Just before I left for Chiang Mai, I found this video online of Anthony Bourdain spending time there for A Cook’s Tour. He went to visit a number of eateries but what really caught my eye was his time at Aroon Rai, a restaurant where he said that everything’s good. With his stamp of approval (and his going on and on about how delicious everything was! And our tailor also giving it a thumbs up!), this place was chosen for dinner the next night.
No coconut for me this time; instead I started with some iced lemon tea. This led to a bit of an addiction to lemon tea during my entire visit.
Along with orders for both steamed rice and sticky rice, we ordered som tam (the famous Thai green papaya salad),
pork larb (A classic northern Thai salad. We actually asked for this dish to be spiced as for a Thai person since this was off the Thai specials page in the menu. What arrived turned out to be very mildly spiced. I guess they didn’t take us seriously…luckily this was still very good, with some chili powder and toasted rice powder mixed in with the meat),
pork and chili paste (I thought this was the best thing on the table! Not very spicy but such complex flavours),
spicy Chiang Mai sausage (not bad. I know it looks burnt but it definitely wasn’t. And I had so many different kinds of “Chiang Mai sausage” during this trip that I don’t know if there’s actually a specific style that’s local or just the whole sausage thing that’s from Chiang Mai),
a number of curries including this creamy, coconutty, chicken curry,
seafood tom yam soup (this was a very large bowl that easily fed the whole table – and it was nice and spicy),
and a few vegetable dishes to round things off.
While the presentation wasn’t as impressive as at The Good View, I found this meal to be the most memorable. It’s true – everything was extremely good and I know that if we had been able to convince them to add more chilies to the food, the meal would have been even more memorable (maybe not in a good way!). Highly recommended!
45 Kotchasarn Rd
Chiang Mai, Thailand