Northern Thai Food at Huen Phen (ร้านเฮือนเพ็ญ) in Chiang Mai

July 27, 2014 boon 0 Comments

There are many places to eat northern Thai food in Chiang Mai, but one of the most famous restaurants in the center of the city is called Huen Phen (ร้านเฮือนเพ็ญ). More details here:

Famous throughout central Chiang Mai, and located in a convenient location, Huen Phen (ร้านเฮือนเพ็ญ) serves northern Thai food. The restaurants looks just like a home from the outside, but step inside, and you’ll initially see a buffet of pre-made curries, and then tables and chairs spread out throughout the restaurant. It’s the type of restaurant that looks like it started small, and then just kept expanding and getting larger and larger as more customers started coming.

At Huen Phen (ร้านเฮือนเพ็ญ) I was able to try a few northern Thai food dishes that I had never tried before, so this was my first time. One of the dishes was something called khao ngiaw (ข้าวเงี้ยว (ข้าวกั้นจิ้น), which I actually didn’t know what it was at the beginning. It tastes almost like corned beef mixed with rice, and the triangle of rice was served with crispy garlic, fresh diced shallots, and a few dried chilies on the side. I’m not totally sure the correct eating procedure, but I sort of just combined all the ingredients and toppings into a bite and ate. It was delicious. When I returned home and researched the dish, I figured out they use pork blood to cook with the rice.

Another northern Thai food I tried at Huen Phen (ร้านเฮือนเพ็ญ) was aeb pla (แอ๊บปลา), kind of a steamed fish custard that was full of herbs. The fish was probably seasoned with a bit of red curry paste, and filled with a bunch of Thai sweet basil, before being wrapped up in a banana leaf and steamed to perfection. I really love it, the fish was flaky and moist, and the herbs provided a wonderful freshness. Another northern dish I was eager to try was tam kanun (ตำขนุน) or young jackfruit salad. The jackfruit was plucked into small pieces, then mixed with onions, garlic, and a few herbs and spices. Unfortunately it was a bit on the oily side, but it was very tasty, and it did have some delicious flavor to it. In Isan or in Bangkok, if you go to a restaurant and order a Thai food known as larb, you’ll get a minced pork salad, served room temperature, and dressed with a mixture of lime juice and fish sauce. For northern Thai food, larb is much different. I ordered larb khua moo (ลาบคั่วหมู), a very oily dish of minced pork and some parts, all seasoned with a blend of spices, including some cinnamon, and then garnished with crispy shallots and crispy basil leaves. It was very tasty indeed, but it was extremely greasy, so it wasn’t a dish I could eat everyday. Gaeng ho (แกงคั่วโฮ๊ะ) is a northern Thai dish that was traditionally sort of a stir fry of leftovers from the day before. Today, it’s more of a mix of vegetables and mung bean vermicelli, stir fried up with what tasted to me like tomato sauce.

Overall, I enjoyed my northern Thai food meal at Huen Phen (ร้านเฮือนเพ็ญ) in Chiang Mai, it’s a great local restaurant. The food was a bit on the oily side, so you do need to be prepared for that, but the flavors are tasty and the food is uniquely northern Thai.

Address: 112 Thanon Ratchamanka Phra Sing, Chiang Mai
Open hours: 8:30 am – 4 pm and 5 pm – 10 pm daily
Phone: 053-814548
Prices: About 40 – 50 THB per dish
ที่อยู่ 112 ถ.ราชมรรคา ตำบล พระสิงห์ อ.เมือง จังหวัด เชียงใหม่ 50000
เปิดบริการทุกวัน 8.30-16.00 , 17.00-22.00

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