The first time I went to Yok Fa and ordered Phat See Ew in their homage to the 40's interior, I was quietly impressed. The Wok-Hei to steal a Penang Kuey Teow term, was present and dangerous. I recommended it to many a friend and received varying degrees of positive feedback. My most recent review came in the form of a rather unimpressed report, one that I took seriously.
Back in Chiang Mai with a hole in my stomach to fill, I headed down and ordered a plate sitting as far away from other humans as possible. The food came and it looked less kissed by heat and more sat on by warm elephants. The noodles were a rather greasy affair, and everything ate oily. It had none of the love and fire that I remembered from 2018, and I began to doubt my own memory, and existence.
I chalked it down to the death of another legendary place, shook the dust off my Birkenstocks, and wandered into the old town avoiding elephant pants and motioning parents.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"