Hipster Thai Food: Hands down one of The Loop’s favorite restaurants in town, Chachawan has been pleasing hungry Hongkongers since opening in 2013. The Sheung Wan mainstay specializes in northern Thai cuisine with an emphasis on citrus and spice.
Look & Feel: It’s cool to the core at Chachawan, with colorful wall murals, loud music, an open-kitchen countertop, bar seating and another cozy upstairs dining room. What it lacks in space, it makes up for in sheer personality.
Meet the Chef: Adam Cliff, who worked at Bangkok’s innovative Bo.lan and is a veritable wunderkind in the kitchen, having opened the resto when he was just 26 years old.
On the Menu: If you thought the interiors were hot, just wait for your first bite of this Isaan cuisine from northern Thailand. Chachawan refreshingly does not hold back on the spice so do come prepared. From the several variations of papaya salads to the savory pork, lemongrass sea bass and 24-hour marinated chicken thighs, this menu is well-rounded and creative.
Service: It’s never a slow night at Chachawan but the servers tend to keep smiles on their faces and move things right along. When it’s busy, it’s really busy, and you do get the sense of feeling rushed through your meal.
Jeng: The Thai omelet with crab meat is simple and endlessly good, especially with the Sriracha-like sauce served alongside. We’re also huge fans of the char-grilled Iberico pork which comes under a crown of garlic, chili and a spritz of lime. Struggling with the spice? Down one of the cooling cocktails and craft beers.
Not so Jeng: While the open kitchen counter concept is great in theory, the dishes emit a lot of smoke and heat, so it ends up being a rather insufferable dining experience.
Great For: Quick bites, hanging out with friends.
FYI: Queen restaurateur Yenn Wong boasts this baby on her CV.
This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.