Ancient flavours, natural setting, modern service at Malao Malao Restaurant
Thai cuisine, as we all know, is as complex and regionally variant as any other of the world’s best cuisines. It is only in recent years, however, that cities outside of Bangkok have begun to feature distinctive regional cuisines at a fine dining level.
The latest very exciting Thai restaurant to open up in Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai Riverside Hotel’s classic Sukhothai cuisine at its Malao Malao restaurant.
As the ancient Thai saying goes, “In our water there is fish; in our paddy fields there is rice”. This has phrase has been taught to successive generations of children to express the plenty which surrounds us here in Thailand. With such abundance, has born so many incredible dishes, many of which most of us have yet to try.
Malao Malao takes us on a culinary journey back in time to the days of Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Krung Thonburi all through to the current Rattanakosin area.
The word malao malao is an old Siamese word which denotes care, precision and fine details in presenting food. All this is done at Malao Malao by chef Piyanard ‘Noi’ Charttakul, the restaurant’s head chef who has painstakingly brought the past back to vibrant – and tasty – life.
Must try dishes include the steamed flower shaped dumplings, a Thai appetiser that arrives bright pink and is filled with crab and pork meat and served with fried crispy shallots.
Another special dish is the traditional Thai dessert with four different ingredients which is a dessert often served to visitors in the far past. Basil seeds, vendor, black glutinous rice and popped rice are served with scented candle coconut milk in an aromatic sweet treat.
The rice vermicelli set draws from all four regions of Thailand and presents it in one dish. The rice noodles with spicy pork sauce is a northern classic, the fish curry sauce is from the central region, the Thai fish organs sour soup if from the south and the fish and anchovy curry sauce from the east.
Then there is the deep fried spring rolls stuffed with taro and vegetables, a lovely dish brought by Chinese immigrants many moons ago and slowly adapted to Thai flavours.
There is fine wine, great service, a fabulous setting…and a truly exciting new menu to dig into.