Thursday, 11 February 2010
Sorry about the photo. It was supposed to be a tantalising visual of a fresh juicy T-bone steak from Chok Chai Farm. But when it arrived, with a sideplate of jacket potato and steamed greens, I just couldn't help myself and wolfed it down. I'm sorry, OK?
In my defence I was just a little bit hungry. You see, we'd driven the 159 kilometres from Bangkok (not even a couple of hours, blamming along the wonderful Highway 1 which runs all the way north to the border with Burma). One of the highlights of the trip was a petrol stop which featured about 30 bowsers plus hundreds of toilet cubicles for coach passengers, spotlessly clean -- like the lobby of a Hyatt Hotel or something. It even had an award for the best toilets in Thailand. Jing jing!
Anyway, I was hungry. And it's been a L-O-N-G time since I've had a decent honest-to-goodness slab of meat. I mean, I love Thai food, I really do. But sometimes you just need a massive carnivorous protein fix. And Chok Chai is the place to do it, producing much of Thailand's best beef here in the highlands north-east of Bangkok on the way to Isaan.
The farm itself is a proper working farm, but is open for camping and farm tours where you learn to milk cows, ride horses, and experience rural life in wonderfully natural green alpine surroundings. Yeah, yeah, whatever ... where's the meat?
Chok Chai have a burger joint, a grill place and a steakhouse all fronting Highway 2 (the main road across to Nakhon Ratchasima). All staff are decked out in cowboy hats, boots, string ties, and checked shirts. Think of it as Country and Eastern if you like. The unmistakable whiff of grilling meat in the air really gets the gastric juices flowing. What would the poor cows in the fields outside think and feel as the breathe in the country air and smell poor old Aunt Daisy or Uncle Fred being done to a tender medium rare?
I ordered the T-Bone Senior, a whopping 500-gram steak. Sorry, sir, we've run out. Run out? Can't you just run outside and lassoo another heifer??? Anyway, the 400-gram T-Bone Junior was a damn good steak (as the clean surgical dissection illustrated here will attest), and well worth driving 159 kilometres for. And at 1400 baht for two steaks, including soft drinks, great value.
Next time I'll use a faster shutter speed so you'll see what a great steak it really was ...