150 105TH AVE NE
Bellevue WA 98004
Thoroughly Enchant Yourself at Chantanee
By: Steve G
You might want to ask Indiana Jones to come along for the trip as trying to find Chantanee in Bellevue is like looking for the lost city of Cibola. Located in corner of a small strip mall on 105th Ave in Downtown Bellevue, it's really easy to miss. The only thing that can tip you off is the large Chantanee sign on the building. Finding the front door is a chore too as you have to walk around to the back to finally get in. Thankfully, all of this annoyance will be gone when they move into their new location at the Key Center on 108th Ave.
The owners of Chantanee run two locations, with its sister restaurant, Pen Thai, located in Bothell. Both offer up the same menu items, but each location has its own style of dcor. Chantanee being the older of the two, shows its age with a more classical look compared to the modern style of Pen Thai. Unlike its sister location in Bothell, Chantanee sports a more darker look to it, mainly due to the fact that the place has no windows, relying more on lamps for their lighting.
On the menu, they have many of the standard dishes you'll find at other Thai places, but they also have more unique signature dishes that are only offered at Chantanee. Items like the Sizzling Panang duck and the Crispy Garlic Chicken are just many of the local favorites at this restaurant that you'll rarely see at other Thai places.
We ordered a variety of dishes to be shared family style amongst the group. Here's a list of what we ordered:
Chantanee Noodles ($7.95) Soft noodles served with egg, ground peanut, dried tofu, bean sprout and semi-sweet tamarind sauce with mouth size pieces of chicken.
Crispy Garlic Chicken ($11.95) one of their most popular dishes. Chicken lightly battered and fried on a bed of basil. Each piece of chicken is surprisingly moist and very addicting.
Royal Salmon ($13.95) A more crispy version of the garlic chicken substituted with tender moist pieces of salmon.
Spicy Eggplant ($8.95) Stir fried eggplant with some sweet basil in their homemade chili paste with a choice of chicken, pork or beef.
The service was decent considering how crowded and busy it was on the day that we went. After greeting and being seated, water and our complimentary cup of hot soup was on our table within moments. The only major hiccup that we encountered was the large amount of time it took to get our check. Considering it was during the lunch hour, you would think that they would be on the ball with getting the check to us.
Aside from that minor issue, Chantanee really impressed us with their fantastic Thai food. You'd be hard pressed to find another Thai restaurant in the downtown Belleuve area that delivers high quality food with a wide range of items to choose from. The decor is a little drab, but once their new location opens up in Key Center most of these small issues will surely be eliminated. If you want to know where the best Thai food is in Bellevue, Chantanee is the spot to go.