Locus Native Food Lab is the latest ‘cool’ restaurant to open in the burgeoning city of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. Whilst many of us have eaten in locally-produced only restaurants before in Thailand before, this one is slightly different. The restaurant itself is entirely made from locally sourced materials. The external building is constructed from a hybrid of clay and concrete and the roof is made from cogon grass. Leading the menu at Locus is Chef Kongwuth Chaiwongkachon who is dedicated to cooking locally produced unique Thai Style dishes. Kongwuth was inspired by a trip to Hin Lad Nai where he saw a local hill tribe live in harmony with their natural environment. Now he says he cooks for a reason, “to show people how local wisdom is important to all of us.”
Visitors here will not find nouveau Asian fusion cuisine involving caviar or unnecessary fondants. Expect authentic tasting traditional dishes such as Kao Kriab Pak Mor (Steamed rice dumplings) on an old school steaming cloth pot, or namprik orng (tomato and mince relish) on top of blanched vegetables. Each night this unique restaurant is only open to private diners in small groups (from 2-20 people).