Cochrane is nearish to Calgary, Alberta and has one of the best Thai restaurants I have ever been to. Yep, Cochrane. Located in a small strip like mall, Chiang Rai smells delightful when you enter and everything thereafter makes the place seem even better. We ate lunch there in late December, and were so pleased we've joined others in recommending the restaurant.
What did we have? We ordered papaya salad, pad thai and green curry with chicken. And each one of them was wonderfl in a different way.
Beginning with the papaya salad: one of my co-diners loves papaya salad and has been to Thailand. To quote her: "this is the best I have had outside of Thailand." And, she tries papaya salad nearly everywhere. It was tangy, and hot, and fresh tasting. In my view, it was the first time the tomatoes on papaya salad were not flacid, unripe, yucky things one skipped over but fully ripe, intergrated into the salad.
The pad thai was also delightful -- the sauce was dark and also quite distinct. Unlike some versions I have had, each noodle was separate -- rather than glommy gunky. It came with chicken, shrimp, egg and tofu, of course. It made me think of tamarind. And it made me smile.
Finally, the greeen curry -- wowzers. Thi sis what pushed it over the edge for me. The sauce was complex and green (yep, green curry) and there was just the rioght balance of meat and veggies. It may have been the best green curry I have ever had. And one of the three co-diners said: I wanna lick that plate. MMMMMMMM.
Price? Quite reasonable Three people, three dishes, about $35 canadian plus tip.
So: Chaing Rai. Try it. Here's what urban spoon has to say: