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One of our favourite Thai restaurants in Hong Kong has recently undergone a makeover and menu revamp. Focused on Isaan cuisine from northern Thailand, which is known for its robust, powerful flavours, the renewed Chachawan features some fresh new menu items from dynamic husband-and-wife chef duo Chang and Narisara Somboon.
New, refreshing starters include som dtum kao pod ($108), a sweetcorn salad tossed with cherry tomato, chilli, garlic and salted egg, larp bet ($128), a DIY lettuce cup with chopped pork and shallot, and phla thale ($148), a spicy seafood salad packed with juicy prawns dressed in lemongrass, mint, chilli paste and sweet-and-sour sauce.
One of our favourite dishes is the moo nanaw ($118), a spicy pork salad with pops of lime, as well as the kai jiaw ($148), a classic Thai fluffy omelette filled with crabmeat. Sinfully stackable, the sam chan tort glua ($168) is a crunchy plate of deep-fried pork belly served with spicy tamarind sauce.
A must-have at any Isaan restaurant, the sai krok Isan ($98) are little pork sausage ball skewers grilled to crispy perfection. Another favourite street-side snack is gai yung ($158), juicy chicken thighs marinated for 24 hours in a mixture of spices, then skewered and grilled. The khanom jeen nam ngiao ($128), a robust rice-noodle dish with a spicy tomato broth featuring dried red cotton flowers, was soothing and satisfying.
The hero of the meal was the pla phao glua ($288), a whole sea bass crusted in salt and stuffed with lemongrass, pandanus and lime leaf. The meat was incredibly flavourful and tender.
To cap off our Thai feast, we tucked into crispy banana pancakes ($78), mango sticky rice ($75) and a mountain of shaved Thai milk tea ice ($75) served with a generous portion of black tapioca pearls.
A delicious revamp that still features some of our favourites, including the grilled chicken thighs and crab omelette. Chachawan is a great little spot for a low-key, satisfying meal that takes you to Thailand, especially now when travel seems like an elusive memory.
206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0020 (no bookings)
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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