The other day, I organized a dinner with some work colleagues and Kinnaree Gourmet Thai restaurant which had been recommended to me by some friends and I had already eaten there once before, was my choice for the evening.
It is kind of interesting to walk there from the BTS sky train station (either Nana or Asoke). The restaurant is located a short walk into Soi 8. Turing into the Soi you walk by restaurants and bars that are mostly frequented by foreigners, tourists and Thais of a certain type. Both times I went there, I felt a bit unsure whether I am going to the right place or if I was just caught in another tourist trap.
Past the food stalls, the open-air restaurants with plastic chairs and disco lights in the trees, there is a red sign above the entrance to Kinnaree.
I walked along the driveway which is lined with trees and changes to a completely different atmosphere of a calm, serene evening stroll. Finally you come to a pleasant courtyard where you see tuktuks (I guess you could be picked up from the sky train station) and some cars parked and a nice patio lining the side of the building that is nicely set up for diners who can sustain the heat and humidity in the middle of hot season (now!).
I am not one of those and sweat easily, hence I had walked to the restaurant at a snail’s pace and was happy to be shown to a table inside. The building is an old house with large French windows from ground to ceiling; the interior is mostly dark wood panel and discreetly decorated. On one side of the restaurant there is a pleasant bar. The tables are set up far enough apart to have relatively private conversations without being overheard by your neighbors.
The drinks menu is lotus leaf shaped and to my surprise and delight, the mocktails are almost the same price as the beers. There is a pleasant, quiet atmosphere and will let you forget the hustle and bustle you just walked through coming in.
The menu is extensive with many fabulous items of the traditional Thai cuisine. Also helpful for those not so familiar with Thai food – there are pictures of the dishes which makes choosing even more difficult than the sheer number of items presented.
We opted for sharing the dinner as is Asian custom and each person ordered a few dishes that looked good. We ended up with a table full of delicious, scrumptious plates of food that we could sample.
As the name suggests “Gourmet Thai” the food was great and one can imagine that it is not as affordable as street food. However, the quality of the food and service, the presentation, the atmosphere and the overall experience is well worth the extra bucks. On my other visit there was even a performance of Thai dancers in traditional costumes.
Again, it was a thumbs up experience and I think I will take my next Bangkok visitors there again.
Sukhumvit 8, exit 4 Nana BTS station.