Restaurant News & Reviews

Top Dish: At Maikham, chicken avocado curry is delicious

Chicken and avocado curry at Maikham in Bellingham.
Chicken and avocado curry at Maikham in Bellingham. The Bellingham Herald

Name: Maikham, which is Thai for golden silk.

Location: 1311 N. State St. in downtown Bellingham, near Saturna Capital. Open for lunch through dinner daily. Closed Sunday. More information is at 360-366-8193 and maikham.com.

Quick bite: Usanee Klimo, who opened the restaurant in October 2014 serving food from Laos and Thailand, said she’s known for her curries. So much so that the Thai-born cook said she’s been nicknamed the Curry Queen. I’m not sure I can crown her as such, given my love of a certain duck curry at Busara in Bellingham and a fiery chicken vindaloo at Curry House in Ferndale, but I’d say she’s in the running.

I tried the chicken avocado curry dish for $12.99. Served with a side of plain sticky rice, the green curry dish featured generous amounts of avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrots and squash. The curry also had a whole chicken thigh, and the chicken was so tender it fell off the bone.

There was a lot going on in this dish, but the elements all worked together. The curry had a nice burn that was cooled by the creamy avocado. It dished up coconut flavors without being a soupy coconut concoction, and the vegetables offered just enough crunch. Satisfying and delicious.

Side: I also tried a green papaya salad, which came with herbed, grilled chicken and plain sticky rice for $13.99. Again, the chicken was perfectly tender. My gripe was the green papaya salad, which included lettuce, cherry tomatoes and julienne carrots. The salad was light and piquant, with a hint of sweetness. But there was a slightly plastic taste that, if I had to guess, came from carrots that were pre-cut and pre-packaged; I found the flavor distracting.

The story of ... Klimo, who was born in Thailand near the border with Laos, said she was immersed in the cooking traditions of northeastern Thailand’s Issarn region from an early age. She learned to cook from her mother, other relatives and through observation.

Ambiance: Located where Dashi Noodle Bar used to be, Maikham is a casual eatery with plenty of light.

Got suggestions for tasty tidbits in Whatcom County or an eatery known for a particular dish? Send them to kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2234.

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