dining, we reckon it has more of a diner vibe with simple d?cor and few frills. Try the ah-mazingly subtle flavours of the crab meat with curry and coconut milk, Phuket style steamed pork with pepper and garlic, rice salad with mackerel a la deep south, crispy wonton pad tai and an assortment of other intriguing dishes which range between 120-350 baht. They also sell ice cream and some traditional desserts as well as beer, but don’t forget to bring your own wine.
Open daily, 11.30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 9
082 893 8688
If you are looking for some traditional Northern Thai food in the heart of Nimman, then you’ll definitely want to visit this brand new restaurant. Little Lanna is an authentic Northern Thai eatery with style, and fabulous food to boot! The best-selling Little Lanna platter consists of a mix of all the tasty appetisers, from Lanna gyoza to spring rolls to crispy bamboo worms! For the main course, don’t miss the fabulous khao soy or the scrumptious hang lay pork, served with rice, pasta or roti. The homemade mocktails and cocktails are excellent and all prices are surprisingly reasonable, starting at just 80-120 baht per dish. With its authentic food and lovely atmosphere – warm wooden interiors accented by colourful walls and lush seating – it’s the perfect place to take visiting out-of-towners or a new love interest. Oh, and save room for dessert! Their cheesecakes and ice creams provide the perfect cap-off to a blissful meal.
Open daily, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Nimmanahaemin Road, Soi 7
082 388 3993
This unique new tea room brings fresh life to the intricate art of herbal infusion and tea in a lovely space created by Harnn, a contemporary luxury Asian-inspired lifestyle brand. Tichaa’s delicate Northern Peak White Tea and Tranquil Mountain Oolong Tea are signatures, but there is no shortage of options here. Tichaa also offers herbal infusions, a caffeine-free blend of nutrient-rich white mulberry leaves and aromatic grains, herbs and spices for unique flavours, fragrances and therapeutic properties, such as the cool and refreshing pandanus and white mulberry tisane, made from traditional fruits and flowers and blended with the other ingredients Tichaa even offers an array of fabulous candles that smell good enough to eat, from jasmine to ylang ylang to kaffir lime. For a calm soul and a happy spirit, Tichaa is a lovely new gem, not to be missed.
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 17
092 269 2776
The Coffee Bar
Decorated in wooden vintage-retro style, The Coffee Bar is both a caf? and bar, divided into indoor and outdoor zones. The outdoor zone is in a green garden where customers can watch shows or big football matches live on the projector screen. The inside pampers with soft sofas, cool air and easy listening songs. Hot and iced drinks are around 45-65 baht per glass, and the shop also serves up a variety of tasty baked goods. Don’t miss the cute homemade roll cakes, which are very popular, especially for kids! Cake styles change daily to keep return customers on their toes – today they might feature Angry Birds and Ultraman, tomorrow might be Doraemon and Hello Kitty. Their fragrant brownie, topped with almonds and milk, is also delicious. Looking for a different kind of after-work pick-me-up? The bar also serves a variety of both Thai and international beer. So whether you’re looking for a daytime caffeine and sweetness fix or a night of beer and football with friends, The Coffee Bar has got you covered.
Open daily, 8 a.m. – midnight
Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 7
Facebook: The Coffee Bar Nimman
083 865 0745
Fabulous Far and Wide
Here’s proof that you don’t have to have a Nimman location to serve up delicious food and excellent atmosphere. These exceptional eateries old and new are spread throughout the city and all worth a try!
Maison de Cafe (Baan Kafae)
Looking to escape the city and spend a leisurely afternoon chilling out in the countryside, noshing on delicious Thai food, fragrant coffee and various yummy bakery items? The newly opened Maison de Caf? (also known as Baan Kafae) is ready to accommodate you. This cute Sansai shop feels more like a little country home, complete with garden and lotus pond. Along with excellent coffee straight from Chiang Rai’s hills, they also serve tea, frappes and smoothies. The food menu is constantly evolving, so you will simply have to try something new every time you go! We loved the “kua kling” (stir fried minced pork with Thai herbs) and “moo wan” (sweet marinated pork). Here, you are encouraged to feel at home, so don’t hesitate to snuggle into a cosy armchair and spend the day there with your laptop (at no additional charge) or a book.
Open daily, 7.30 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
140/1, Baan Tungpaked, T. Nong Han, Sansai District
091 079 1314, 088 475 8030
The fabulous Samyan Seafood, named for its original location in Bangkok’s Samyan Market, now has four locations throughout Southeast Asia. Its Chiang Mai branch features an enormous open-air dining area next to a lovely old banyan tree on the banks of the Ping River. Here, a string quartet performs oldies hits nightly on the large stage and dance classes are held regularly through the Vivo Danza studio upstairs. Samyan is perfect for large group gatherings, with beer, liquor and wine by the bottle and shockingly inexpensive set menus that can feed up to 10 people for as little as 2,000 baht. The Chinese and Thai style seafood dishes are cheap, huge, fresh (you’ll know by the live fish and crabs in tanks by the entrance) and delicious, from the spicy sea perch steamed in lime sauce to the deep fried prawns with gingko and kale. Our favourite was the crab curry, with generous hunks of fresh crab smothered in decadent sauce. There are also several pork and duck dishes, along with a few vegetarian options. For large parties up to 100 people, the air-conditioned indoor dining room can be rented free, and even has a karaoke setup; just BYO music.
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and
5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
425 Charoenrat Road
053 306 688
Doo Dee Pub
For tasty Thai and Western food, an excellent selection of beers and booze and a great neighbourhood atmosphere to boot, Doo Dee Pub cannot be beat. Located just south of the old city, this place is a homey hangout for expats, locals and tourists alike. The great selection of music, spacious wraparound bar and upstairs dining area make Doo Dee a prime place to meet a group of friends for a drink or a meal. We loved the delicious curries and noodle dishes, and found the brick oven pizza (15% off on Wednesdays) to be just about perfect. Chang beer is available on tap as well as bottles of Hoegaarden and Leffe and draught beer towers, all offered at reasonable prices, and there is a plethora of tasty cocktails and spirits for those looking to step it up a notch. Other special deals abound; check website for details.
Open daily, 3 p.m. – midnight (closed Sundays)
6 Suriyawong Road
081 885 0322