After an afternoon of wine and food samplings at the Banff Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, my friend Anna of Anna’s Appetite and I were craving Anju’s Bibim-Burger and Fried Chicken and Pa-ffles but we weren’t able to get a reservation until much later that night. We were starving so we decided to hit up Khao San Thai Kitchen for a light dinner in hopes to have enough belly room for a second dinner at Anju later that night. Khao San Thai had been on our list of places to try after learning that they had Khao Soi Gai (aka Chiang Mai Noodle Soup) on the menu.
Seated on the patio on this warm spring evening, we each started off with a Thai Iced Tea ($4). This orange-coloured beverage is traditionally made with strongly-brewed ceylon tea. However, due to the high price of ceylon tea, nowadays, plain black tea along with red and yellow food coloring is used instead. Other common ingredients include orange blossom water, star anise, and crushed tamarind seed. The Thai iced tea is usually sweetened with sugar and condensed milk and served over ice.
For starters, we shared an order of the Poung Chom-Poo ($8), which are steamed dumplings stuffed with minced ground chicken, roasted crushed peanuts, and Thai spices.
I was in total awe at the beautiful presentation. Each dumpling was topped with a dollop of minced garlic oil in the center. The flower-shaped dumplings were almost to pretty to eat. I’m really happy that my friend Anna suggested that we order these. This was my first time trying these dumplings and I loved them. The slightly sweet filling reminded me a little of the filling for Chinese bbq pork buns (char siu bao).
We then shared an order of the Khao Soi Gai ($16), which is often known as Chiang Mai Noodle Soup. I fell in love with this dish after trying it for the first time at Jackie’s Thai in the Eau Claire food court. This version at Khao San Thai Kitchen consisted of chicken thigh, egg noodles, yellow curry, coconut milk and was served alongside a dish of condiments which included pickled cabbage, shallots, a wedge of lime, and a dish of chili oil. To me, this version tasted a little more refined than the version from Jackie’s Thai and rightly so, as it is almost double the price of the one from Jackie’s Thai. This version was really tasty and I liked that the chicken pieces were really tender. If I was craving Khao Soi Gai and wanted to dine in a little more upscale environment than a food court, Khao San Thai Kitchen would be my best bet. I’d definitely order this dish again on my next visit. Don’t let the portion size fool you. My friend Anna and I were quite full after sharing this dish along with the Poung Chom-Poo.
Overall, we loved our experience at Khao San Thai Kitchen. We weren’t sure what to expect at first as they seemed to cater to a Western clientele. We were really happy that the food tasted really authentic. It was an added bonus that we got to enjoy this delicious meal on the patio and take in the gorgeous weather. I can see myself coming back here often this summer to satisfy my Thai food cravings.
Khao San Thai Kitchen
1314 17 Ave SW