Mai Restaurant & Bar offers unparalleled panoramic 360 degree views of the city, a compelling design that references the city’s rich culture, offers an intimate fine-dining experience, and above all an amazing menu of contemporary Northern Thai (Lanna) dishes. It was with this in mind that last. month, while staying at Melia Chiang Mai a couple of nights before flying to Vietnam, I decided to try their set menu comprising 4 dishes.
I made my way to the 21st floor, also home to the hotel’s The Level lounge intended for premium customers, and I was welcomed by the sight of an arch that pays homage to a nearby temple. I was immediately attracted by the wall artworks: umbrella canopies with antique Chiang Mai textiles, in a nod to Chiang Mai’s Bo Sang Umbrella Village. These ware matched by large lit installations of umbrella ribs cling to the ceiling. The glass panels that offered those amazing views I had read about completed the job.
At that point I smelled food and I got that hungry feeling, so I picked a seat and browsed the menu. It was still early and I shared the hall with only a few diners. I decided to go for their Sampler Menu, and I accompanied it with a Sauvignon recommended by the knowledgeable waiter, one that according to her would go well with the Lanna food I would be served.
The meal started with the Mai’s Sampler, a five-bite tasting sampler which arrived so pretty I had to take a photo of it. There was the Northern Thai pork sausage, a grilled green chilli on crispy salmon skin, a Vietnamese pork sausage and edible flower roll, a crispy and fluffy catfish with pomelo in a betel leaf, and a nham prik oung mini tortilla, all perfectly balanced and offering an intriguing taste at each bite.
Next was the soup, the Gaeng Phak Whan Baan, a seasonal dish. It was delicious, especially with the added smoked dried fish consommé, and tasted unique and aromatic. It came accompanied by mushrooms and locally sourced greens. These greens are part of Melia Chiang Mai ‘360° Cuisine’ program that promotes healthy and sustainable eating based on ‘farm to plate’ and ‘plate to farm’ processes.
The main was the Salmon Nham Prik Oung, a baked salmon fillet with northern Thai-style tomato confit, sautéed gurmar leaves and pickled garlic served upon steamed pandan rice. Definitely a recommended dish, surprisingly lemony and delicious.
I am quite familiar with Lanna food, but these one-of-a-kind dishes looked contemporary and tasted exciting. Each bite was a delight and celebrated an intriguing taste of Lanna flavours with an infusion of Mediterranean, obviously from Melia’s Spanish roots.
Mai Restaurant & Bar offers a new dining experience in Chiang Mai that is definitely worth checking out.
Mai Restaurant & Bar is open for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday from 6pm – 10pm. Dishes are priced from 190 – 850 THB++ (USD 5.25++ – 23.50++). Call +66 52 090 601, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/thailand/chiang-mai/melia-chiang-mai/index.htm