Saenkham Terrace Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM

The Dining Out Group
Coordinated  By Paul & Nop

Photos from our last outing at “Pickles” by Nop:
All reservations must be sent to diningoutcnx@hotmail.comonly and reservations and cancellations must be in by 8:00PM (20:00) the night before the event. Please give the number in your party. “No shows” and people that show up without reservations or a different number of people than reserved will be deleted from the mailing list for six months. A confirmation will be sent when reservation is received. If you don’t receive a confirmation within 48 hours please, reserve again at:   diningoutcnx@yahoo.com
Our next event will be at Saenkham Terrace Restaurant.This will be on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM. Confirmations will not be sent until October 21, 2013
This review is from the Chiang Mai Mail  October 2004 so please ignore the prices
Saenkham Terrace Restaurant
Close to being the ‘ultimate’ Lanna experience
There is a very strong ‘push’ in the North towards maintaining the cultural heritage of the Lanna kingdom. This is an important factor in maintaining the differences between Chiang Mai in particular, and the central Bangkok and southern regions. Chiang Mai is not another Bangkok in a rural region. Chiang Mai has its own distinct character, and this should be promoted and maintained. This is the rationale behind the Saenkham Lanna Terrace Restaurant.
We last reviewed this restaurant almost two years ago, and we were very, very impressed. I was looking forward to the evening, to see if the initial high standards had been maintained, and would the venue still have the impact it had the first time.
The location is a short drive only from town (around 6 to 8 km) along the Klong Chonprathan Road from Chiang MaiUniversity, depending upon your navigation skills. Look for and cross the over bridge into Ban Naifan 2 on your right, and then the imposing club house building also on the right. As you walk into the main ground level area you are greeted with a sweeping staircase leading up to the dining floor. This is the Lanna Terrace, with a central air-conditioned dining area, that looks just like a Lanna art gallery. Believe me, exactly like an art gallery! The attendants in the ‘gallery’ are quiet and efficient and exceptionally pleasant too in their long aprons. The table settings are in keeping with the ‘arty’ Lanna theme too, with Celadon plates and polished stainless steel cutlery.
The menu, in its own wooden container, has a ‘star’ rating beside many items. This does not indicate degree of spiciness, but the popularity of the dish. The more stars - the more popular! It begins with 18 appetizers covering grilled, deep-fried and a salad item. There are vegetarian items as well as prawns, pork and northern sausage. The prices range between 70-90 baht.
Spicy salads are next, generally around B. 80 and nothing over B. 100. These are followed by a huge range of curries, again with most at B. 80, though the prawn with young coconut in spicy hot and sour soup tops the bill at B. 140.
Fried items are next up (generally around B. 80) and have chicken, beef, pork, fish and pasta choices, and this section precedes many fish and prawn dishes, with most in the B. 90-200 range.
Northern dishes have their own section at around B. 60-90 includes spicy stuffed Northern sausage. Finally there are Special Dishes, with most B. 60 and are noodle or rice-based items.
Finally there is a good choice of desserts. The last page has beverages and a large Heineken is B. 100, with Singha B. 10 cheaper. There is also a wine list with wines reasonably priced.
We tried many of the items, with the deep-fried mushrooms with its own special sauce being superb, and one that I kept on coming back to. It is beautifully presented in its own ‘ceramic boat’ with sauce at one end and a flower at the other.
I also tried the hang lay curry. Checking back I found that I had chosen this dish last time as my dish of the evening. It was again a wonderfully flavoursome item with the meat simply falling apart, well deserving of the praise it received last time.
Other dishes were similar in that they were meticulously prepared and cooked and correctly presented.
Even the rice, that staple of Thai cuisine, is light and fluffy, presented in its own pottery bowl, complete with lid to keep it hot during the dinner.
In no way were we disappointed by Saenkham Terrace. The food was at the same high standard, the venue was just as sensational as before, and the prices little altered over the two years. This restaurant remains one of the best Lanna experiences available in Chiang Mai, at prices that are still exceptionally low. Very highly recommended (again)!
Saenkham Terrace Restaurant, Clubhouse Ban Naifan 2, 199/163 Tambon Maehea, A. Muang Chiang Mai, 50100, telephone 053 838 990, emailsomjate@saenkhamterrace.com, www. saenkhamterrace.com. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Parking outside clubhouse.

