June 18, 2024


The Food community

St. Louis’ best new restaurants from 2020-21 honor bright spots under pandemic cloud | Off the Menu

2 min read

Chiang Mai serves up traditional, regional Thai food

Su Hill at Chiang Mai, her restaurant in Webster Groves

I have eaten many great takeout meals during the pandemic, but nothing has transcended its packaging and transport better than the northern Thai fare from Su Hill’s Webster Groves restaurant. Hill draws on the kitchen of her childhood home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and a career in restaurants and hospitality that already includes the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, restaurant Bistro Saffron.

In St. Louis, she grills snappy, juicy sai oua (pork sausage) and roasts tender, garlicky, honey-kissed gra dook moo (baby-back ribs). The spicing of Hill’s khao soi and hung lay curry is somehow both pungent and delicate, their recipes honed yet still soulful.

Chiang Mai serves up traditional, regional Thai food

Sai oua (pork sausage) at Chiang Mai in Webster Groves 

At Chiang Mai, Hill also further bolsters one of St. Louis’ outstanding restaurant families. Her three sisters and nephew all operate excellent restaurants: Nippon Tei from Ann Bognar; Sushi Koi from Whitney Yoon; Rice Thai Bistro from Nina Prapaisilpa and her husband, Bryan; and Indo from Nick Bognar, Ann’s son.

When I finally visited Chiang Mai’s dining room this fall, the quality and vibrancy of Hill’s cooking exceeded the already high expectations her takeout had set. An appetizer order of kab moo (pork rinds) continued to sizzle and pop at the table, demanding my attention. Chiang Mai and Su Hill deserve yours.

Where 8158 Big Bend Boulevard, Webster Groves • More info 314-961-8889; chiangmaistl.com

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