Overall Score 8/10
More details of Lu Lam Northern Thai Restaurant - Chiang Rai on www.bumres.com
Lu Lam, a northern saying that I had no idea what it meant. Then I found out that the word “Lu”, refers to a really traditional northern dish, similar to Larb but with fresh pork and its blood. Usually served in a bowl, as raw as its come (see photos) and for other areas of Thailand, people may call it Soklek or Larb Luead (blood). I believe the dish is their signature and named the restaurant after it. The location was ideal for a restaurant, resided in the natural surrounding with a view of the river named Kok, an important source of water for Chiang Rai’s agricultural practices and the life of locals. The stream of Kok River runs through the middle of Chiang Rai and meets with the Kong River. Along the Kok River, there are loads of restaurants serving local specialties. Next time you are in Chiang Rai and looking for a riverside dining experience, come to this area and you will have a hard time deciding which one to choose. Just pick one!
We reserved a table nearest to the river. As walking to our table, many happy faces grubbing the food with joy made me feel hungry and happy. The place was completely full. The staff even called us to ask if we were coming or not and what time we would arrive, otherwise they would pass out our table. Authenticity of the food at Lu Lam is guaranteed as much as the name and its atmosphere. Good prices, the food ranged around 100 Baht per plate.
Our hunger didn’t hold us back from ordering a feast, but only left our table with no rooms to place the food. The menu was similar to the SalungKham that we were at last night. My favorite dish for this trip to Chiang Rai was the Larb Kua Moo (appeared on the table almost every single meal). The northern style Larb was so good this trip, better than all the Larb in Bangkok (Not sure why, perhaps the fried onions and garlic and the roasted aroma). Our menu was a variety; we had the Plarakkeaw Tod (Crispy Fried Small fish), Kang Som (Spicy tamarind soup), Lu (Larb Blood), and more (see photos). The food was good; standard northern style with quality. A comment on the Kang Som, so different and so good; it was sweeter and less spicy than Central Kang Som with local picks of vegetables. I admit that I liked the northern recipe more. Being a spicy eater, so far the northern dishes were mild for me including Namprik Num, Kangpeds, or other familiar dishes that we can find in Bangkok. I have had some dishes the spicy way and here the same dish with less spiciness; the natural flavors were present and overall enjoyable as well (If less spicy and not tasty we won’t count). The Lu Lam prepared the northern food mildly with deliciousness.
Another dinner in Chiang Rai is fulfilled with northern Thai style. I didn’t know how much it cost since I didn’t pay. All I cared for then was the great simplicity of the northern food and the chill winter breeze from the river (January), definitely a highlight of the trip to Chiang Rai. The food was a bit slow due to the amount of guests but the delish food was worth the wait. The staffs couldn’t please everyone being this busy but they were nice and serviced us their best. If you found yourself in Chiang Rai, Lu Lam Northern Thai Restaurant is a good spot for your cravings.
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