Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition

If ever there was a week of eats worthy of a Week of Eats post, this most definitely would have to be up there! So as I mentioned in my Chiang Mai cooking school post, some of the best food I ate was what I cooked for myself. But, lets be honest, that’s a big some in a very delicious week!

Street kitchen | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

I have a friend who is mortified by even the concept of a three-second rule and slathers hand sanitiser on religiously before meals. It is these friends that will struggle in Thailand. I took the above photo while waiting for the below food… and that pad thai was an absolute ripper.

Street kitchen pad thai | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

While it can feel a bit strange to eat food from a kitchen like this, if it’s good enough for the locals, it’ll be perfect for you. When I was in China for a few months in 2008, those of us that ate local food avoided any hint of an off belly. Others that tried to find western-style food for most of their meals were the ones who struggled to maintain their delicate digestive balance.

Fried rice | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

On our first night in Chiang Mai, we weren’t quite sure where everything was and we were quite keen to find whatever food was easiest so we could just go sleep away the plane trip. We found a busy street-side restaurant (busy with locals is the key to success!) and I chowed into this simple fried rice and a mango & coconut milk smoothie – it was heaven to our bleary eyed selves!

Free Bird Cafe | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

I’d looked up a few cafes before we left on the trip and one that kept coming up as a winner was Free Bird Cafe. A fundraising arm for the not-for-profit Thai Freedom House, this cafe had vegan treats, coconut milk smoothies and coffees. Everything was delicious & pretty creative too: Michael got a coconut that came with an espresso which you’re encouraged to tip into your coconut. He was impressed!

Tom kha gai at Inpoo Food Shop | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

The Inpoo Food Shop became the #PNTHAILAND14 headquarters by the end of the trip. It’s where we had day 2 of our cooking classes and was across the road from our accommodation. Som is one talented lady in the kitchen. We’ve since tracked a tom kha gai down at a Thai restaurant back here in Newcastle but it just makes us miss Som’s version.

Cherng Doi Roast Chicken | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

Another notable restaurant was Cherng Doi Roast Chicken. Recommended by Nom Nom Paleo, this restaurant was the host of an all-in culinary ninja feast. I think a lot of chicken was probably harmed in the feeding of our group. It went to a good place though, a good delicious place.

Street food sausages | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

Given we were in Chiang Mai at the same time as the Yi Peng Lantern Festival, we got the opportunity to sample even more street food than what would normally line the streets of downtown Chiang Mai. Meatballs, grilled chicken and sausages galore were all on offer and made for good dinner fare.

Grilled banana skewer | Week of Eats: Chiang Mai edition | lizniland.com

But my favourite of all the things on skewers in Chiang Mai was undoubtedly the grilled banana. Served with a take-it-or-leave-it creme anglais dressing, these bananas were fascinatingly tasty – not squishy, barely caramelised and not too sweet. Food van people of Australia: get on to these – I want to eat them when I wander the markets here too!

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  1. Pingback: Chiang Mai: Culinary Adventures | Liz Niland

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