THE DUKE’S – An American in Chiang Mai

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David Anichowski opened his first restaurant, the Duke’s, by the Ping river in Chiang Mai in 2005. The fact that there are now four (and counting) Duke’s in Chiang Mai is testament to the fact that this restaurant has certainly lived up to its slogan of ‘No claims, no games, just great food’!

The latest branch of the Duke’s is located on the fourth floor of Chiang’s Mai’s chic Maya mall, and from the moment you step in, it is obvious that these people are serious about their food. Good old American food that is, and lots of it.

This spacious restaurant seats about 170 people, but the well-designed layout gives the place the atmosphere of a friendly family diner. The open kitchen, the naturally sunlit high ceilings, and the irresistible aroma from warm trays of freshly baked focaccia cooling on the counter all work together to whet an appetite, and the extensive, generous, epicurean menu certainly does not disappoint. After all, as the owner of this restaurant himself says – he loves to eat…and eat…and eat!

Who wouldn’t, with a menu that features a selection of house ribs as starters, or deep fried mozzarella sticks, onion rings and steak tips with a whisky peppercorn sauce?

The menu tilts a nod to the popular 1960’s American hors-d’oeuvre: the classic shrimp cocktail, faithfully recreated here with sweet juicy prawns perched on the rim of a parfait glass and, of course, thousand island dressing, made fresh in-house.

Duke’s attention to quality means that no bottled dressings need apply here: all their dressings – Italian, Greek, buttermilk, ranch, Caesar, blue cheese – are made from scratch daily, to complement their colorful, substantial salads.

Warming to the theme of hearty American food, the menu tempts further with shrimp chowder, country chili, spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf, American lasagne, pastrami reubens, and steak – lots of it.

Choose from a 400g boneless ribeye, a 225g filet mignon, a 225g prime sirloin rump or a 325g grass-fed New York strip steak. All their beef is imported from the US and Australia, and your steak is cooked to your liking, from blue through well-done.

Carnivores rejoice here, because the menu keeps going in the direction of meat: there are ribs – choose from a half-rack or full rack of wood-oven, herbed and spiced melt-in-your-mouth pork ribs, served with the Duke’s sweet tangy barbecue sauce, coleslaw, fries, beans and honey corn bread.

And how about a burger – try the succulent Single Duke’s Burger with cheddar, bacon, grilled onions and mushrooms.

If red meat isn’t your thing, however, Duke’s has got you covered too –  try the buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potato and cream gravy or the Mediterranean tuna filet. And don’t miss the Duke’s authentic hand-tossed thin crust pizzas. Pizza sizes are: small (12 inches), medium (14 inches) and large (16 inches). Choose your toppings from a selection that includes Italian sausage, meatball, salami, ham, chicken, grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant, anchovies, bell peppers, ricotta and blue cheese.

At Duke’s, anyone would be tempted to eat…and eat…and eat!

Written By Sehra, E-Table Asia In Chiang Mai

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