First time left speechless while eating dinner because of the dishes ordered had brought back my childhood memories. They used specific southeast Asian produce ingredients that are rarely found, such as the little green balls.
I like to test authenticity of a Southeast Asian food by ordering papaya salad which was executed perfectly with the intensity of the fish sauce, chili peppers along with the dried shrimp. The curry some of the top I've had so far, we had the duck curry with enough balance of meat to curry sauce ratio.
Surprisingly they had custard which is a must try since it was the crust-less style I grew up with and have to say was better than my mother's!
Will definitely miss this place since this is the closest to my parents' home cooking.
Do make reservations during peak time or come early enough.
After 10 days of travel in England and Scotland, I'd had my fill of pub-food. We tried to dine here the night before, but it was full. We barely managed to get a 7:30pm booking on a Friday, only because we promised we'd be done by 9pm (not a problem for us as we're notorious for eating too fast).
I love that this place is in an historic building and that they've included historic prints in the mix of Thai decor. I love that your food arrives via the old dumb waiter. This is probably not a selling point for those accustomed to dining in historic buildings.
The food itself was quite tasty. We started with the dumplings (shumai-type dumplings). The portion was good, the flavor was good, but I would've preferred the sauce in a cup or collecting dish to allow for dipping/drizzling of the dark sauce. We then shared the beef with garlic, the prawn pad thai, and the papaya salad. The beef with garlic was tender and flavorful, and the sauce made the white rice quite tasty. Between my husband and sister-in-law, I didn't get a single prawn from the pad thai, but there were bits of chicken and egg that were still quite tasty. The noodles were soft, not sticky, and there was just enough sauce to be smooth, but not runny. The papaya salad hit the spot, quite spicy thanks to the slices of fresh peppers in it.
Our service was fine - time for us to choose from the menu, drinks brought as quickly as we expect, and for the only time in our 11 day trip to the UK, the check arrived without us asking or waiting for 20 minutes (which might seem pushy to those who are accustomed to enjoying their table for the whole evening, but as Americans, we'd rather just have it there).
This place has definitely lost a star on my astronomical radar. I called to make a reservation early Friday afternoon for later that evening. Understandably they did not have a table at 7 or 8pm but they assured me that they would be all set to take us at 9:30. We were really eager to have the best Thai food so we agreed to coax our stomachs into waiting on a late dinner.
We arrived just in time for our reservation to a truly packed restaurant. There were people waiting on the stairs and our group of 5 stood around while the waitress informed us that it would be a 5 minute wait. Fair enough. Over 40 minutes later we were seated, after several reminders to the staff and countless assurances that we would be seated in a 'few minutes'. The few minutes turned into almost three quarters of an hour. Though they were kind enough to give us a bottle of wine, it seemed like it was mainly fuelled by the fact that the owners knew one of our company as a regular customer. The other people were not so lucky.
My beef Pad See-ew Noodle was a little off in terms of flavoring, though the couple bites that I had of Gaeng Talay were delicious. The chicken pad thai was a little too sweet and sour as well. I would really just go here for their curries which I concede are just gorgeous.
Anyway, I was embarrassed to have promised my friends an infallible restaurant while being made to stand on a staircase for 40 minutes and being treated as if we hadn't booked. Honestly, it was the longest wait I've ever had.....with and without a reservation.
I had lunch here again and still thought it was great. The 'mild' dish still wasn't mild. Ground chicken basil with fried egg, mmm.
I was in Oxford for a few weeks last summer for work. Whenever I travel, I always look to find a great Thai place and see how it compares to other places. I read about Chiang Mai in a travel book and decided to try it out.
It's not easy to find! You can be on the street where it's alley is off of and miss it if you don't look for the small sign. But once you see the sign, all you do is walk into a little alley and make a right into the restaurant.
It is on 2 levels. The staff is very warm and welcoming and tended to my needs very well.
On my first time there, I ordered a Thai iced tea and I have to say it was THE best I have ever had. It was creamier than any before it and just perfectly flavored. For an appetizer, I ordered the crispy tofu which arrived beautifully arranged on a platter with an ORCHID for a garnish. Gorgeous! The tofu was perfectly crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. The dipping sauce was tasty as well!
I am a huge fan of Pad Thai and am very particular about how it is made. Chiang Mai's pad thai met and exceeded all my expectations. There was ample chicken and shrimp. There was just the right amount of sauce and the plate came fresh and steaming to my table. If I remember correctly, I scraped every last bit off the plate that I could on the first visit. The next time I went, I saved some to take away and savored it the next day for lunch. :)
I never felt rushed and as a woman dining alone, felt very safe while I was there. I was treated with respect as a visitor to the country and appreciated the politeness of the staff.
The ambiance was nice, as it is in a converted pub. It is very rustic feeling, a little on the small side, but intimate. The stairs are a bit steep and squeaky, but it adds to the charm!
