Pun Pun Restaurant Airport
Location: 97/3 Moo 1 Tambon Padad, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Opening Hours: Daily 11.00am-7.00pm. Closed Thursday.
Right next to the seating is a medium sized garden with several fresh vegetables and herbs growing. How much or little is being used in the kitchen I am not sure.
The menu at this outlet is quite different to the other two. It is more limited and has a section focusing specifically on Isaan cuisine. This cuisine originates from the Isaan region of Northeastern Thailand and is renowned for their sticky rice and chili peppers.
The menu titled ‘dips curry soup’ will have dishes Pun Pun regulars will be more familiar with – Just be clear when stating that you want them to be vegetarian.
The ‘fusion’ dishes offered more Western style food.
We kicked things off with a Basil & Pineapple Smoothie. Be careful, milk is added in a lot of the shakes/drinks, so make it clear that you don’t take dairy (assuming you are vegan). The Thai basil freshly picked in Thailand is immensely different to the withered version found in markets and supermarkets overseas. The flavour is much more intense, and it just feels ‘alive’. This drink was very enjoyable, however it really needed double the amount of pineapple to be added. I tasted a slight sweetness, but no actual pineapple taste. This was a shame, as I am sure if balanced properly, the combination of basil and pineapple would have been excellent.
Price: 60TB. 6/10
One dish that is unique to the airport branch is the Black Bean Burrito. Overall, I found this to be the most enjoyable item I tried. The burrito was soft, and it was packed with ingredients. Inside there was both rice and beans – On a side note, Pun Pun has the best tasting plain rice I’ve ever tried (both their purple and brown rice are excellent). The beans were well seasoned and creamy, and they were my personal highlight of the burrito. Sour cream is a default addition to this burrito, so make sure to ask them to exclude it, if you are vegan.
Price: 80TB. 8/10
I was curious to see how some of my old favourites compare at this new outlet. I started with the Tom Yum Vegetarian with Coconut Milk. This dish can be served clear or with coconut milk – The latter will add a greater richness to the soup. Compared with the other Pun Pun’s I must be honest and say this soup was quite inferior. The soup simply didn’t have the depth and complexity in flavour of the dish made by the Pun Pun master and his apprentice. The ingredients were fresh, no doubt about that, but the actual cooking skill was lacking.
Price: 60TB. 6/10
Another old favourite is the Mussamen Curry. My verdict on this dish can be easily comparable to the tom yum previously. The dish is just not the same as the master and the apprentice – The mussamen may have an even greater difference. The curry was too diluted and didn’t have that fermented taste that I am so used to. It is still better than most the mussamen curries I have tried in my life, but not on the level of greatness of the other two Pun Pun’s.
Price: 60TB. 6/10
Conclusion – Based on the fact that this establishment is not 100% vegetarian, and additionally the food not being as good as the other two outlets – I couldn’t foresee myself returning to this eatery again. The one big plus point, however, is the geographical location, which is very convenient if you are heading to or just arriving at the airport. This outlet is good compared to most vegetarian food you will likely find, but significantly below average when compared to the two other Pun Pun outlets.
Food – 6/10
Service – 8/10
Value – 7/10