Saenkham Terrace Restaurant

By Benjamin Malcolm
The restaurants that are the most memorable are those that combine culinary and architectural creativeness into one complete package. With their dual emphasis on food and interior design, these places appeal not only to a diner's particular gastronomical desire, but to an overall feeling of relaxation and comfort.
Such is the case with Chiang Mai's Saenkham Terrace Restaurant.
At first glance, a fancy restaurant in the midst of a condo unit on the outskirts of the city; at second glance, a unique contribution to the art of mixing food and aesthetics, with an emphasis on interior design and "terrace" concept.
Owners Somjed Srithongkham and Wanpen Sakdatorn set out for a complete re-design of their restaurant less than a year ago, replacing a rather fancy and yet ordinary dining room with a brand-new Northern-style art and food combination.
"It was really Wanpen's concept," said Srithongkham, "She wanted to renovate the whole restaurant into Lanna style."

The main emphasis in this Lanna style is the emphasis of the terrace - popular among the wooden houses of the north. Traditionally, the terrace area in Northern Thai architecture is the main area of the house in which family members can relax, dine and even take an afternoon siesta. Thus, for Saenkham, the terrace is the focal point.
It is obvious upon climbing the stairs to the second-floor restaurant that you're in for something different, as the stair banister is constructed completely of rattan, a soft guide for the hands as you climb away from the heat of the day into the air-conditioned wooden confines of the main dining area.
Much attention has been paid to making people feel relaxed and both owners maintain an active presence to ensure the smooth sailing of the restaurant. On the day I visited, I met the stylishly dressed Sakdatorn, in northern Thai dress and head scarf, who greeted us and conversed about the changes and features of the restaurant.

Visitors have their choice of dining either inside or out on the balconies. Either way, they're treated to a spectacular range of scenery; - rice fields heading off into the distance before the looming presence of Doi Suthep, the temple mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai. On the other side are the tennis courts and swimming pool of Ban Naifan; the vast white walled condominium complex that houses the restaurant.
Art, and the craftwork of the north, are everywhere.
"This is the meaning of terrace in Lanna … people used the terrace for weaving and basketry," explained Srithongkham.
Interior Designer Yutthana Mohprasit has made the most of this, delicately incorporating the feel of the traditions of the north in and about. A black and gold painting by Vichit Chaiwong (of nearby Gong Dee Gallery), over the main entrance to the dining room, displays the elegance of Thai textiles, while other artwork, by Santi Channongsuang, depicts Lanna people and their close relationship with basketry and weaving.
The architecture of temples figures prominently in the restaurant's design. The exterior walls borrow from Thai temple design, while the white ceiling and roof borrow from Lanna temple style.
The architecture is one attraction; the other is the food.
The bill of fare features an array of about 120 dishes overall, with a strong portion of central Thai, northern Thai, and fish dishes.

My dining partner and I tried three of the house favourites - an appetizer of fried Shitake mushrooms and main entrees of Burmese-style pork curry and fried asparagus with shrimp. The mushrooms come with a special three-flavoured sauce, combining garlic, lime, and chilies with other secret ingredients and they were delicious. The pork curry, one of the four-starred entrees, was thick and creamy, perfect over a bowl of white rice.
The food is served on terra cotta pottery, dishes and plates, over a silk tablecloth. The metal utensils are sturdy, heavy, metal and silver specialty items made exclusively for the restaurant from a crafts shop in Singburi.
Details are everything here; everything, even the bathrooms, have been upgraded and made luxurious.
The other standout quality is price. For all its attentions to detail and food preparation, the cost has been kept to a reasonable level. All entrees are around 90 Baht (except for the higher-end fish dishes).
House specialties are starred in the menu and run the gamut from appetizers to entrees, from river fish to Northern sausage.
Among the appetizers are the Vietnamese Spring Rolls and the Thai-style papaya salad with fried pork or beef; while the entrees include lemongrass salad, spicy herbs salad and northern mushroom in chili paste curry. Fish favourites include fried sheat fish with garlic, spicy deep-fried minced catfish salad and the steamed sea bass.
To top it off, there are an interesting variety of local ice creams, including jackfruit, tarot, pandan and fan palm.
I chose jackfruit and lingered over it, enjoying its creamy sweetness while talking to Sakdatorn and enjoying the comfort from the hot afternoon, not wanting to head home too soon from the tasty delights and grand confines of this unique northern restaurant.

Paul’s Review:
Food Quality     8
Service             8
Ambiance          9     
Value                        8
Average meal excluding alcohol 350 baht per person.

Saenkham Terrace, Clubhouse Ban Naifan Project 199/163 Maehea, Chiangmai TH 50100
Follow the Canal Road south to the last right turn before the night safari exit. Turn right and cross the bridge and go into the mouban. Follow that around until you see a big building on the right on a hill. This is the club house. The restaurant is in the clubhouse.
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