It’s an experience that anyone must live.
The food is good, as almost everywhere in Thailand, but distributed in small dishes, allowing you to taste everything. The greatest point, however, is the show, with the delicate Thai dances performed close to you, as you are eating. And if you saw my Czech page, you know that I'm a folk dance lover!
Kantoke is traditional royal way for guest: "meal fest" and "show entertainment".
Khan means bowl and Toke round plate. Together means the way to present dishes. The general dishes are fried pork skin, dry pork, dry rice, curry pork, fried chicken, wild vegetable, sticky rice, fruit etc. They are typical Nord-Thai food and the taste is good.
In the restaurant you feel yourself V.I.P. and you can deep in the whole Thai culture by the traditional buildings, music, dances and food. To sum up, everything is well-deisgned and joyful.
Favorite Dish: We love curry pork the best.
You can eat as much as you eat.
This buffet of nothern dishes provides an excellent introduction to Northern Thai / Lanna cuisine. At the doorstep of restaurant, you are required to remove your shoes and deposit it at the counter. You will be ushered to your table or you can find a good spot near to the stage. There are no chairs for table, you have to sit on a platform and lean on a triangle cushion. Please feel comfortable. Waitress will be walking around to add your dishes. Once the show has commenced, lights will be dimmed. Be there early to enjoy both the Lanna cuisine and cultural show. Please note that you have to pay extra for some beverages ordered. There's a photographer going around to take your photo and sell to you as souvenir item.
Description of show:-
Fawn Darb Swordmanship
Fawn Sao Mai
Hill Tribe Dancing
The Kingkala Bird Dancing
The Tea Leaf Picking Dance
Favorite Dish: A typical Kantoke dinner includes five main dishes:-
Pork curry with garlic & ginger
Minced pork with tomato & chilli paste
Minced pork, chicken, fish or beef
Spicy northern pork sausage
Please note that the dishes might vary from restaurant to restaurant.
Ok, so it's a bit touristy but the food was good and the performances are too. Kantoke Palace is based on traditional Lanna food and dancing ah yes, and for that extra touristy experience you too can take to the stage and join in the performance... or put your head down and keep eating!
For starters, from he soft candle lighting and seating adorned with those ubiquitous triangular pillows, the Kantoke palace had a great atmosphere.
The food itself was traditional Northern Thai fare, most notably pork stew, fried chicken and stir-fried vegetables. It was quite spicy, though apparently you can order milder dishes.
The traditional dance show starts towards the end of dinner, which consisted of various different constumes and styles; everything from Russian style Ushanka hats to furious sword routines. Once the show is over, they invite the audience to participate in a simple dance on stage.... though apparently it wasn't quite simple enough for me....
Bottom-line: Not cheap, but a good introduction to the food and culture of Northern Thailand.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish here was the Gluay Thawd, or fried bananas. Fortunately these were all-you-can-eat.... I probably went through 4 or 5 bowls in all.
Dimensions of the pedestal tray, Khantoke are low, round tables with several legs connected to the top tray that has a round base. Khantoke (or it is sometimes called toke) was originally made with a big solid piece of teakwood. Lathing and carving techniques are employed. After lathing, carving, and polishing, coating with natural polymers was then applied. Bamboo and rattan can be also used instead of teakwood.
Therefore, khantoke lacquerware, which has bamboo as a base, is also popular. Kian is a northern Thai word (similar to central Thai for word of gluing) that means lathe. Therefore, Baan Chang Kian or Wat Chang Kian used to be the community that was the residence of lathe craftsmen (chang) in the old days.
The wonderful thing about a traditional Lanna Khantoke dinner is the combination of classical Thai dance and music with excellent food. To describe Thai Classical Dance, in words, can never do justice to the art form. To view a performance, especially if many dancers are involved, reminds me of a field of sunflowers, or wheat, swaying in unison at the whim of an evening breeze. Or perhaps the soaring of seabirds as they ride the thermals, at one with the wind. Thai Dancing is a pageant of poetry in motion.
Stemming from the Royal Courts of Old Siam (not necessarily within the geographic boundaries of present-day Thailand), the influence of which extended as far East as the Khmer capital of Angkor, Classical Dancers entertained and soothed their local royalty as well as performing before visiting royals and nobility.
When you arrive for your Kantoke dinner, you will have to remove your shoes before entering into the spacious hall built of teak where decoration is from original materials and motifs only. Your hostess in traditional attire will guide you smilingly to your place, comfortably seated on cushions on the carpeted floor or at nearby tables if you prefer.
Favorite Dish: Within moments, the attentive staff will bring your drinks and Khantoke. The Khantoke is the circular wooden tray set on pedestal that serves as a table. It will carry one of the most delicious meals you have ever eaten.
