Once you’ve tasted authentic Thai food, there’s no going back. Sujeevan Moorthy, owner of Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen & Bar, located in the Humber Bay Shores area, knew this and opened this stylish Thai restaurant which has gained a reputation for serving up delicious modern renditions of traditional Thai dishes. We sat down with Sujeevan to discuss his love for food and what’s next for Chiang Mai.
Q: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO OPEN CHIANG MAI?
Food is my passion. I’ve been working and managing restaurants for the last 12 years. I wanted to try something unique and bigger. Thai food is the fastest growing segment of the restaurant market in Toronto. When people seek out Thai Cuisine, one of the hallmarks they’re looking for is an authentic dish that reflects the culture of the region from which it comes. I am trying to get a little more specific to Northern Thai food, more to the region of Chiang Mai. I decided to name it Chiang Mai so it can offer many selections of palatable dishes for Thai food lovers of Toronto.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR SIGNATURE DISHES?
Our signature dishes include Chiang Mai’s own Khao Soi, our famous Royal Pad Thai, Holy Basil and our Curries.
Q: WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR ITEMS ON YOUR MENU THAT YOUR CUSTOMERS CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF?
That would be our Pad See Ew with rich Thai spices and herbs. It’s delicious.
Q: HOW SIMILAR ARE YOUR DISHES TO WHAT YOU’D FIND IN THAILAND?
Our kitchen is operated by a crew of passionate Thailand chefs and cooks who have cooking skills that were cultivated in Thailand. This is where our food authenticity is coming from. The food preparation is closely followed to be Thailand home cooked dishes.
Q: WHY IS THERE SUCH AN EMPHASIS ON THE PRESENTATION OF YOUR DISHES?
Eating is a sensuous experience. Food presentation is just as essential to the success of a dish, as the taste and flavour. The way the food looks on the plate is what tempts our eyes and makes you want to taste it. Before our mouths have tasted anything, our eyes have already judged it. I believe that our passion and innovation in creating great food presentation delights our guests in every way.
Q: HAVING A RESTAURANT IN TORONTO IS CHALLENGING CONSIDERING THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE TO CHOOSE FROM. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP SEPARATE YOU FROM OTHER FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS?
It’s our passionate and innovative menu engineering mixed with sticking to the basics. We strive daily to satisfy our diners, serving only the freshest ingredients and preparing our food right. Competition also sharpens our passion and desire to succeed and get better day by day.
Q: I’VE READ MANY OF YOUR REVIEWS AND PEOPLE WHO’VE TRIED YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE FOOD AND THE ATMOSPHERE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
This means a lot to Chiang Mai. Our guests’ feedback helps us to measure our success through customer satisfaction. Feedback and reviews help us reevaluate our service and quality to ensure we are providing only the best for our loyal customers. By doing this all, we are able to build a healthy relationship with our clients.
Q: WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO BEING A SUCCESSFUL RESTAURANT IN THE HUMBER BAY COMMUNITY?
It’s all about offering the community a healthy, safe and pleasant dining experience. It’s about being a good partner for the community.
Q: TELL US ABOUT THE CHEF’S MENU?
It is purely the creation of our chef. It’s made from fresh ingredients with his own unique recipes.
Q: WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO SEE THE CHIANG MAI BRAND IN 5 YEARS?
I hope to continue building a solid and satisfied client list and to open up more Chiang Mai locations throughout the GTA. I want to continue to offer diners Thai food with authenticity and a great dining experience.