My stomach rumbles as I write this. Is it wrong I want to go back to Oxford because of this restaurant? :)
My fav-our-ite Thai restaurant in all of the UK.
I love the food here and whenever I am in Oxford I always stop off here for either a lunch or a dinner.
I took some worldly travelled people here (who tended to be picky -in a good way- about food) and they loved it...touchdown!!!!! As they say in the United States...
I love the atmosphere - it is a converted Tudor pub - I think - (though it can get too warm so you have to consume beer to keep cool - you have been warned).
It is great for groups or couples.
Be warned the entrance is a little difficult to find. You have to walk down a little alleyway off the main street and it will be on a door to your right. The picture to then entrance of the alleway is displayed in the Yelp pictures in this profile...so good luck. I walked past it four times before I figured out what the hell was going on.
Call ahead and book so as not to be disappointed.
There are not many good Thai restaurants in this area.
Chiang Mai Kitchen is a place where I would have my Thai food. It's a little cramped inside. *I had better Thai food, but if you have to go. This is the place* Entrance is at Kemp Hall passage.
Food is average and expensive. Sometimes I feel that we're being rushed to get out here. This is due with their popularity. Which means, you need to reserve a table. My favorite dish is the Plah Nueng Giem Buey.
Well executed Thai food in the heart of Oxford, located in a charming , and very old, building hidden down an alley, just off the High Street. Apparently, in the dim and distant past, the building has been at various times a police station and a French restaurant ( incidentally, where Raymond Blanc worked..a very long tiime ago!). All that aside, it's been a Thai restaurant as long as I've known Oxford, and the upshot is that this means the restaurant seating is spread across a number of rooms on a number of floors, so you are heavily dependent on the capacity of your server.
The menu tends towards the more conservative end of Thai food, but the standard is good I particularly enjoyed scallops with chili as a starter, combining sweet seafood ( still in the shell) witha nicely punchy sauce.
Be aware that the restaurant is very popular, particularly, it seems, with slightly better heeled postgrad students, so you may want to consider booking ahead.
Good food and good service at a reasonable price. Lovely old building that makes for a great atmosphere. The restaurant is worth going to just to see the historic doors and beams.
I was really lucky getting a table here on a Saturday night without booking - apparently normally you have to book ages in advance. Very yummy food, prompt and polite service, and a real step up from your typical Chinese/Thai restaurant. The menu's huge, which isn't great for a decision-phobe like me, but it means you can come back time and time again. What's great is that there's more variety than just the same dish with different meat; there are curries, dry dishes, very good starters, noodle dishes - the lot, but all a bit different from a typical takeaway. A word of warning though: if it has a hot symbol by it, it's hot!!
My favourite thing is the old-fashioned lift they use to bring food upstairs. It's a tunnel in the wall, where they pull a cable and the food comes up on a tray. Very fun to watch and it really adds a sense of tradition and authenticity to the place.
My favourite dish: Khanom Jeep £6.25:
Little rice pastry dumplings filled with water chestnuts, minced pork and spring onions. Steamed and served with a soya/garlic sauce.
Some of the best that Oxford has to offer is hidden away in its alleys and secret passages, and Chiang Mai Kitchen tops my list of secret gems. Hidden just off the high street, it looks like an old tudor building that's probably listed like the rest of Central Oxford. The owners have somehow managed to make it feel Thai through decor that preserves much of the character of the building, yet is uniquely Thai as well.
Into this wonderful ambiance, add the attentive staff and the best Thai food in Oxford. I have high expectations of Thai food, and Chiang Mai Kitchen is the only place in Oxford that doesn't disappoint.
Be sure to reserve a table, as it's almost always crowded.
We met friends for a Saturday night meal 3 weekis ago and the food was the best I have eaten in Oxford in some time. I was not surprised it was so busy and you have to book but the food and service was the best.
This Sunday lunch this week and again the food was amazing and it is great to have such a good choice for Veggies unlike aalot of Oxfords restrurants.
Friends have been telling me to go here for literally years but somehow I only got around to it for my girlfriend's birthday last week. The beautiful scent of the kitchen hits you as soon as you walk in. There's great decor, friendly and efficient service and, most importantly, delicious food. We had a duck curry, a seafood curry, coconut rice, some spicy chicken salad to start, a few beers and a Thai rice banana pudding for dessert. Everything was perfectly cooked and spiced and the servings were generous too. If I'd have one criticism then it's that the dessert was a little bland and heavy, but you don't really go to Asian restaurants for the desserts, do you? A great birthday dinner and a lovely night out.
I especially appreciated how, even though it is a popular restaurant in a small nooks-and-crannies old building, they keep a respectful distance between tables and give diners space, rather than trying to cram in hundreds of people.
My only tip would be to reserve (like we did), as even on a midweek night it was full and new arrivals had to wait about thirty minutes. But they take your name and everything by the looks of things, so I'm sure you get seated pretty efficiently.
