Update Jan 2016 – This restaurant has now closed!
Khun nai tuen sai is a quirky restaurant and garden in the Nimminheamin area of Chiang Mai. It’s open daily for lunch and dinner, choose your setting of outside in the leafy green garden or inside amid lots of little robots friends.
Khun nai tuen sai means the lady wakes late. Originally only open for dinner, the restaurant was named after a flower in the garden that blooms every night. The restaurant used to keep the same hours as the flower, hence the name! Nowadays though they are serve lunch as well with open hours midday to midnight.
This restaurant has plenty of character, with collections of toys, robots and other figurines everywhere you look. Wooden tables and chairs of different styles are piled with comfy colourful cushions. The mis-matched furniture gives a relaxed vibe, it’s like you’re sitting in an eccentric aunts lounge or toy museum. There are also roomy bench tables in the garden, perfect for bigger groups.
Each table has a little bell to ring for service. It’s not like we were very far away really, but t’s a nice touch rather than trying to catch someone’s eye! We ordered, and everything arrived Thai-style, ie when it’s ready, which we are used to and is fine for us. On one occasion two guys waiting seemed to feel it necessary to run everywhere – we’re not sure what the urgency was, perhaps it was just too much coffee? It lent a slight faulty towers feel to the service, and I mean in a good way!
The menu is pretty big, offering a good range of Thai, with some Vietnamese and western options, coffee, fruit shakes, Italian sodas and beer. They also have a vegetarian, Vegan, lacto-free menu, and slices of cake for dessert. We opted for fresh spring rolls (97 baht), stuffed chicken wing (107 baht), grilled pork (117 baht) and pineapple and sausage fried rice (yes, sounds odd but was very nice)! Everything was delicious, well cooked and well priced – dishes 97 baht upwards.
Khun nai tuen sai is a lovely, relaxed place to sit and enjoy a beer or some food. It’s located on Nimmanheamin Road, soi 11. If you turn in from Nimmanhaemin Road it is on the left hand side, look for a white wall and archway which is nearly covered in plants. There is plenty of parking on the street outside.