I, fortunately, got to spend a few months exploring and eating exotic dishes in Chiang Mai, North Thailand. Even though it was almost two years ago I can still remember the smell of the fresh produce at the morning markets and the sound of meat sizzling when it hit the Wok during the bustling night markets. I can also remember one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, stewed pork leg over rice and how horrid it tasted coming back up a few hours later.
I’ve been to a few Thai Restaurants since returning and most of them have “westernised” the menu, the food isn’t bad it’s just not as lively with fresh bold flavours. Any restaurant you go outside of Thailand isn’t going to be 100% authentic even if the Chef lived in Thailand all of his/her life. For one reason, the produce isn’t the same. The Thai on Chapel does come pretty damn close though.
To start the night I ordered some Grilled Pork Neck skewers and some Chicken Satay Skewers.
The pork neck was marinated in a slightly sweet sauce and then grilled over charcoal giving the outside a caramelised and crisp texture whilst the meat remained juicy. The chicken satay remained super moist and juicy, coated in a curry powder blend and served with a really peanutty sauce. I know Satay is meant to be peanutty but this was one tasted like straight peanut butter.
Next, I ordered Gaeng Som Cha Om Prawn – basically, a sweet and sour soup filled with prawns, omelette and acacia fronds (super high in fibre!!) The soup arrived and was loaded with large fresh prawns, a slightly orange soup and a spongey omelette. As soon as I took a sip of that broth my mind was blown, how is it possible to jam pack that much flavour into something? Sour, salty, sweet and spicy, all the flavours of Thailand. The omelette acted like a sponge and soaked up all the flavours of the broth and when you bit into it an explosion happened in your mouth. Defiantly recommend this dish.
I thought I should end the night with some vegetables so I ordered a big plate of Chinese broccoli which also had a bit of tofu. The broccoli remained crisp and fresh, served in a just a little too much of the sauce which was made up of oyster sauce, chicken stock and garlic. I tried to order just a bowl of steamed rice to go with the Chinese broccoli and the waitress thought I said sticky, being the awkward person I am, I didn’t correct her thus ended up with sticky rice. I love sticky rice, there just wasn’t enough to feed a very hungry carbivore.
I thoroughly enjoyed the food and service at The Thai on Chapel and will defiantly be back, just after I visit everywhere else on Chapel Street.