Food of the Northern Thailand

My adventure this time brings me to Thailand; to be specific, the northern province of Thai where the mountains fills the landscape and there is peace and quiet from the bustling streets of congested metropolitan cities.

Thai food in Northern Thai has some significant differences when compared to the other provinces.  Here, the food is cooked with the sole thought for the taste of the Northern people, whereas places such as Central Thai where is it urbanized has a mixture of flavours with the migration of many Chinese.  Therefore, it is safe to say that the Northern Thai food would offer a more unique experience to many of us who are not from that region.

Even famous dishes that everyone knows such as Tom Yam soup, have different presentation, texture and flavour.

Original Tom Yam Soup is clear
The Tom Yam soup is clear and transparent, unlike the reddish broth that we are familiar with.
Tom Yam Soup with all its juicy ingredients
But that does not mean it is any less spicy, in fact, it is just as spicy while the clear broth makes the taste of the various ingredients in the soup such as the squid, the prawn and the fish much more distinctive.

Another specialty is the Khao Soi noodles with yellow curry. If you are not one who yearns to taste exciting new flavours from your usual, then the Khao Soi noodle would probably not suit you.

Khao Soi Noodles with Yellow Curry
The yellow curry is the staple of Chiang Mai’s signature dish, the Khao Soi. Along with the rich milky coconut milk, topped with crispy fried noodles, the turmeric gives the dish a little sweetness which balances so well with the spice from the red chilies in the curry paste, and is topped with lemon and red onion for that extra zest.

 Glass Noodle Salad Thai Papaya Salad

Glass Noodle Salad (pictured left) and Thai Papaya Salad which is also known as the ‘som tam’ (pictured right) are also famous Thai dishes in general.  The slightly tart flavour of the papaya, combines perfectly with the spice of red chili, the saltiness from the sauce and the sweetness, probably from what tastes like a drop of honey.

Deep Fried Crispy Kangkong
This is one of my favourites there. Kangkong leaves, coated with egg and flour, deep-fried until golden green and crispy. Eat it while its hot.

There are usually three different kinds of curry served: red, yellow and green curry.  Just like the colours on a traffic light that has different meanings, each curry has its own taste.

Thai Green Curry
At its most basic, all three of these curries contain curry paste, coconut milk, and meats or veggies. The basis of the three curry pastes is the same: garlic, shallots, galangal, shrimp paste, lime rind, coriander root, cumin seeds, lemongrass and peppercorns. For green curry, green chilies are used; for red curry, red chilies are added, and for yellow curry, curry powder (which contains a high amount of turmeric) is used.
Gang Hang Lae
Gang Hang Lae curry is another type of curry, very different from the spicy curry that we all know and love. Northern Thai was once occupied by the Burmese for several hundred years and this is one of the dishes that was adopted from the Burmese. The chicken is cooked till it is soft and tender. The overall dish tastes sweet, sour and tasty. It even has peanuts!
Thai Black Fungus with Egg and Minced Chicken
The black fungus is also one of Thai’s most commonly used ingredients. It is often used for stir fried vegetables, soups, salads and even meats. The picture shows the Thai Black Fungus with Egg and Minced Chicken.

Having had a look at what Northern Thai food has to offer, are your taste buds curious longing for a taste?  The good news is that you don’t have to fly a thousand miles just to taste the delicious delicacies Northern Thai has to offer!  Check out Nur Wanita Restaurant & Catering.  They specialize in Chiang-mai Northern Thai cuisine.

Nur Wanita Restaurant & Catering (KB Branch)
Nur Wanita Restaurant & Catering has two branches in Brunei; its first branch located in Kiarong and the newest and latest branch in Kuala Belait (shown above).
Main Entrance
The main entrance to Nur Wanita’s latest outlet in Kuala Belait. The exterior of the restaurant is gives an indication to the would-be-diners that the high standards offered in this restaurant.
Cozy and classy atmosphere for gourmet Thai food
Nur Wanita, where they serve gourmet Chiang Mai Thai food in a cozy atmosphere. The white walls and ceilings gives a sense of calmness while the mahogany furniture and fittings finishes the place with a sense of class.
Chef Dan preparing the Khao Soi Noodle
This is Chef Dan, the supervisor of the Kuala Belait branch, preparing the Khao Soi Noodle himself for one of the patrons, making sure his customers gets the best food and service.
Extra tenderness
At Nur Wanita, they pay close attention to the quality of food. For instance, the beef is cooked with loving tenderness, so much love that even a big chunk of beef such as the one shown in the picture above is tender to the bite.
Better Than Sweet (BTS)
The Better Than Sweet (BTS) is the name given to this very unique and extremely delicious dessert. Vanilla ice cream served on top of a baked bread sprinkled with black sesame seed and topped with caramel sauce. The baked bread is crispy in its entirely, even its inner crust which makes it both crunchy and tasty, which combined with the ice cream and caramel sauce, gives a very smooth finish to the interesting fusion in the mouth.

I was at Nur Wanita with a few other of my friends for the Ramadhan Buffet promotion.  They offer many other dishes other than the specialty ones I have mentioned above.

Butter Fish
Butter Fish

Beef in Hoi Sin Sauce
Beef in Hoi Sin Sauce

Chicken Cashew Nut
Chicken Cashew Nut

Chicken Satay
Chicken Satay

Chiang Mai BBQ
Chiang Mai BBQ

Various jelly and puddings!
Fruity Jello

Fried Wantan
Fried Wantan

French Fries
French Fries

Thai Spring Roll
Thai Spring Roll

Chocolate CakeFruity JelloCheese Cake

Picture (left): Chocolate Cake.  Picture (center): Fruity Jello.  Picture (right): Cheese Cake.

If you are tired of having buffets from regular restaurants and plan to go for a high class buffet, then you should really give Nur Wanita a try. It has a wonderful large buffet spread with unique tasty and quality food options.

All the images that you have seen in this post are part of the Ramadhan Buffet promotion currently offered by Nur Wanita.  With a price of BND$22, you may think it is a bit on the expensive range, but think about this; you don’t have to fly all the way to Northern Thailand to taste authentic Northern Thai food!


2 thoughts on “Food of the Northern Thailand

  1. Hi Cyril!

    It’s Jenne and Raki here from Digital Nomad Travel Magazine. We’re an independent digital-only magazine for Apple Newsstand.

    Our next issue is on Northern Thailand and we would like to include your article and accompanying photos of Northern Thailand Food. It really shows off some of the tasty culinary attractions in that region.

    Please can you let us know if we can use the article with accompanying photos? We will link to your blog and of course include your bio and social links. Feel free to ask if you need more details.

    Our readers get inspired by unique articles and photos like yours, and we’re really excited about collaborating with you! Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,


    Digital Nomad Travel Magazine

    1. Hi Jen,

      Okay! No problem as long as the credits are there. May I request for one PDF copy of the magazine? It’s an honour to have one my articles used in your magazine. Just let me know what do you need!


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