Monday, August 24, 2009


In the heart of Fremont (a neighborhood in Seattle along South Lake Union) sits a small Thai restaurant called Kwanjai. Incidentally, Thai restaurants are abound throughout this area, but this one is one of my favorites.

I go to this restaurant about 3-4 times a month. I like the fast service and the great value. The outdoor seating, although not that aesthetically pleasing with plastic tables and chairs, is nice when the weather is beautiful.

I was lucky enough to have 3 of my co-workers accompany me to this lunch. We all had delicious-looking dishes, but I'm only going to review the chicken pad kee mao dish that I ordered.

Anyway, about the restaurant: It used to be a small, blue house that was converted into a restaurant. They've done a great job making use of the interior space with the open kitchen and the seating. This place has a very "homey" feeling to it in this little "house". Nevertheless, this restaurant gets enough business on a daily basis to fill up all the tables.

The food is great and the price is just as nice. You can get a generous portion for about $6.50. My pad kee mao (one of my favorite Thai dishes, especially from this place) came out piping hot and fresh in an expedient manner. All the ingredients in this dish turned out to be a great marriage of flavors. There was the broad, flat noodle (similar to chow fun), tomatoes, thinly sliced chicken, egg, thinly sliced carrots, and broccoli. It was really tasty. The first pic is my chicken pad kee mao dish, and the rest are just of my co-workers' dishes.

Now, on to the review using my 5-doughnut rating system:
  • Service, 3.5 doughnuts= We were seated immediately upon arrival and they took our order after giving us enough time to look at the menu to decide. The waitress was very friendly and would frequently check up on us to refill our drinks and see if we needed anything else.

  • Atmosphere/Location, 2.5 doughnuts= Although this restaurant is one of those "hole-in-the-wall" kind of restaurants, I kind of like it. Like I said, it used to be a house before they converted it into a restaurant. There's this nice, quaint, homey feeling to the place. The location is great. Like I said, it's in the heart of Fremont in between other small restaurants and small businesses. I guess the only problem would be the parking situation, since there's only street parking available.
  • Food Presentation, 2 doughnuts= Nothing really too special about it, although the fresh vegetables used added some nice color to the overall dish. It still looked nice and appetizing.
  • Taste, 3.5 doughnuts= The taste was great. The seasonings and ingredients used went well together. Thai dishes tend to use a lot of sweet sauces, so along with the slight spice they use, the dish was pretty good.
  • Cost/Value, 3.5 doughnuts= One of the things I like about the place is the great value. The food is tasty and the price is pretty nice. I think it was about to about $7 a plate, which isn't bad for what you're getting.
  • Originality, 1.5 doughnuts= They serve up all the same Thai dishes you'd find in other Thai restaurants. Although there's nothing too original to that, they do serve up some delicious dishes.
  • Overall, 3 doughnuts= I definitely recommend this place. It's one of my favorite Thai joints in Fremont. If you want a quick, delicious, affordable Thai dish with friendly, fast service, then check it out.

If you'd like to view the menu from this place, take a look at:

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