Him Tang

DSC_6060 Him Tang is the northern Thai dialect word for roadside, and as a name it accurately sums up the atmosphere of this rustic grilled meat shack in Mae On, about 30km outside of Chiang Mai.

Like Jin Tup, this is a place that revolves around grilled meats:


and local booze:


in this case yaa dong, rice alcohol supplemented with herbs and typically served with tart drinking snacks.

But back to the meat... We ordered aeb ong muu:


pig brains and an herbal curry paste mixture that have been combined and grilled in a banana leaf package. The texture was smooth and the taste meaty and slightly spicy.

They do an excellent sai ua, northern-style grilled sausage:


light on the herbs and heavy on the fat, just like I like it.

Perhaps the most unusual dish was grilled pig's tail:


This was my first time eating this dish, and I must say that pig tail may be one of the most perfect grilled foods. As it grills, the exterior becomes crispy -- not unlike pork rinds -- while the meat on the inside is essentially basted in the fat and remains tender and moist. Amazing stuff.

But the best dish of the night was a laap of raw buffalo:


This is an unusual dish -- most Thais generally avoid eating buffalo -- and was something of a special, with 'mee laap khwaay' (we have buffalo laap) having been scrawled on a piece of cardboard. I'm not a huge fan of the texture of raw meat, but the dish contained a complex and delicious spice mixture with hints of cinnamon and star anise, not to mention the normal northern Thai spices of makhwaen and deeplee, that made up for this. The result was meaty, spicy and also slightly sweet, and was probably one of the more interesting Thai dishes I've encountered in a long time.

Him Tang Th 1229, Mae On, Chiang Mai 053 859 633

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