Thai Casual Dining – Indon Style. Where fantastic food is served with unbeatable ambience. Or is it the other way around?

Lan Na Thai
Dr. Kusumaatmaja St. No. 85, Menteng Village, Menteng District
Central Jakarta
Tel. +6221-31925037

Jakarta is such an underrated destination.

Pinoys usually dismiss it as just another hick place (perceived by many, so wrongly, as "just like being in Lanao"), dumping it for more 'cosmopolitan' cities like Shanghai or Singapore.

What they're missing out on is... a lot. Jakarta is a genuinely astonishing jewel – an awesome artistic and avant-garde metropolis.

Take casual dining. Indonesians take this experience seriously... so restaurants are geared to rise to the occasion. Bringing diners to higher levels: part theater, part bacchanal feast.

One such place is La Na Thai.

Definitely, my most favorite Thai resto in the world.
(FYI, I used to adore fusion-driven People's Palace until I discovered a cotton bud and a piece of plastic in my Phad Thai. I kid you not.)

... and this is just the foyer!

perhaps, a table with a view?

a family-size dining table...

or you might opt for a cozy corner with someone special

my catfish/mango salad overflowing with crispy cashew nuts

While your senses are being overwhelmed by your surroundings, the food reaches your table. The intense scent heralds the feast waiting to ambush your taste buds: super spicy tom yum... grilled fish (mmm, tilapia) with tamarind sauce... garlic shrimps... green curry beef... pineapple rice... mango sticky rice for dessert... (now stop fidgeting with your cellphone's calculator, you and your four friends will probably end up paying the equivalent of P2,000).

Last time I was there, I wanted to test if La Na Thai's chefs were 'authentic'. So I ordered something that's not on the menu – Thai omelet. It's a neat trick I learned from a Thai friend: if the waiter says 'no can do', chances are there's no Thai in the kitchen.

Guess what? I got my Thai omelet.

my fearless rating:

photography: angela f. garcia

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