The culinary highlight of our recent Chiang Mai stay was definitely Huen Phen, which specialises in northern Thai or ‘Lanna’ cuisine.
By day, the front part of the restaurant serves up rustic yet tasty local fare like the area’s famed ‘khao soi’ chicken noodle curry dish, and by night, the kitschy Thai decor-packed back room opens. There’s an opulent teak daybed, hanging bells, red lacquered urns and much, much more bedecking every nook and cranny of the restaurant, like a rustic Thai market stall come to life.
After the initial distraction of the decidedly maximalist interior, our attention turned to the all important food. The menu helpfully points out the restaurant’s particular specialities and it’s all mouthwateringly enticing. We stick with the most regional sounding dishes on the menu – Chiang Mai sausage (pork with a delicious blend of fragrant Thai herbs and served with fried kaffir lime leaves – yum!), a northern Thai chicken curry (coconut milk free which is the northern style, but a bit heavy on the fish sauce), a jackfruit salad, sticky rice and a mindblowingly amazing spicy pork and chilli dip, accompanied by fresh green beans and cucumber sticks. Savoury, spicy perfection!
Pork and chilli dip – our favourite dish at Huen Phen
Huen Phen, 112 Rachamankha Road, Chiang Mai, tel: 66 53 277 103