Chiang Mai's Nimmanhemin Road is crowded not only with new hotels and guesthouses, but plenty of new eateries targeting tourists and locals.
The latest addition to this trendy area is Nimman Bar & Grill located on the first floor of the new Kantary Hills Hotel and Serviced Apartments on Nimmanhemin Soi 12.
The restaurant features a variety of dishes, but steaks are the signature items here. Prime New Zealand and local meats in a variety of cuts from fillet, T-bone, to sirloin and rib-eye are cooked just the way you like them with a choice of sauces and side dishes. Pork, chicken, fish and seafood are also prepared.
"After sampling the eateries around here, we found that the steakhouses offer wider selection of meats on the menu. The dish of local beef is about Bt190 but the imported ones range from Bt400 to Bt500. We also offers pizza, pasta, Japanese, Thai and veggie dishes to please just about everyone," says the restaurant's manager, Sanong Makaew.
Chef Philippe Belly, who for decades has been responsible for overseeing the menus for the other hotels in the group, including Karavel House in Sri Racha and Cape Panwa in Phuket, has created the menu here. He says that the main dishes are mostly developed from the menu offered at California Steakhouse in Sri Racha but the dessert is developing to match the seasonal fruits.
For starters, he presents California salad (Bt90) with different kinds of fresh vegetables, boiled egg and ham in creamy dressing, and deep-fried Camembert cheese (Bt120). The salty, chilled Camembert is cut into three triangular, bite-sized shapes, coated with bread crumbs before being deep fried. It's served hot as an appetiser with home-made strawberry jam.
For the main dish, he proudly presents the fillet steak in Cafe de Paris sauce with baked potato (Bt550) served on a sizzle pan. Other kinds of sauces like peppers, mushrooms and Thai spices are also available for your choice with a selection of vegetables, baked potato or French fries.
But if you're not a meat lover, the grilled red snapper steak with mustard sauce (Bt180) is a fine alternative. The mustard sauce for two slides of red snapper is not too spicy and goes well with spinach and boiled potatoes.
"Cafe de Paris sauce is one of the best sauces of Switzerland for grilled meats. It originated in the 1940s by a French chef for a restaurant in Geneva," explains chef Belly. "It's a complex sauce and typically contains a mixture of more than 50 herbs, spices and other condiments such as curry powder, paprika, capers, anchovies, cinnamon, parsley and green olives."
The course ends with Ice Chou (Bt80) - three balls of an eclair stuffed with vanilla ice cream and chocolate topping. After the meal, you can chill out at the bar, where a wide range of drinks is served until midnight. Soon, there will be live music.
The restaurant, which has room for 100 people, has contemporary decor and oak-shade furniture, which matches the guest rooms. The exception is the 20 seats of the bar decorated with dark-shaded leather to give it a modern look. But don't be scared off by the fact that modern and elegant decor often equates to high prices - the meals here are reasonably affordable, especially when compared to similar portions being served in Bangkok.
In the morning, you can also drop in for breakfast, either American or Continental styles. But by all means, do save space for their meaty delights during lunch or dinner.
Nimman Bar & Grill
Kantary Hills Hotel and Serviced Apartments, first floor
Nimmanhemin Soi 12, Chiang Mai Daily, 6am to midnight
(053) 222 111