Lots of cool new places for you all to check out this month from our new favourite chicken joint, a great hotpot, street grills, chocolate bon bons to a socially and environmentally conscientious hotel.
We Thais love our hotpots, with restaurants opening (and closing) as quick as the seasons. However, Shabugu is one that has survived the test of time, and is in fact one of the city’s longest standing hotpot restaurants. Not only is it of excellent quality, but it also focuses on serving only the freshest of foods, all the way down to the shrimp balls and seaweed rolls that are homemade, without any MSG too. The great news is that Shabugu is opening a new branch in Mae Hia soon, so the folks to the south of the city can enjoy high quality hotpots too. In addition to great food, Shabugu has also launched a new initiative to offer financial support to community projects, so you can feel good that every order you make will see some proceeds going toward those in need.
Open 11am – 9pm
The Room Branch (behind Big C Extra)
053 245 554
Nim City Daily branch
053 270 978
Raka, which means ‘chicken’ in Thai-Chinese Sanskrit astrology, is Chiang Mai’s newest fried chicken joint that rivals any competition. Raka takes classic Thai food and elevates it to a form of fusion food hybrid that is both delicious and exciting to eat. Their show stopper is of course their crispy fried chicken, served with a choice of seven, that’s right, seven sauces to choose from — starting with classic garlic dip to more traditional flavours such as hang le (Citylife’s absolute favourite), jim jaew, chili paste, mala, nam prik ong and nam prik num. They also serve fries, chicken pop, chicken salad, chicken rice and noodle dishes and even a prawn tom yum fried rice. Wash down your selection with a monster cup of Thai pandan short vermicelli in palm-sugar coconut milk latte (try saying that with a mouthful of chicken — or just use the Thai name ‘lod chong latte’) or non-alcoholic cookie beer. This is their first branch but expect to see Raka expand to other cities, where they will each represent the style and flavours of that region — inevitably adding even more dip flavours to the menu! They also deliver to Nimmanhaemin area!
Open 9am – 10pm
43 Soi 9, Nimmanhaemin Road (opposite Tesco)
052 060 465
Part of the famous Cook with Love Japanese Restaurant, this yakitori venue (or Japanese-style street barbeque in English) serves up cheap and chirpy grilled meats on the roadside near Panthip Plaza on Chang Klan Road. With our love of street food, especiallly grilled meats and veggies, this new stall with its spicy fun Asian flavours, is a great addition to our city’s vibrant food scene. Okra, broccoli, baby corn, sausages, bacon, pork belly, chicken drumsticks…the list goes on. For really fancy eating, why not pay extra for some wagyu beef, scallops and even eels that come with three different sauces to dip your tasty grilled morsels into. If a meal of only grilled meat and veg is not your thing, order a plate of Japanese curry that has been cooking for 13 hours, or grab a side of mussels with cheese or Japanese spring rolls. This place is finger licking good.
Open 12am – 11pm
(Night Bazaar, in front of Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai) Chang Klan Road
086 945 3966
Just looking at seafood on the grill turns most of us into slathering puppies, just begging to be fed. Pair that with the sizzling of pork on a Koran barbeque and you have an idea of heaven. At Nut Pop Talay Pao they bring the best of both worlds together and offer up a buffet of seafood galore. We’re talking prawns, horse crabs, sea crabs, squid, scallops, mussels, cockles and loads more all up for grilling alongside piles of pork, chicken, jellyfish, innards, tofu ready to be barbequed or added to a soup. In addition, they also serve a range of mala spiced grilled sticks, deep fried calamari, som tum and fresh salad. All that for 379 baht. Also, for an extra 199 baht, enjoy a draught beer buffet from 6 to 8pm! If that’s not enough, then pay just 70 baht more and take your pick of live shrimps and crabs from the tanks to ensure freshness and great tastes.
Open 5pm – 11pm
75/5 Sriphum Road
(Just past Jok Somphet, next to ADC Dentist)
082 994 9149
Many of us have driven past the now exquisitely restored wooden house on Charoen Prathet near the Iron Bridge and wondered what it will be…well, wonder no more because Chocolate Factory, a popular chain of fusion restaurant with a chocolate shop attached has just opened to great acclaim. The food is Thai-European fusion with flavours running towards Thai tastes. There is a great selection of salads, from classic Caesar to a salad with an intriguing chocolate sauce. Seafood and meat dishes also run from the classic steaks, baked mussels and pan-seared foie gras to spicy northern sausage or sai-ua pasta. There pizza dishes, burgers and ribs and the desserts are to die for. The restaurant is bright, airy, comfortable and designed to highlight the splendid river views, especially when sitting on the veranda gazing towards the Iron Bridge. But make sure you save some room for the chocolate shop where you can take home bags and boxes of delightful truffles, cookies, brownies, and other bon bons. A great spot for a family lunch, a romantic sundowner by the Ping, a gregarious evening with some friends or just a quiet business lunch.
Café and restaurant 10am – 10pm
Shop 9.30am – 7.30pm
(closes 8.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays)
Charoen Prathet Road, Chang Klan (near the Iron Bridge)
Facebook: The Chocolate Factory ChiangMai
063 381 6667
In a peaceful corner of the city is a fancy new hotel that mixes modern Lanna styles with contemporary Chinese décor. Aesthetically pleasing, the hotel is serene and quiet, with only 14 rooms, offering a choice of three styles — family, twin and double. Run by a group of four local sisters, there is a homely feel to this family business that makes it a charming choice for those looking for something more personal in their stay. The hotel is super green as it uses solar panels, heats water with the air conditioner compressors (preventing hot air from being released into the atmosphere) and all the furniture, beddings and soaps in the bathroom are locally sourced, so you can feel good about yourself as well. Even the food they serve is packed with local ingredients, ensuring fresh servings every time. The hotel also has workshops and events all the time so don’t forget to check out what’s on while you’re there.