As much as we love Thai food, sometimes it’s nice to have a change! Babylonian is an Iraqi restaurant in Chiang Mai, serving rare and delicious Arabic food. Vegetarian friendly with lots of dishes like hummus, falafel, moutabel (aubergine dip) fattoush (green) salad, tabouleh salad and every kind of kebab for meat lovers too.
Hummus is one of those things I ate all the time in the UK, and as it turns out, I totally took it for granted. I didn’t really think about the availability of tinned chickpeas (who does?) and it turns out hummus is a luxury item here. You can buy it in tiny pots in the supermarket, imported from who-knows-where (certainly not the middle east that’s for sure). I used to make it fresh, however the lack of tinned chickpeas and tahini (sesame seed paste) make it tricky to say the least. If I find dried chickpeas (one day maybe) I guess I could make tahini – although without buying a spangly new blender, hand crushing the sesame is my only option. the question is how much do I want hummus?
Babylonian to the rescue. We were in Maya, wandering around when we spotted the new branch (it’s probably been there for ages, but new to us at least)! We had already eaten in the restaurant at the night bazaar, so we knew what to expect, and decided to treat ourselves!
We went for chicken kebab set (as above) which was served with rice, roast vegetables and chips, a dahl (lentil) curry, tabouleh salad, home made naan bread and of course hummas. We never made it to pudding but can recommend the spiced tea (which is similar to Indian Chai) or the fresh pomegranate juice – which is a bit like a fruit shake but waaaay better. We spent about 600 baht which is a posh meal out price, however we really enjoyed it as the food is really good.
Babylonian Maya branch also offer a buffet for 299 baht per person. This looked pretty nice, however we had come for something specific so went a la carte. The menu is pretty large so not all dishes are offered on the buffet, but if you have a large appetite or want to try lots of different things, it may be the way to go.
As mentioned, there are two branches of Babylonian, one at the night bazaar and one in Maya shopping mall (4th floor). The night market restaurant is perched above the market with views over the road or kalare market. This branch is easy to miss as it’s pretty much just a doorway up some stairs. The photos are of the Maya restaurant (just in case I’m not confusing you enough)…