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Friday, March 30, 2012

Huen Phen Northern Thai Restaurant - Chiang Mai (Eng Version)

 Huen Phen Northern Thai Food Chiang Mai

Overall Score  8.5/10
Taste   4.5/5
Ambiance  3/5
Service  3/5
Value   4/5

Huen Phen Traditional Northern Thai on BuMRes.com

For a traditional northern meal, Huen Phen is definitely a common selection for many visitors.  Every time I go Chiang Mai, I would have to go to Huen Pen at least once.  This place offers delicious authentic northern food at low prices, (This place offers most bang for the buck meal I have ever found).   Plenty of parking area was convenient and stress-free unlike some other places in the city where you would have to fight for a spot along the street curb near where we want to go. 

When ordering the food from the menu at the Huen Phen in Chiang Mai, if you weren’t there early enough, be prepared to hear, “I am sorry, this menu is out.”  We got there around 2pm and many dishes in the menu weren’t available.  However, there were plenty of other choices for us to choose.  The food of Huen Phen is a merge between northern and Isaan (northeastern) Thai specialties.  Selection is vast and the price is low; each dish cost around 50 Baht.  

The first two dishes were the Kanom Jeen Nam-Ngeaw (White Chinese noodles with stew pork ribs) and Kao Soy Nuea (Egg noodles with stew beef).  Both of them were mouth-watering (please see photos).  As good as it appeared, these traditional northern dishes were so delicious.  Third dish was the Naem (Preserved pork), came in a small piece but exploding with flavors.  After fighting over the piece, we had to order three more to solve the problem.  Fourth dish was the Abb-Pla or a curry fish chunk.  This was my first time, this menu reminds me of the Hoh Mok, a steamed curry with fish.  The Abb-Pla tasted so-so.  Fifth dish was a rice menu, marinated rice packed in a pyramid shape with beef and vegetable condiments.   This one was tasty but I thought it was kind of dry.  

The sixth dish at Huen Phen was a Larb or a minced pork salad that you can find in Isaan food stalls in Bangkok.  The seventh pick was a northern style appetizer platter.  What a creative combination, mix of sausages and vegetables to dip in the young green chili paste (Nam Prik Num).  Everything was great; the heart of this platter was the chili paste.   There was not enough chili paste though.   This menu can easily impress the international crowd with art of plating applied.  Eighth dish was the Papaya salad with preserved fish.  An exotic menu that is mostly favorable by local Thais, not recommended for foreigners.  This Isaan dish at Huen Pen failed though; many places in Bangkok can do it better.   And last but not least, the crispy fried chicken.  This one was heavenly good.  We had to order a multitude of this choice to satisfy everyone.

In the end, the bill came to about 200 Baht per person.  So cheap to fill up everyone’s stomach happily, well worth it.  I am surprised that the Huen Phen has been around in Chiang Mai until this time.  One request to the Huen Phen kitchen, can you prepare extra supplies of ingredients so we wouldn’t miss the popular dishes. 

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