If you have lived in Chiang Mai for a few decades you surely must have been to or heard of Weera Laab Ped in Nong Hor Sub-district, an unassuming but legendary little restaurant which serves up classical Isaan fare, with their spicy duck salad (laab ped) being the eponymous menu highlight.
Being a bit of an old timer ourselves, we thought it would be interesting to check in on them to see how they have been faring over the past few years. It turns out that they fare very well indeed!
Weera Laab Ped not only has a thriving restaurant here in Chiang Mai, but they have also opened four branches of Weera Thai in Las Vegas and two branches in France, one called La Cantine du Siam and the other Bangkok District.
Now that they are in their 40th year, and the business has been passed down to the next generation, Weera is ready to enter the world stage, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the children of the restaurant’s original founders.
“We are originally from Isaan, the eastern part of Thailand,” explained Nang Phenphak Lasakun, the second generation owner of the restaurant of their origins. “We are a family that likes to cook and spent most of our family time together in the kitchen. So when we moved to Chiang Mai forty years ago, my father, Suweera Thong-Uthaisiri along with my mother Sudsawad Promkul, decided to open a classic Isaan restaurant so that the people of Chiang Mai can enjoy authentic tastes from our region.”
Nang said that her focus is to make the restaurant as accessible to as many people as possible. With a prime location in Nong Nor Sub-district, a relaxed and casual atmosphere, classic and timeless dishes at exacting standards, a focus on seasonal and fresh produce and plenty of parking, Nang says that Weera Laab Ped is doing a roaring trade.
“it is all about flavour, hygiene, service, price and parking,” said Nang of her success. “We select our ducks very carefully, making sure it is always fresh and of excellent quality. We then use roasted uncooked rice for flavouring, making sure that all ingredients from lime to garnishes are fresh and of the highest quality. That is why our dish has tasted the same throughout the decades.”
While the spicy duck salad is a MUST for any visitor to Weera Laab Ped, we have a few other dishes we wish to crow about. The fried chicken, using Isaan breeds of chicken, goes through a secret marination process, arriving aromatic, tender and juicy on the plate. Then there is the deep fried beef strips (nuea daed diew) marinated in delicious spices, sun dried and then fried served with dry chilli dipping sauce from Isaan, when served with steaming hot rice or sticky rice, is simply superb. For something with more of a kick, try their hot and spicy duck bone soup, grilled Thai sausages, sour sausage in banana leaves, or somtum. Whatever you order, it will be full-flavoured and incredibly affordable.
Chiang Mai is bursting with exciting and sexy new restaurants, but very few have stood the testament of time as Weera Laab Ped has. Check them out!