Chachawan is a collaboration between restaurateur Yenn Wong and Chef Adam Cliff, and is one of the newest Thai restaurants in Hong Kong. It specialises in Issan Cuisine from the North-Eastern region of Thailand. For those of you who are not familiar with Issan food, it focuses mainly on grilled meats and salads which have a balanced of sour, salty and spicy flavours.
The interior of Chachawan is an old-school shophouse. A bar sits at the entrance of the restaurant, where you can have drinks before or after dinner. The wall is an organised rugged mess of slightly discoloured newspaper ads plastered in a seemingly cluttered yet distinct linear.
The menu is divided into five categories – Som Dtum, seafood, grilled meat, rice and desserts. From the salad menu, we highly recommend the delicious Nahm Dtok Nuer (HK$138). A spicy grilled wagyu beef salad tossed with shallots, coriander, mint, lime, fish sauce and toasted rice dressing – it totally busted my sanity.
Another dish which was equally impressive is the Moo Yung (HK$158) – Iberico is marinated in Thai garlic, coriander and pepper, and then char-grilled to perfection. It is further tossed with chopped chilli, garlic and lime to give it more flavour.
We also enjoyed the Gai Yung (HK$158). The chicken thigh is marinated for 24 hours in garlic, pepper, coriander, and grilled till crispy. It is accompanied by a dipping sauce made with tangerine juice, plum sugar, herbs and chilli.
For those who cannot resist spicy soup, try the Dtom Sap Moo (HK$98) – a hot and sour Eastern soup which comes with chunks of pork ribs. And if you are dining with a big group, go for the Pla Phao Glua (HK$268), salted crusted whole seabass with a chilli dipping sauce.
All in all, Chachawan is cool without being pretentious, and serves terrific Issan food. The prices, I have to admit, are steeper than the usual Thai restaurants, but given the quality and the overall dining experience, they are very much worth the prices asked for.
It may not be a destination nor a top-of-the-mind restaurant for foodies visiting Hong Kong, but it is surely a place that will come to mind when planning a night out with a group of friends, and want something different from the usual Spanish, Italian or French restaurants.
206 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2549 0020
Tue to Sun: 12pm – 3pm, 6.30pm – 12 midnight
Nearest Station: Sheung Wan
Note: This was an invited media tasting