We went on my girlfriend's birthday, having read glowing reviews. We were lead to a tiny table downstairs. Business was brisk & the service slow.
Starters were OK but my red Thai curry was very average. My girlfriend enjoyed her king prawn course.
I've had far better Thai meals than this! Pretty disappointing all round.
Had heard good things about this place from everyone we had mentioned our liking of The Bangkok House to. So, we went. Cramped seating with a strange decor upstairs.
I had stuffed chicken wings which were tiny, dry and tasteless. My partner had fishcakes which were deformed, rubbery and tasted like a mixture between sucking on plastic and Fairy Liquid. We followed this with two main dishes of nondescript curry. I could have made better, and I am not a very good cook.
The bill arrived and was only marginally cheaper than The Bangkok House.
Will not return. Why would I when the other place is so near with such nice food?
Hands down, my favourite restaurant in Oxford, if not everywhere! I've been many times and never had even the slightest problem - as close to perfection as you can get.
The food is sensational - all very authentic and every dish prepared very carefully and absolutely delicious. My personal favourites are the pork dumplings and chicken spinach parcels to start, both delicious and great for sharing. I love the sizzling dishes and my favourite dish is the beef in oyster sauce, so subtle and still packed full of favour. Also a fantastic wine list, many lovely bottles and a foolproof menu that gives very accurate descriptions under each wine so you know exactly what you're getting - obviously very carefully chosen by someone who cares about it very much. I've got to mention the ice-cream - to die for! Very rich and creamy, perfect after a spicy meal - the best ice cream in Oxford. Chocolate lovers have to try their bitter chocolate, delicious!
The service is spot on - very polite, extremely efficient and happy to help. The manager does a fantastic job of keeping everything running smoothly. The best thing about non-chain restaurants is how much the staff care about making it a success, which filters down to the service.
You'll have to book a table, as it's very popular indeed. Brilliant for a romantic date, a meal out with good friends, taking your family out for a treat - anything. I recommend going for dinner rather than lunch so that you can eat plenty, as it's well worth ordering a lot! The best way to eat here is to order a lot of dishes to share, and taste a little bit of everything. None of it will disappoint!
The Pad Thai is amazing!
In a city that hosts several top notch Thai restaurants, this is by far my favorite. Small, cozy, and warm. Go down the alley off High and then head upstairs. The service is good, the food is excellent. Never had a bad meal in many years of coming here. I miss it already.
For Thai in Oxford, Chiang Mai is as good as you will find. I always leave satisfied and impressed. Authentic tasting and perfectly balanced dishes (chili heat, sweet, salty and sour). The service is prompt and pleasant. Price is reasonable (not cheap but not super expensive). I like the old timber-framed house decor.
Excellent Thai food, but a little pricey.
I studied abroad at Queens College back in the summer of 2007, and this was by far the favorite restaurant for all of the students in the program. Large groups of us came here for lunch at least 3 or 4 times during the month that we were in Oxford!
I had never had Thai food before eating here, and now I am hooked!
Tucked away in a little alley is some of the best Thai food you'll have outside of Thailand. Be forewarned, it gets hot and spicy in here!
Tasty tasty tasty!
My absolute favourite restaurant in Oxford. The food is absolutely delicious, and the service is always great. I recommend the Kung Chup (battered king prawns) for starters, and the Gaeng Penang chicken for the main course, all washed down with a king sized Singa beer.
The only problem is the size of the place. It's quite tiny, and we always seem to be left waiting on the stairs for ages before being seated.
Oh yeah, for some reason every time I've been there with my Dad, the food has been a bit crap. So just don't go there with your Dad.
Officially my favourite Thai restaurant. Haven't found one that matches it yet! Nicely tucked away from the high street in Oxford. It is very popular so I would advise booking. Great atmosphere and food that's worth the price.
My favorite Thai restaurant in Europe so far. Very recommendable. Nice interior, great staff, incredible food. My recommendation if you come for the first time: green curry with coconut rice and Chang beer.
This is a great little restaurant in the heart of Oxford. We went there for a special occasion. The food was tasty and beautifully presented they do fish particularly well. The service was excellent and the atmosphere is warm and cosy. Book well in advance it fills up quickly.
We were lucky to get a table. The food was really tasty and the service was great with a female manager being on top of things even though it was crowded and there was a big group having a party. The only mistake I made was taking the white house-wine and that tasted even cheaper than it was.
Pretty amazing thai food! Make a reservation as it is crowded. It's a neat place though. You feel like you are tucked into some Shakespearean Inn or something. I went with a group, and we all sampled each other's food. Loved everything. The Larb was to die for!
this place is a great find! tucked away in a small alley, make sure to book a table in advance as it gets pretty crowded, especially on weekends. the food is delicious, one of the best thai i've had in a while. the service was very friendly the time i visited.
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