Sadly we discovered this place a couple of weeks before we were leaving which is annoying but I'm so glad we did! I regularly munch on the salads here but we managed to fit in a proper few courses before we left!
Wow! I gotta say, Siem Reap's "Little Italy" located in Alley West has just over-delivered on a salad. Not only does it look great on the plate, it tasted even better! Several different cheeses (including taleggio cheese, what a treat!), fresh juicy apple, nuts, croutons, leaves and chicken - all with a french mustard dressing and fresh warm bread roll. YUMMY!
Opposite the bus station in Chiang Rai lies an unassuming cafe offering freshly prepared thai food at very reasonable prices. Clean, friendly and with a spotless western toilet (very important!), there is also free wifi and the option to charge your gadgets for a small fee before embarking on your journey. Highly recommended!
Is he going to fricassee the penguin?
Wow. Wow. Wow. The food here is seriously good! I think it's fair to say that Chef Claudio is a magician (I said this to his face).
Puccini actually opened while we were staying in Chiang Mai: Vix walked past it while being built and said it looked charming, so we thought we would pop along. We're so glad we did!
The food is faultless, and the service amazing. Also, the decor (albeit new) looks clean and fresh. Chef Claudio (chef/owner) came out from the kitchen to introduce himself when we first dined there and listened to our questions and was happy to make recommendations when asked; he then actually took great pleasure in watching us enjoy his food when he visited our table to make sure we were fully satisfied.
The first time we ate there, I had spaghetti amatriciana and Vix had carbonara; the next time, I ate the ragu (on the chef's suggestion) and Vix had the steak - cooked perfectly. The carbonara was easily one of the best we have ever eaten.
We returned here for our last night (pre-Halloween revelry) in Chiang Mai and Claudio again chatted to us at our table, and suggested places to see in our next destination, Chiang Rai, as he lives nearby.
Lovely service, lovely place, lovely food :-)
Soon after we moved into our rental apartment, we got to know some of the other friendly expats living there and were invited to join them for a pizza at Yummy Pizza.
This was actually a good 20 minute drive from Chiang Mai so we thought "it must be special" - and it was. Not only is the food excellent, the whole night was just great. We laughed from beginning to end, and got to know a lot of the residents better, which was great.
The restaurant is run by Tony, a friendly Ozzie, who can play a guitar and more than hold a tune, and he sung many classic songs from Oasis to Gloria Gaynor, etc. Drinking a few beers on our table of 9, we all got into the groove, joined the sing-song and also had great banter with the Irish band who were playing as well.
Later on there was even a chance later for a boogie and a song from hidden-talent rockstar James:
Next to Pum Pui (the Italian restaurant were were not excited by), is a restaurant called "Paris", obviously run by a Frenchman.
The food here is exquisite, and it is filled with French people (I hadn't realised there are that many in Chiang Mai). I had Pork medallions in mustard sauce, and Victoria had duck with grain dauphinoise. We followed this by chocolate mousse and cheese cake both obviously made on the premisies.
Address: 26 Soi 2 Moon Muang Rd, Phrasing, Chiang Mai 50200.
10/10: we'll be back!
TripAdvisor review: click here
Although it is not much to look at from the outside, the food in this Indian restaurant is some of the best I have ever eaten. There's a reason why Lonely Planet Guide puts this as the number one choice of restaurant in the Chiang Mai Old Town district (there's some other excellent restaurants too).
La Brasserie in the Beachcomber resort is so good we came here twice.
Everything is made freshly to order (ie no fish oil for me) and the staff are incredibly friendly. Because we visited again, the chef even came out to say hello! We can whole-heartedly recommend the Red Curry, Massamun Curry and Sweet & Sour Chicken.
Even better, you can sit on a veranda overlooking the stunning beaches.
It took 3 attempts to be able to eat here, but goodness we're glad we did... what amazing food and great, friendly service!
Run by a self-styled "crazy American" (lovely chap) and his motley crew, this unassuming Mexican restaurant turns out surprisingly great cocktails and food at very reasonable prices.
This venue is little more than a semi-covered garden, with a brick-walled enclosure to hide the open kitchen (all quite typical of the islands), with some fun decor and the obligatory pool table:
We ordered chimichangs, a tostida and I ordered the super house burrito (of course) - which was HUGE but scrummy:
AndoLoco also makes some pretty fantastic cocktails too - especially so as the fruit is fresh from the island.
When we come back to Koh Phangan, we're coming back here! It was so good in fact, that we coined the phrase Bestaurant and a sub-mission of our adventure will now be to sample, find and list each Bestaurant we find!
An Italian pizza joint run by an Italian. Shows all the Italian (and other) football matches and sells huge pizzas with every conceivable topping for 150 Bhat (about £3). The pizzas are fabulous, and it's like sitting in Italy as all the local Italians congregate there to chat with the owner.
Best thing of all, like everywhere else it offers free Wifi for customers, and the password is Berlusconi, apparently the "best password"! Hilarious, and definitely makes the "Bestaurant" list.