Kiti Panit: Chiang Mai’s new rising-star restaurants in century-old building
An old building with a unique blend of many architectural styles, Lanna, Chinese, Myanmar and western has been established on Thapae Road in 1880. Obviously, it was built during the heyday of trading in Thailand’s northern region and was influenced by Burmese tradesmen when the logging business was booming.
This ancient building originally served as Chiang Mai’s first general store, called Yong Tai Heng. The store imported goods from overseas and was a popular shop among wealthy residents and high ranking government officials. Later the store transformed into a beauty salon and maintained its popularity. The occurrence of the Second World War caused Kiti Panit Building to take a new role as Dara Clinic, offering medical treatment for the public until 1966 when it closed down and the building’s front was rented out to a book stall. That was the store’s last image left to Chiang Mai residents for many decades.
It was when the family’s fifth generation recognised this piece of their heritage that the long- deserted building was brought back to life once more. Its comeback has made Kiti Panit Building as sensational as it used to be during its glory days.
The key person in charge of the renovation of Kiti Panit Building is Roongrot Ingkutanon, the business man behind the success of Le Du, the fine dining, Michelin-starred restaurant in Bangkok and one of Asia’s 50 best Restaurants.
Roongrot is not only one of the successful restaurant entrepreneurs in Thailand but also the fifth generation owner of the building. His family has given him the green light to bring back the glory of this ancient building on Thapae Road. At the completion of the renovation Kiti Panit reopened its door to provide fine dining experiences to its patrons with Lanna and Tai Yai native dishes supervised by the Chef from Saawaan a famous restaurant on Bangkok’s Sathorn Road.
On the menu are mouth-watering, all-time favourite dishes such as peek gai tod makwaen, Khao soi gai, gaeng hungley, khai pam sai ua, nam prik num and yum pak chee gai yang. Other modern dishes are also available like Tai yai meatball, yum sarm hed, miangkham bai chaphoo and kuay tiew khua goong mae nam.
Make sure to keep some space for the restaurant’s signature desserts such as khao mao gorn rard kati, durian tart and sticky rice served with grilled ripe mango.
Kiti Panit offers perfect Lanna fine dining experience with the ambience of old Chiang Mai memorabilia. The building has been renovated with a conservation concept in mind and is decorated with items from its glory days, with old photographs telling the extensive story of Kiti Panit.
The second floor is striking with a spacious hall decorated with Chinese-style red lanterns making every corner of Kiti Panit feel like a reminder of Chiang Mai’s past. At the same time it shows the beauty of the building that continues to these days.
Open: every day, 11.30 am – 11.00 pm
Thapae Road, Amphoe Muang, Chiang Mai
Tel. +66 (0)889-497-996