|Tuesday, 11-May-2004 00:00
Fried Icecream & Riverside Restaurants Roundup
The venue for today's 'review' is The Gallery, a rather up-market restaurant on the river, but I'm going to pretty much pass on absolutely everything the place has to offer and just rant on ONE of their deserts: Fried Ice cream. :P
Fried ice cream is ice cream in any kind of batter that's then deep fried real fast, fast enough to keep the ice-cream still in a solid state, but giving it a crispy coating. This is nothing short of food for the Gods. :-D
The Gallery like I mentioned is perhaps the most up-market of all the restaurants on the river. When crossing the Nawarat bridge across the river at the end of Thapae Road, you first find The Riverside Bar & Restaurant on the left on the river. You basically cannot go wrong there with the food, and it's a popular spot for live music for local Thais as well as foreigners, especially on weekends.
Next to there is The Good View. This one is distinctly more flash & yuppie-ish, as opposed to the more cozy feel at The Riverside. The live music at the Good View varies a bit, but is almost always quite loud. On the plus side, The Good View often has new dishes on the specials-menu making it more interesting if you like trying new things. Also order an Irish Coffee there sometime.. they prepare it at your table and is quite an impressive show. (But then it'd better be, at 160 baht or so.)
Then next to The Good View is The Gallery, which has a handicraft store area in front, and a restaurant area in the back on the river. The Gallery is the most expensive, roughly 50% more than most other riverside restaurants. However, they have fried ice cream on the menu. 8-)
Next to The Gallery is The Brasserie, another riverside restaurant, but this one features decent live music that mostly appeals to a younger foreign crowd. 'Took' is a locally famous guitarist who, when he's up for it and not too stoned, plays excellent rock & blues music, think Santana and Jimi Hendrix and so on, a nice break from standard Thai or Western pop. Get there later in the evening though, say 11pm onwards.
Note that there are far more big & popular restaurants on the river both North as well as South from this strip, but I'll save those for some other time. So back to The Gallery: last night, after having dinner at some other place, we came over here ONLY for an espresso & fried ice cream. Espresso is 40 baht, the fried ice cream 80. Also the setting is just very nice; it's a stylish and tasteful place, perhaps oriented at the somewhat older, more affluent visitor. (Can't believe I said that.. I'm not THAT old.. (Or that affluent, for that matter :-( )
If you don't want to splurge, but still want fried icecream then you could also settle for the 'Som Tam Yok Khrok' restaurants. These apply a fast-food theme to som tam (green papaya salad), something I find very unnerving. :-O However they do also have fried ice cream; completely not in the same league as at The Gallery, but at the price (15-20 baht or so) pretty fair. There's a Som Tam Yok Khrok restaurant on Huay Kaew Road on the left side before you get to Chiang Mai University