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Palaad Tawanron Restaurant at the foothills of Suthep Mountain, Chiang Mai, Thailand

More than a restaurant, "Palaad Tawanron" offers a waterfall, a lake plus incredible views so special from every angle. The vast cityscape by day or sparkling lights by night can even be appreciated from the comfort rooms where inviting padded chairs are provided on a terrace to contemplate the panorama. This restaurant is a most romantic dining scenes but at the same time it has 400 seats on four tiered setting. While in the kitchen under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Somsak with 18 years of experience, 25 cooks prepare food. The restaurant managers are young competent, Khun "May" Rathapan and Khun Omruethai.

Palaad Tawanron has been in operation for 2 1/2 years. It has two main seating areas: air - conditioned section, an ideal gathering place in the hot season while the open - air wooden terraces are covered with a roof during the moist, green season that is removed for the cool, winter season. The restaurant is situated over the hill slopes surrounded with trees, orchids and natural environment.

Guests are a mixture of Thai residents from northern Thailand, and Bangkok, plus international FITs and tour groups from Singapore, Malaysia who fly in on direct low fare flights. Sitting in the fresh air on a forested hillside, the guests are so appreciative of the surroundings. Not only mother nature appeals to them but the delicious food is another great draw.

The most popular dishes are, (1.) Kah Moo Tawanron : Deep fried pork leg with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, (2.) Tohm Yum Goong Mapraow - On : Creamy and spicy soup of fresh water shrimp with young coconut, (3.) Pla Krapong Tawd Naam Pla : Fried sea bass in fish sauce, (4.) Pla Muek Neung Manow : Steamed squid with chilli and lime juice, and (5.) Galum - plee Tawd Naam Pla : Sauteed cabbage in fish sauce.

The Kah Moo Tawanron is pickled and cooked in their own kitchen. Nearly 100 pieces per day are prepared to meet the popular demand.

There are a lot more selections for visitors who love their own preferences : (A) Crab meat sauteed with curry. (B) Steamed squid with chilli and lime juice (C) Savory fruit salad with shrimp in a golden basket (D) Mild hot & sour spicy soups with tamarind paste flavor of one choice of : smoked fish / village chicken / serpent head fish (E) Deep fried spicy fish cake with salty egg flavor. (F) One fried sea bass with 2 tastes -- sweet & sour taste on one side and the other side fried with Thai celery. This is Hong Teh emperor style. (G) Deep fried catfish served with sweet and sour mango sauce. (H) Garoupa fish in pickled plum broth.

In addition to the regular menu, a revolving menu of new dishes is available. This is a special service for regular guests who bring their visitors often. New ingredients are offered to the restaurant kitchen all the time so it's a great challenge to come up with new recipes or new ersions of old favorites.

The busiest serving hours are from 6 pm to 8 pm and diners should phone for a table reservation unless you don't mind waiting for a table. Throughout the evening meals are prepared in the kitchen until 11 pm.

Banjo Man group plays every evening singing in English, Thai and Japanese. On most nights two clowns, in colorful costumes, construct fascinating balloon art that guests of all ages and nationalities really love.

During the years in business, the restaurant has been the site of filming commercials, news programs, and soap operas. Visitors will see many Bangkok stars being filmed while cooking their favorite dishes. The most recent group of stars was the entire Bangkok Symphony Orchestra who showed up for dinner after an evening performance in Chiangmai.

PALAAD TAWANRON, Suthep Road. Tel. 053-216039, 053-216576. Keep driving until the end of Suthep Road, turn right and follow the sign to the back side of the zoo by making another left turn and follow all signs that lead to the restaurant. Open 11.30 am - 24.00 hrs. At this 300 feet elevation, breathtaking panoramas are yours.


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