Introducing: Nana, the Khao San Road spin-off restaurant that (finally!) opened on Queen West
(Image: Jackie Pal)
Contact Info: 647-352-5773 785 Queen St. W.,
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Previously: Friendly Thai
Chef/Owner: Monte Wan, who also owns Khao San Road on Adelaide Street
The Food: Owner Monte Wan amused himself during the prolonged construction of his new Queen West restaurant by staging an elaborate media hoax that saw the storefront cycle through a bunch of silly restaurant concepts. (You may recall signage for places called “Cakehole” and “Wheels Keep on Truckin.”) The Thai eatery that finally opened at 785 Queen West isn’t based on any of those jokey ideas, though it is a bit edgier than sister spot Khao San Road. Inspired by all four regions of Thailand, the menu focuses on dishes you don’t always see in North America. The list includes laab (ground meat seasoned with herbs and toasted rice), pork satay seasoned with palm sugar, and a traditional noodle soup that’s commonly served off riverboats in Northern Thailand. (It’s made with three cuts of beef and a flavour-boosting shot of blood.) Keep an eye out for bar snacks by former Momofuku D aishō chef Matt Blondin and gelatos from Kensington sweet shop Millie Creperie.
The Drinks: Experimental cocktail studio will be steering the Thai-inspired drinks menu, which hasn’t yet been finalized. For now, Chang beer is available by the bottle. BevLab
The Place: Nana (pronounced nah-nah) is the name of Bangkok’s entertainment district, which is crammed with outdoor food stalls. To capture the street-selling vibe, Wan decorated the space with cobblestones, mint-green shutters and strings of miniature Thai flags. Guests are encouraged to treat the restaurant like a public square—if they spill beer on the floor, it’s no big deal. (“It enhances the charm of the cobblestone,” says Wan.)
296924 <b>Nana</b> is located at 785 Queen West, just east of Manning. (Image: Jackie Pal) Introducing: Nana https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-01-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-01.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-01.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-01/ nana-toronto-restaurant-01 0 0
(Image: Jackie Pal)
296925 The restaurant was designed to resemble an outdoor food market in Bangkok. https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-02-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-02.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-02.jpg 1000 667  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-02/ nana-toronto-restaurant-02 0 0
296926 The floor is supposed to look like a cobblestone road. (Wan even asked his contractors to make the mortar between each tile extra-sloppy, for the sake of authenticity.) https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-03-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-03.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-03.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-03/ nana-toronto-restaurant-03 0 0
296927 The mint-green shutters were sourced from Egypt. https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-04-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-04.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-04.jpg 1000 667  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-04/ nana-toronto-restaurant-04 0 0
296928 The entranceway is decorated with stacked boxes of Chang beer and a big mural by local artist <b>Jimmy Chiale.</b> https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-05-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-05.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-05.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-05/ nana-toronto-restaurant-05 0 0
296929 There’s nothing Thai about the Vietnamese spring rolls. Fried rice paper is wrapped around woodland mushrooms, pork and crab ($9). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-06-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-06.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-06.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-06/ nana-toronto-restaurant-06 0 0
296930 The moo ping grilled pork satay is seasoned with palm sugar and coriander root ($10). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-07-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-07.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-07.jpg 1000 667  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-07/ nana-toronto-restaurant-07 0 0
296931 This traditional soup is commonly served from riverboats in Northern Thailand. The rich chicken stock is spiked with beef blood and cooked with three types of beef: ground, braised and sliced ($15). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-08-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-08.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-08.jpg 1000 667  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-08/ nana-toronto-restaurant-08 0 0
296932 Unlike the version served at <b>Khao San Road,</b> the pad see ew at Nana is made with wide rice noodles and topped with a dark soy and black-bean sauce. ($15) https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-09-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-09.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-09.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-09/ nana-toronto-restaurant-09 0 0
296933 The pad gra prao tofu is another variation on a Khao San Road dish. Wan first deep-fries the tofu, then sautés it with vegetables ($15). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-10-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-10.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-10.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-10/ nana-toronto-restaurant-10 0 0
296934 The pandan gelato is brought in from Kensington sweet shop <b>Millie Creperie</b> ($5). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-11-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-11.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-11.jpg 1000 667  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-11/ nana-toronto-restaurant-11 0 0
296935 Chang, the official beer of Thailand, is currently the only beer on offer ($6). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-12-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-12.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-12.jpg 1000 667  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-12/ nana-toronto-restaurant-12 0 0
296936 Owner and chef <b>Monte Wan</b> figures it doesn’t really matter if people spill stuff on the cobblestone floors. “It enhances the charm,” he says. https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-13-200x200.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-13.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nana-toronto-restaurant-13.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/nana-toronto-restaurants/slide/nana-toronto-restaurant-13/ nana-toronto-restaurant-13 0 0
4 thoughts on “Introducing: Nana, the Khao San Road spin-off restaurant that (finally!) opened on Queen West”
The owner Monte Wan is a terribly rude man who yells at his customers. After multiple experiences with Monte, I suggest others stay away from Nana. Also, Pai and Sukhothai is much more authentic in terms of flavour.
They should have gotten ice cream from Kekou gelato instead of Millie crepe. Kekou’s Thai iced tea gelato is super delicious plus they are known for their asian themed ice creams. In my opinion, Millie’s is just not as good. Not bad, just not as good.
What does this have to do with the taste of food at Nana? It seems more authentic then Sukhothai, Pai, and Khao San Road.
We’re sorry you feel that way, because you probably haven’t had a chance to try any of these new Thai flavours (we haven’t started selling them in our store). We’ve spent the last months experimenting on and perfecting these Thai flavours – tweaking our recipes for each of these flavours dozens of times – exclusively for Nana. When we do start stocking these flavours, we’d love to have you come by and actually try it before you decide whether or not you like it.
Feel free to get in touch with us about your concerns with our gelato, or specifically, these flavours. You are right in that we’ve focused more on “traditional” flavours in the past – mostly because of space constraints. We value feedback from our customers, and are constantly looking for ways to improve. We may not be perfect, but we do try our best.
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