A Khan Tok (kantok) dinner is an excellent way to try out the most authentic Lanna Thai food dishes that unless you have your very own personal Thai guide you might well miss out on!.
Add this to a location that will typically be a traditional style wooden Thai building, with intricate locally carved wooden figures & wallpanels, and completed by traditional Thai dancing, and you have the makings of a night to remember.
The name Khan Tok refers to the low round tables that hold the food dishes for the khan tok dinner, guests are seated on the floor, with plenty of triangular cushions for support.
The modern Khan Tok dinner was revived in Chiang Mai some 50 years ago following a grand gala dinner hosted for a local dignitary, this form of dining became the traditional method of celebrating weddings & graduations for Lanna Thai’s in subsequent years.
Typically you will be served with five different Lanna style dishes, accompanied by a large round basket of sticky rice. The dishes are all traditional northern Thai and will include:
* Gaeng Hung-Lay(Burmese pork curry)
* Gai Tod(fried chicken)
* Paad Puk(fried cabbage)
* Nam Prik Ong(a chillie, tomato & minced pork dip)
* Keb Moo(fried pork rinds)
These dishes will be garnished with sliced cucumber, long beans, baby egg plants & fresh basil along with other fresh garnishes.
To get the very best from the Khan Tok dinner, you should use your fingersto pull clumps of sticky rice from the basket and then scoop out small morsels from each of the dishes.
If you don’t like the thought of eating with your fingers, there are always spoons & forks available!!.
Part-way through your Khan Tok dinner the Thai dancing begins, it’s made up of a classical Thai orchestra playing traditional musical instruments supporting beautifully dressed dancers who elegantly move across the stage.
The dances they perform are unique to Northern Thailand, they show the history through their moves & give a classic insight into the culture of the area & this style of dancing is only performed around the Chiang Mai area.
There are very few professional Khan Tok venues now left in Chiang Mai, the oldest serving being The Old Chiangmai Cultural Center & the newest being Khum Khantoke(featured in the video above),which is a huge Lanna style building both these venues have excellent reputations for quality & service.
Imperial Mae Ping Hotel
Seedonchai Road, Chiang Mai
The Old Chiangmai Cultural Center
185/3 Wualai Road, Chiang Mai
Khum Khantoke, Chiangmai Business Park
130 Moo 4, Nong Pakrung, Chiang Mai(behind Carrefour)
Nakorn Lanna 1296
84 Changklan Road, Chiang Mai