For the 11th round of our survey/review of Thai restaurants in Portland we visited Chiang Mai. Until just a few months ago the restaurant had been located on Union Street but moved out and over to Washington Avenue to make room for Havana South. As you can read below our panel of food writers had very divergent experiences at Chiang Mai.
Appetite Portland – read the full review
Hard to put my finger on it. It’s not a tangible thing. But something about the food at Chiang Mai didn’t – well – fit together.
I guess the most apropos word for the experience is – erratic.
From Away – read the full review
I just had the best Tom Khar Kai of my life. And I want to tell you all about it. I shall paint you a word picture. Imagine it: a deep cup of light coconut creamy broth that reveals three or four adorable, plump and buoyed mushrooms, big pieces of white chicken, a few glistening onions, and red pepper flakes studding the soup. It is sweet, savory and spicy, hitting every note gracefully. This is comfort food, soup you want to bathe in, then take out to a nice dinner.
The Blueberry Files – read the full review
So I would return to Chiang Mai Two for lunch, specifically for the beef salad. I would order it with 2 stars of heat to get my blood moving. It seems to be the most (only?) vibrant dish coming out of the new kitchen on the block.
Where is Jenner’s Mind – read the full review
the waiter, it ends up, is the owner and he was really excited to talk to us about the restaurant, local thai food, and even this blogging project. he gave us some coupons for 25% of an entire meal (but which are only good for less than a month) and tried to give me like 10 take out menus, i think to hand out to friends. i’m not gonna give you a menu but i do recommend that you check out chiang mai-two. i have accepted, after 10 or 11 thai restaurant reviews, that there is really very little variation in the vast majority of menus. so instead of judging on originality, i judge on quality. i thought this place was great when it came to taste and quality. in all honesty i think its gonna be our new go-to thai restaurant.
The Portland Phoenix and Portland Press Herald published the only other reviews of Chiang Mai a few months after the restaurant opened at its old location in May 2006.
There are just 2 Thai restaurants left for us before we finish up the series: Sengchai Thai, Siam Orchid. Where we should go next?