I fell in love with the fresh, fragrant flavors of Thai food when I visited Thailand for the first time back in 2013. I took numerous cooking classes, tasted the world’s best drunken noodle, sampled their glorious street food, and experienced the famous upscale Thai restaurant Nahm.
Just as I was experiencing Thailand for the first time in 2013, Nahm.-alum Adam Cliff was helping to open up Chachawan in Hong Kong.
Chachawan brought a different type of Thai food to Hong Kong, namely food from the northern part of Thailand, called Issan cuisine. Issan food is is spicy, sour, and salty. It relies on grilled meats a lot more, and uses plenty of heat and herbs but less sauces and curries. It’s not as sweet as Thai food from other regions. It doesn’t really use coconut milk much (which makes Bryan really happy).
Chef Adam Cliff left in 2016 to open his own place, Samsen in Wan Chai. However, Chachawan is still going strong. Run by the same folks who opened Duddell’s and 22 Ships, Chachawan does not take reservations and has no service charge.
I came here one day for lunch on a weekday. The atmosphere was buzzing, and you could tell this was a very popular place….