Kanjana Restaurant, Great Thai Food, Best of Chiang Mai (Thailand)

kan3I often complain to my wife that Thai restaurants often seem ‘grumpy,’ or ‘soulless.’ No music, menu on the wall, with dull photos, and an unsmiling cook who goes about his, or her work like it’s the last thing in the world they want to do…

A wait staff that stands at the ready, pencil in hand as you flip through the 1000 page menu. “Give me a few minutes,” I feel like asking, how about a drink, or some snacks while I leisurely flip through the ‘book’ deciding what I want and making note of the obvious spelling mistakes…

Yes, sometimes I’m even the one to suggest Thai food, hoping that the next time they’d play a little bit of music, and the staff would smile and act a bit chatty…A happy place. kan1Welcome to Kanjana, a family owned place located on Soi 5 off of Rachadamnoen Road close to the Tha Phae Gate. I’ve heard about it, always good things, and though I have a pretty long relationship with Thai food, being married to a Thai, I wanted to try it…

Oh, Thai food again, this time served up in nice big portions by a chatty and enthusiastic wait staff, who actually seemed to like what they are doing. No robots need apply, and I did get the sense that this is one big happy family proud of the food that they serve. I even let it slid that the waitress hovered a bit too long, and that there was football on the TV screen. I was happy at least that the place had some life…

And the foods pretty good too, not just good but excellent. The garlic and pepper chicken was probably the best that I have eaten in Chiang Mai (or anywhere else), and the Somtom was quite good as well. I also ordered the seafood stuffed wonton, which I barely ever see on menus, and it was amazing. Nice big pieces of shrimp and assorted seafood. You can tell that Kanjana has been around for awhile, the place has a lived in look, clean and comfortable. Keep in mind that they are closed on Saturday and they get busy. The prices are a bit high–but I figure it’s because they are so close to the tourist trade and the rents are high. Don’t let this stop you. The food is so good and of such high quality it’s worth paying a bit extra… kan2For two expect to pay from between 350-450 Baht, for three or four dishes, without alcohol. It’s off a quiet Soi, so sit and watch the tourist trade pass (it amazes me how elephant pants never seem to go out of style). Enjoy the food, the chit chat, and even the TV. Relax and take your time. You can do it here, it almost seems expected off you. Capture_kan

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