Restaurant Review: Chiang Mai – Portland, OR

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post and that’s ok because I’ve been able to do lots of cooking! Also, during this time, I’ve tried lots of Northern Thai restaurants and decided it’s time to share my thoughts. Of course,  I had to start with Chiang Mai!

  • Friendly Customer Service ✓
  • Consistency  (I’ve had a few situations with the sticky rice, but I’m hopeful this won’t be too frequent)
  • Flavor ✓

I haven’t tried the whole menu, yet, but I’ll tell you a bit about those dishes I keep ordering every time I visit Chiang Mai.  My favorites:

Gang Om
Gang Om 8Gang Om 2

I’ve tried this dish at least 6 times. I even begged my friend Chef Seng to let me know if she had any idea what’s in it or if she had any Thai friends who could tell her.  It’s perfect when the beef has the right amount of fat, I swear, if I wasn’t married I’d propose to this dish. Do ask for the spice tray. I prefer to order it with a side of sticky rice, but Jasmine rice pairs it up perfectly as well.

Ock Pla
Ock Pla

This is another fantastic savory dish. I’ve tried this dish three times and every single time it has been been properly cooked, crispy, moist and if that’s not enough the spicy sauce will keep you dipping that sticky rice forever and ever.

Roti Mataba
Curry Potato Roti

I need more Roti in my life.  I’m no Roti expert, but the curry flavors are sweet enough just as the filling on tasty Thai curry puffs I’ve had at other restaurants. This bread is served with a cucumber sauce, I personally like to add a few drops of fish sauce and chili oil to it and this cuts deliciously through the greasiness of the crispy bread.

Khai Luk Koei
Deep Fried Boiled Eggs

What’s there not to love about deep fried boiled eggs? I would prefer an extra touch of tamarind, but that’s because I tend to like more sour than sweet, still, with the fried onions and chilies, this is yet another sauce you need to clean the plate with your sticky rice!

Miang Kam

I couldn’t find an individual photograph of the Miang Kam, it is dish #3 (their Pad Thai #2 is ok, but I don’t go to Chiang Mai for Pad Thai). The first time I tried the Miang Kam I was disappointed because I was expecting Miang Muang Luang flavors, then I tried it again, kept an open mind, and I’m hooked! I find it a bit messy to eat since none of the ingredients stick to each other, but it’s a great platter to share.

Khao Tod Naem Kook
Khao Tod Naem Kook

There are many dishes that I miss from DC, a good crispy rice salad is right on the top 10 of those dishes.  Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Chef Seng but I really prefer my crispy rice salad vegetarian, not only because I get to share with the boy (who eats mostly plant-based), but because I like to get through the freshness of the herbs and the chili lime sauce without battling against the sour pork sausage.

I know this is going to sound odd, and do feel free to skip these sentences, but I feel as if they serve too much of this dish, I understand it costs almost $14, but I’d rather pay $12 for a better presentation, even if that means less salad, Do please add more cilantro, do let me remove the pork sausage if I kindly ask, and do please keep the rice crispy, like actual crispy.

I’m still looking for the best crispy rice salad (Laotian or Northern Thai) around Portland, so if you have a favorite, DO TELL.

Num Tok
Num Tok

I usually only order Northern Thai dishes when at Chiang Mai, but I love beef salads, I still prefer the pork salad at Tarad Thai (upcoming review) over this one. I wish the beef was more thinly sliced and so were the vegetables for them to marinate better in their succulent lime sauce.

Khao Pad + Fried Egg
Thai Fried Rice

How dare I add a fried rice to this list! Well, I consider myself a bit of a fried rice connoisseur since the boy always, I mean ALWAYS, orders fried rice at most restaurants, so I have to try it every single time.  When cooked with love in that wok, their fried rice can taste like heaven.  The other day a friend ordered the one with pork and let me tell you, it was very flavorful, I added a touch of fish sauce, lime and chili oil, I LOVE MY SPICE TRAY. (Yes, do order it with a fried egg on top).

Dishes I need to try one more time before reviewing:
Nam Prik Ong
Tao Hoo Ma Praw (don’t make fun of me, I love fried tofu)
Pad Thai (or maybe not haha)
Coconut Rice (not sure I’ll order it again though), it was too sweet, and by sweet I mean, I could actually taste the sugar. I’ll blame my Panamanian/Caribbean taste buds, not too much sugar unless it’s dessert.

Dishes I’ve never tried, but I’m planning to:
A Curry dish, maybe Gang Massaman Nua, I need more curry!
Sai Oua, I really hope I like their sausage, need to find out if they make in house or where do they get it from.
Yum Pla Tod, everything about this crispy trout salad seems right, it’s on my list to try once the weather gets warmer.
Larb Muang, I haven’t tried the Northern Thai version of their larb, hopefully it’s better than the one I had the last time, and this time I’ll order beef!

I miss Laotian food so much and it is a blessing to have Chiang Mai serving Northern Thai deliciousness in Portland to satiate those cravings.  As long as there is Gang Om on the menu, I’ll frequent this restaurant over, and over, AND over again.

Thanks for reading!

¡a comer!

Chiang Mai on Urbanspoon

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