Pailin is a tantalizing Northern Thai restaurant worth a fiery mention. Sandwiched between two similar restaurants marking the gateway to Thai-food-land it is an understated hole in the wall and by being flanked by an oak tree, obscures the dusty name sign from any hungry passerby. There are no gimmicky eccentricities to pull in the crowds or celebrity endorsed tables: I’m not sure you’ll find Ryan Gosling slurping on a tom kah here.
It is a place which hasn’t experienced overrated reviews or consistent queues at every lunchtime rush. Pailin serves authentic cuisine: tender noodles, well balanced flavours, good sized dishes and adventurous off menu ‘delights’, fragrant intestine soups and offal curries to name a few. The fresh ingredients allow me to imbibe the genuineness of all the dishes without them melting my face off at the sniff of excessive amounts of MSG.
Pailin’s delicious home cooked fare always makes me believe for a moment that I am sitting opposite my travelling companion in a shack eatery somewhere in humid Chiang Mai. Alas, I am eating a seafood glass noodle hot pot, whilst watching the Thai version of ‘Days of Our Lives’ on a quiet Monday afternoon, alone. And I am happy.
You can order a decent amount without breaking a sweat from the heat of the bill. More of a lunchtime feed than an atmospheric dinner location, Pailin does spicily blow most of the other Thai eateries out of the water though.