Using the fingers of the right hand, a small portion of sticky rice that is served in little woven bamboo baskets is kneaded into a bite-sized ball (it takes a little practice!) and the ball is dipped into the desired main dish (a portion can be melded onto the rice ball) before being popped into the mouth. The fingers shouldn't really enter one's mouth (the food shouldn't be crammed) as the movements are politely delicate. A rinse of the fingers and the process is repeated again and again. Thais from the humblest to the highest continue to dine in this traditional manner when the cultural or home occasion arises, and they are adept at making it look easy and gracious.
Start with the fried pumpkin as hors d'oeuvres and then alternate as you like between the mildly spicy red chili, tomato and minced pork dip, the succulent fried chicken, and a mouth-watering Burmese pork curry that is so gentle, so soft that you will gladly accept a second helping.
The chili dip is called Nam Prik Awng and is teased from its bowl with pieces of deep-fried crispy pork skin or freshly sliced cucumber, whichever you prefer. The chicken and Hangleh, as the pork curry is called, go well with the stir-fried cabbage and either the sticky or plain cooked rice. The Khantoke also contains a bowl of crispy fried noodles to complement the rice. Dessert, served separately, consists of fried rice crispies and, if you dare to break the spell of tradition, either coffee or tea.
For an excellent Thai dinning experience, a traditional Lanna Khantoke dinner is a must. Many believe this north Thailand dinner with music and dance was invented for tourists, but the Khantoke dinner dates back many centuries. Locals celebrate festivals and holidays in their homes with the Khantoke dinner today.
Sitting down to a well-presented meal of good and delicious food is something most of us enjoy. Then there are those stand-up occasions where we mix and mingle with other guests and enjoy cocktails and finger foods. Finger foods? Eating with one's fingers? Considered as neither polite nor hygienic in some circles, eating with our fingers is as old as the human race. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, as we all do it perhaps without thinking.
In Thailand, many people still eat with their fingers and this has nothing to do with social strata. It depends, rather, on the place, the occasion and the meal that is being served. A Thai hostess will follow a set etiquette when offering a meal that will be eaten with the fingers, and those eating will be polite and delicate as they partake of the meal.
Traditional Thai meals are rarely one plate experiences, so the Western concept of having meat, two veggies, and gravy all on one plate is alien to Thai dining. Likewise, the use of an array of cutlery seems to be overkill in Thai minds (most Thais settle for a fork and spoon when not using their fingers). Unless one is invited to a Thai home, the closest most visitors get to dining a la Lanna (northern Thai) is at a Kantoke dinner, so this is something you might like to try.
Favorite Dish: Visitors who have been to a Thai dinner show in Bangkok usually decide to give Khantoke dinners a miss because they think the two are similar. The Khantoke Dinner Dance Show is much more enjoyable than other dinner shows because of the pervading informal atmosphere, really different style of cooking, and gentle slow-tempo dance entertainment.
Khantoke is a Lanna Thai tradition, not just something invented for tourists' amusement. Thai Lanna was a civilized Kingdom that existed in the area of present-day northern Thailand. King Mengrai was the king who founded the capital and the dynasty. He accomplished and contributed to the prosperity of the kingdom in several aspects, e.g. political science, Buddhist religion, art, and culture.
There are several traditions that eventually became northern heritage one of which is Khantoke. Even today, khantoke implies dinner or lunch offered by a host to guests at various ceremonies or parties, e.g. in the home – weddings, housewarmings, celebrations, novice ordinations, life extensions, or funerals. At the temple celebrations for buildings in a temple's compound, namely bhote, wiharn, sala; Grand Sermons annual festivals such as --- Khao Pansa, Og Pansa, Loy Krathong, and new year.
Trays, spatulas, big spoons, and food containers are the essential implements required for eating. Wood, bamboo, rattan, and coconut shell have been used as raw materials for making the food tray and container products. Coconut shells are used to make spatulas and big spoons. Bamboo is used to make dishes, bowls, boxes, trays, and so forth.
Located in the Old Chiang Mai cultural Centre, where you can also buy your share of souvenirs during the day is the Restaurant.
During the dinner (that should start around 7 o´clock - all eat at the same time) you will be presented with traditional music and dances.
Favorite Dish: This means on a big wooden plate they bring you several small dishes:
Curry with pork, deep fried bananas, deep fried pork skin (quite good, actually, like chips with bacon), sauce with tomatoes, chicken sticks, some vegetables.
Served with this is of course rice.
I would say it was the most fattest food I ever ate in Thailand.
It was good anyway and when one of the dishes went out, they refilled it.
At this event, visitors are seated on the floor around a circular tray with Northen dishes on it and eat while watching traditional Thai and Northen dances and hilltribe culture shows. Kantoke Dinner provide a good way to get to know both the Northen food and culture at the.same time.