Chiang Mai Kitchen, Oxford
Our evening on our Oxford day trip concluded with a dinner at Chiang Mai Kitchen. We paced ourselves rather well over our time in the city. The meal arrived at the point with just enough to get back to to the station with ease. Chiang Mai brings the elegance and charm of Thailand to this town. It feels like the kind of fancier place that’s perfect for a date night or special occasion in a quaint neighbourhood.
Oxford final dinner
There’s some gorgeous presentation on offer and the curry knocked our (tired) socks right off. Features like orchids aren’t terribly functional, but it adds to the sense of ‘glamour’. If so. We took our seats promptly, but we needn’t had rushed at all, the kitchen serves all items quick-fire. We ordered the Massaman curry beef (£9.95), chicken cashew stir-fry (£8.70) and the fried tofu (£6). And a side of arbitrary coconut rice (£3.40).
The rich, tantalising and complex curry was the star of our meal at Chiang Mai. It was one of the best I’ve had of late, with a good mix of vegetables and meat. All the courses were served with a healthy dose of care and elegance. It does feel like a Thai restaurant that takes some pride in the experience.
The tofu was good as expected, although the sauce wasn’t quite the peanut sauce we were expecting. It ended up being more of a sweet chilli, and sweet chilli isn’t so much my thing. It’s fried though and crisp to the bite. So no complaints there.
Where’s the cashews?
The least impressive offering was the stir fry. The tastes were all fine and good, but the plate was so bare. A few chunks of chicken and only a few vegetables. It seemed rather insignificant to the other plates by comparison, particuarly when everything is priced so similarly. For the record, the dish was actually chicken and cashew nut. Although you’d be hard pressed finding a cashew on the plate. Have a try on the photo.
Still, we were in love with the curry and the speed, service and fair price still make Chiang Mai a worthy try.