"My mother was a famous cook here in Lampang," explains the current owner. "This restaurant's been open for 60 years!"
Indeed, the antique shophouse structure and old-school dining room, with its ceiling fans, aged furniture and blaring TV, appears to have changed little in this time. The restaurant's customer base doesn't appear to have skewed much either, and on the day I stopped by, the median age looked to be about 50 (in Southeast Asia, this is generally an indicator of good food).
Mae Hae serves a spread of approximately 20 local-style soups, dips, curries and stir-fries:
The restaurant's sai ua (ไส้อ่ัว), an herb-packed northern-style pork sausage, is allegedly a local celebrity, and is lean and meaty, with a hint of Sichuan pepper. I ordered this, as well as tam khanun (ตําขนุน), a dish of young jackfruit pounded with herbs, and jor phak kaat (จอผักกาด), a northern Thai soup staple of mustard greens.
In addition to the feeling that you're eating them in Mae Hae's living room, the dishes seemed to be united in their rich and slightly tart flavours.
Mae Hae 1017 Th Upparaj, Lampang 054 221 904 11am-7pm
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