There are a few questions you can ask to determine if a place is worth eating at. Do the owners not speak your language all that well, or even the
Edit: There is now a full English menu with pictures. It doesn’t have photos of the actual food they make, but the food here looks and tastes better than the pictures they nabbed from Google.
native language of the country you’re in? Is the menu written by hand and not in English? Will you have to use google translate or pictures to get the food you want, and even then with an air of uncertainty? Did the food take longer to prepare than it normally would somewhere else? If all these questions are answered with an emphatic yes, then you are undoubtedly in for a great meal.
At China Tongue in Nimman, they pass this test with flying colours. It is a Chinese Muslim family run restaurant (that’s another great sign). It appears from a distance to be an unassuming, hip, and not very good coffee shop. This is doubly true as they still have the the sign from the not very good, hip burrito restaurant that was there before them. Every time I eat here I get the same thing, an unassuming bowl of noodles, and just like the sign above the threshold, there is more to this bowl than meets the eye.
The noodles are made in the classic Chinese style of grasping a large ball of dough with both hands and stretching it to the length of a fathom. The ends are then joined in the middle and pulled again alongside the newly formed loop. This process is repeated until the desired circumference is achieved; a few slaps for tension and theatrics in between.
The beef in the soup is cooked to my liking. Which is to say the intramuscular fat turns that beautiful stage of somehow being both translucent and opaque at the same time. This can only be achieved through slow cooking in a vat of flavorful liquid. Spring onions and coriander add a nice freshness and colour to the dish, and the amount of Sichuan peppercorn you discover at the bottom of the bowl explains the numbing heat in the broth. Undoubtedly the reason to eat this dish is the texture of those noodles who have only existed for a few minutes before consumption.
The owners are a lovely pair of brothers. They offer great service at a fair price. With each meal you will be presented a complimentary plate of vegetables marinating in a bath of chilies and sesame oil. They are also quick and generous with the pour of an amber tea that has just the right amount of sediment collecting at the bottom of your glass. I particularly enjoy the way the tea changes colour as you drink, due to the way light interacts with it’s given volume. The tea is complimentary as well.
A bowl of noodles may seem a little on the pricey side, 150 baht, but when you take into account the quality, quantity, and complimentary tea plus veggies it really is a great deal; not to mention being located in Nimman.
You have to search De Ja Moon, the aforementioned burrito spot, in google as they don’t have a maps location. If you can’t speak or read Chinese the best way to order is to show them a picture of what you want, or try your luck with google translate. If you’re patient and smile you shouldn’t have any problems.
Open: I honestly don’t know the hours, but probably 12:00-21:00 Everyday… probably. A safe bet is regular lunch and dinner hours.
The Good Stuff Chiang Mai