I began my trip in 2011 to Chiang Mai by patronizing a restaurant called ,”Juice4u” but after I had a meal of yesterdays food uncooked was dumped in front of me I went across the street to Dada Kafe.
Juice4u has been around in many incarnations for the past ten years it seems. In the first several years it was as the name implied a juice bar. Then it slowly added small meals until about two years ago it served a wide range of meals all day.
The previous owner was a Thai woman who had cut her vegetarian cooking teeth in London for five years.Sometimes she would make special dinners. It was presented elegantly in the manner of Japanese cuisine.
When I arrived this year , I found a new owner who is trying hard to keep the restaurant going in the spirit of its’ previous owners but alas , she has fallen down both in quality and frequency of being open.
When I confronted the owner about the cold food of yesterday she accused me of letting it sit there and get cold. We all make mistakes and it would be easy for her to say her staff fu#k up but by defending them she lost a customer for ever looking at her from the vantage point of her competitor across the street.
I know it’s a lot of words to get across the point that when a new managent takes over oftentimes the service changes drastically to the point where it no longer has value.
I had a similar experience with a Japanese cafe called “,Green Living” off Loh Kroh road.
I was having dinner with my friend Marcus, a German man who has lived and worked in Japan for many years and who was married to a Japanese wife for 12 years when the waiter bought his dinner of uncooked sushi rolls. Upon further investigation we found that the rice had been cooked yesterday and was put into the microwave before serving.
From then on I stopped eating cooked food there , eating only raw food as I like the ambience there and like to go there sometimes as it is close to where I live.
Dada Kafe isn’t the cheapest restaurant in Chiang Mai but it gives excellent value for money.
I like to have an omelette without having to pay for a toast to put it on as I am cutting out carbohydrates in my diet as I work on my six pack.
I also like the salads here and the ultimate is the sticky black rice and mango.
The staff vary in their degree of friendliness. They are not necessarily surly only being themselves and not putting on a fake smile if they wish to.
The staff are well paid so you don’t find the turnover that you might experience in a thai restaurant that is not family owned. Family restaurants are staffed by family who may not be terribly interested in the restaurant business but have been Shanghaied into working .
I have arrived at Dada after closing and after pleading near starvation was served and told to take my time as the staff went about putting Dada to sleep for another night.
For a cheaper , and more authentic Thai experience ,”Kajanna Cafe” is my favorite this year.
The ambience and food is good at “blue diamond” a favorite of many travellers to Chiang Mai. It has a wonderful outdoor garden and waterfall.
The night market where Loh kroh meets the might market is the best place to buy DVD’s.
Pantip Plaza near the Night Market is the best place to deal with any electronic issues you might have with your phone or even buy a good used one like I did this year.
Loh Kroh massage school off Loh Kroh road before you get to the night market is one to the bes places to get a massage in Chiang Mai. Most of the other places on Loh Kroh that have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain are a front for sexual activities .
The best money changer is along Loh Kroh rd. I have to go there soon. Bring your passport.
If you are into buying bead jewelry or pearls there are several shops along Loh Kroh road on the way to the night market.
One of the top values in the city is a health club membership at Centra Hotel on Loh Kroh.
It is 999Bahts or about 30 bucks a month. You have access to the swimming pool, steam rooms, sauna, fitness weights and many aerobic machines . There is an air con exercise room where I do my exercise routine in the morning usually quietly alone. The club offers different aerobic and yoga classes free every day.
I go in the early morning which keeps me cool until the afternoon. Before dinner I hit the pool and sauna again preparing me for a relaxing and comfortable evening.