Home > Restaurants > Thai Thani Kitchen – 7/29/11

Thai Thani Kitchen – 7/29/11

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Location: 2021 NW Market St

Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 11am-9pm

Fri: 11am-10:30pm

Sat: 12pm-10:30pm

Sun: 12pm-9:30pm

Thai Thani Kitchen is the newest Thai restaurant in Ballard, bringing the total to five. Located on the corner of Leary and Market across from the Majestic Bay Theatres, the Subway franchise that used to be there is barely recognizable in the chic, almost minimalist interior. The décor has traded the usual Thai kitsch for dark wood paneling with metallic accents. The only nods to the ethnicity of the restaurant are a few faded photos and the pedicab that sits out front. Thai Thani boasts a large kitchen that runs along the eastern wall, open to the dining area.

When looking at their menu the first thing both J and I noticed was the surprising variety of dishes offered. Rather than merely having the usual suspects of a Thai restaurant, phad Thai, phad see iew, phad kee mao, and various curries, Thai Thani also presents a startling array of dishes neither of us have ever seen on a Thai menu. Ranging from the relatively inexpensive Eggplant Jay and Golden Cashew Nut to the moderate, and odd, Spaghetti Kee Mao and Curry and Roti to the rather pricy Red Curry Duck and Garlic Lamb, the variety of choices already put it a step above the other Thai restaurants in Ballard.

The Service:

Our server was polite and a bit soft spoken. The drinks and food arrived in a fairly timely fashion. It did take a hint longer than I’m used to for Thai food but that was most likely due to the three or four different couples in the restaurant all ordering around the same time. One more note, when we asked for boxes for our leftovers, our server boxed them up herself.

The Drinks:

Thai Thani offers Thai iced tea, soda, beer, wine and, surprisingly, a full bar. J and I craved something cool and refreshing so we both chose Blackberry Margaritas from their list of specialty cocktails. I found my margarita light and refreshing but just a tad sweet for my taste. J, on the other hand, liked its sweetness.

The Food:

As usual, we ordered the Crab Wontons for an appetizer. We were brought eight of the little fried wonton pockets filled with imitation crab, cream cheese and scallion with a side of sweet chili sauce. The wontons were not quite as light as I’ve come to expect and the filling was a bit flavorless, to be honest. The sweet chili sauce was delicious, which made the wontons taste a lot better.

J chose the Thai Thani Noodle, stir fried wide rice noodles, with tofu, onion, bell pepper, bamboo shoots, zucchini, mushrooms and basil in a hot chili paste, for his main course. He mainly chose it because it was an interesting variation on the usual Thai noodle dishes. While he did find it unexpectedly spicy, he loved it. Especially the tofu which was cooked perfectly.

For my entrée, I ordered the Basil Ground Chicken, sautéed ground chicken with onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and basil in a chili sauce with a side of brown rice. Frankly, this dish was delicious. The ground chicken was moist in a sauce that perfectly merged the spicy chili with a fresh basil flavor. The vegetables retained that bit of crispness I love. My dish did not seem as spicy as J’s even though we both requested a 2 on Thai Thani’s 0-4 scale.

One of the best things of my meal was the brown rice. Instead of flavorless brown rice that looks like someone dyed regular white rice tan, Thai Thani’s brown rice is true brown rice. Slightly purple in color with bits of the outer layer of bran remaining. The flavor was lovely. A little sweet. A little nutty. J, who has been to loads of Asian restaurants in his 15+ years of living in Seattle, said he has never been to a relatively inexpensive Thai restaurant that served brown rice like that.

One note about Thai Thani’s spice scale. It runs from 0-4. We both ordered our food to a 2, which turned out fine for me but was a bit spicy for J. He called his a “hard 2”. In reality, on the typical 1-5 scale, I suppose what we chose was a 3 so anyone who goes should keep this difference in mind.

The Price:

Blackberry Margarita: 8.00 (2)

Crab Wonton: 7.95

Thai Thani Noodle: 9.95

Basil Ground Chicken: 9.95

Brown Rice: 2.00

The Verdict:

Barring the crab wonton, Thai Thani served up great Thai food. Better than what we’ve had in Ballard thus far … and that’s including Thaiku. I don’t want to declare it the best Thai food in Ballard yet. I’d like to go back a couple more times before stating that unequivocally but our entrees were very, very good. The ingredients were fresh and flavorful. The brown rice was amazing. The service was great. And their menu includes many interesting choices that J and I both want to try.

We will go back the Thai Thani well before the end of this project. Probably next month to be honest.

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  1. Julie Hubert
    August 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

    My husband and I had the same reaction to the spice level. My soup had me in tears. We also thought the entrees were supremely good and flavorful compared to most of the Thai food we have had. Great addition to the neighborhood!

  2. August 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Good post. I went with my wife recently and had a similar reaction. I want to come out and call it the best Thai in Ballard, but with only one visit it probably isn’t fair. I do so many nights this winter made up of a trip to Thai Thani for dinner, Cupcake Royale for dessert/coffee and a movie at Majestic Bay. Hopefully they get the spice levels figured our and we should all be set.

  1. January 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

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