As a lover of Thai food, I thought I had tried it all: from the classic pad Thais and papaya salads to the more intricate and unusual dishes created in the northern regions of Thailand. On a recent trip to Chiang Mai, I was eager to try one of the city's finest and – more importantly – unique dining spots and knew that The Service 1921 had to be at the top of my list. This famed eatery is heralded by most publications and has been favourably reviewed by those who have been lucky enough to try it. With this in mind, I was both excited and apprehensive to put it to the test: enthusiastic to try Chiang Mai's top-rated venue and very hopeful that it would not disappoint, as hyped venues unfortunately often do.
The menu at The Service 1921 is a beautiful blend of contemporary Thai, Chinese Sichuan and Vietnamese dishes, created by expert chefs from each region. It's obvious that the freshest, most fragrant ingredients are carefully selected, and we savoured every exquisite mouthful. I am often hesitant when such a variety of fare is offered and worry that the quality of the food may suffer, but this is absolutely not the case at The Service 1921. I can wholeheartedly recommend everything from the tender beef and pomelo salads to the butter chicken curry and the spicy pork dumplings. I must also give a shout-out to the unforgettable chicken satay, the Chinese roast duck and the beef massaman curry. Let's just say that these guys know how to do flawless fusion and execute it with precision. For added individuality, we washed the bountiful buffet down with a local Thai wine and a chat with the most cordial and accommodating staff that we encountered during our entire trip.
While I hope that I have done the resort and the restaurant justice, nothing could beat experiencing both for oneself. Thankfully, Chiang Mai is such a short flight from Hong Kong, and not only will I be returning on my next visit there, I might just have to plan my next trip around revisiting my new favourite hotel destination. If it sounds like I'm gushing about it, it's even better in reality: trust me!