99% Food, 1% Skin

Head to Head: Bai Tong vs. Chantanee

Two long-standing Thai restaurants on the eastside: Chantanee and Bai Tong with similar offering, here is the low-down.

I still remembered I had to travel to Bai Tong in Sea-Tac in the early 90s for some decent Thai food; and now there are 3 Bai Tongs!

Chantanee moved from its old location to the current Key Bank one many years back as well due to the on-going Bellevue downtown development.

One of my favorite Thai dishes is the Thai Fish Cake (hence my excitement to try Fish Cake Factory).


Top: Bai Tong — Bottom: Chantanee

I believe Chantanee won the fish cake battle.

Chantanee’s fish cakes were bouncy, fluffy and full of curry flavor; chopped green beans were still crunchy inside — excellent; versus Bai Tong’s were harder and more dense.

DH’s favorite was Pad Thai, and traditional ones that are made with tamarind sauce.


Top: Chantanee — Bottom: Bai Tong

For Pad Thai, I believe Bai Tong was the winner.

At Bai Tong, their Pad Thai was already prepared the traditional way, usually flavorful, drier and good; at Chantanee, one had to order the Chantanee noodle instead of Pad Thai.

However, Chantanee’s noodle quite wet (over-sauced) even though flavor was good.

On our outing to Chantanee, we were with a big group of friends, and had many more dishes including Pad See Iew, which had nice sweet soy sauce with crunchy broccoli and tender beef;


L: Panang curry — R: Pad see iew

and Panang curry that was very spicy, coconuty and sweet.


There was a garlic tofu which had nice fragrant garlic and basil with dense fried tofu.

We had Miang Kam that day too.


For those who are not familiar: it is a fun light snack or appetizer which peanuts, chopped lime (with skin), chopped ginger, chopped red onion, chopped chili, roasted coconut flakes and a palm sugar sauce, in your own choosing are wrapped in this leaf call Cha Plu (very green and semi rigid).

Ffull of flavors and hard crunchiness every bite, it was quite an adventure.


L: seafood basket — R: Larb Ka

Another appetizer was Larb Ka, raw cabbage wrap with ground chicken cooked with red onions, cilantro and lime juice; definitely another appetite-stimulating dish.

The seafood noodle basket seemed to be more gimmicky than anything; the dish was held inside a foil pocket and they did a nice job transforming the pocket into a basket at the table.

Noodle was once again wet, saucy with great flavors of coriander and garlic.

I felt that most dishes in Chantanee were on the sweeter side; and I also experienced dishes that was overly salted at Bai Tong (such as the broccoli with pork belly).

Both places were not wow, but tasty enough and in the neighborhood for us to visit.
Bai Tong on Urbanspoon

Chantanee Thai Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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