A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.



Maan Mueng

Posted date:  July 11, 2007
9 Comments


_DSC8029.jpg

Much like Mexican, authentic northern-style Thai food can be very, very hard to find in Bangkok. A few mediocre dishes are sold at my neighborhood’s Tuesday market, and good khao soi is available if you’re willing to make the trek out to Viphavadee in northern Bangkok, but in general you’re hard pressed to find a tasty kaeng hangle or a pleasant kaeng ho. This is a pity, as when done well, northern Thai food can be among the best in the country. It is markedly more seasonal than other Thai cuisines, featuring the odd mushroom, green or fruit that is only available at certain times of the year, makes great use of a wide variety of indigenous veggies, and is porky, porky and porky. Which, I am told, is a good thing.

So thanks to the keen nose of my food friend Aong, I was recently directed towards Maan Mueng, a restaurant in Bangkok specializing in the dishes of the north. Maan Mueng features a huge array of authenticly prepared dishes:

_DSC8031.jpg

so even those who can’t speak Thai or aren’t familiar with northern Thai food can simply point to whatever looks good. And damn, does it look good. Witness:

Nam phrik khaa:

_DSC0482.jpg

A nam phrik or “dip” of chilies and galangal that is typically served with steamed mushrooms (now is mushroom season up north) and beef that is boiled before being steamed over fresh herbs. Thanks to the copious galangal, known in Thai as khaa, this nam phrik has a truly unique flavour, and the beef was, unlike most Thai beef, tender and very edible.

Tam khanun:

_DSC0485.jpg

This is a thick “mash” of young jackfruit and a chili paste topped with crispy fried garlic. Simple but delicious.

Sai ua:

_DSC0493.jpg

The famous northern-style sausage that is loaded with heaps of fresh herbs (lime leaf, lemongrass, garlic, etc.) and grilled. Spot on.

Nam phrik num:

_DSC0488.jpg

Another “dip”, this time of grilled chilies mashed up with grilled garlic, shallots and fish sauce, and served with pork rinds and fresh and par-boiled veggies for dipping.

Laap khua:

_DSC0487.jpg

This is laap that has been fried with a chili paste mixture that includes the herb makhwaen, which provides the dish a distinct bitter/hot flavour. The meat includes lots of offal (the heart fans out there will love laap khua), and includes the ubiquitous but delicious crispy garlic topping.

Naem:

_DSC0496.jpg

Raw pork that has been buried for three days until sour. Much better than it sounds.

Here’s the spread:

_DSC0499.jpg

Note the pile of greens on the left-hand side; Maan Mueng features an entire table stacked with fresh herbs and greens for its customers. And dishes are accompanied by perfectly-steamed red sticky rice.

Our meal ended with coconut ice cream:

_DSC0500.jpg

a dish available just about anywhere in Thailand, but I’m sure this is among the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. The ice cream was incredibly creamy and light in texture, and was suggestive of the soft meat of young coconuts rather than the cloying coconut milk that is typically used.

Maan Mueng is located quite far from the center of Bangkok, but is in all regards considerably easier than going to Chiang Mai or Mae Hong Son.

Maan Mueng
Located between Ramkhamhaeng 152-154
8am-5pm (closed Tuesday)
02 728 0945


9 Comments for Maan Mueng


You are so lucky to be able to have such fare.

Thank you for this report. Having lived in Chiang Mai for three years, your pictures and descriptions brought back some delicious memories. If you’re ever in Chiang Mai, I would suggest going to a market called Dorn Payom. It is located behind Chiang Mai University. They make fresh kaap mu (pork rinds) and the best nam prik noom in my opinion.

Keep up the fantastic work!

hi i am in bangkok right now, and would love to drop by maan mueng for those authentic yummy looking dishes. can you advise how to tell the cab driver to bring me there? ramkamheang road is quite long right? Thanks!

sigh. you make me want to cry. i miss real thai food.

waaah.

Fantastic blog and the delicious pictures. If only I can find authentic fare like this in North America…

cynthia: I know!

rob: I used to live near Kaat Ton Phayom when I was studying Thai at CMU. It’s easily my favourite market in CM, and a great place to buy northern food.

rokh: As the address at the bottom says, it’s between Rakhamhaeng 152-154. Just mention the name and ask around in that area–it’s not hard to find at all.

mei: Cheer up, you’ll be back!

anon: Thanks! Unfortunately I really doubt this stuff is available in the US…

I love Northern food and am glad to have come across this entry! I will definately check this place out eventhough it’s all the way out on Ramkamhaeng!

Went there today, and it was really nice. Though just to let everyone know, the restaurant has changed location, it is not on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 112.

Sorry, it’s NOT on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 162 anymore, they have moved to Soi 112.



Wanna say something?









 

*