Friday, 23 July 2010

Lum Lum Korean Restaurant (Re-review!)

Since my last review of Lum Lum, the Korean Restaurant has undergone a transformation. They've now expanded and taken up two shophouses, and undergone a refit. The old favourites are still there, and Korean BBQ is now available with BBQ equipment straight from Korea!

We've been back to Lum Lum several times, and found out that there is actually an art in cooking Korean BBQ! The first time, we were famished, and turned the BBQ heat on high. This resulted in burnt and dry meat. It still tasted good, but with proper instructions from K. Jieb, the owner of the restaurant, we had another go. Medium heat is what's required, and patience! Starving diners need not worry, the BBQ set comes with a set of yummy side dishes, rice, and and a very lovely salad!

We had Pork Shoulder Meat Marinated in Soy Sauce set, and it was very nice indeed. The set was 220 baht the first go, and 180 baht to for refills. You get refills of the meat, and side dishes. Alternatively, you can go for their all you can eat buffet - only 229 baht/person and you have 1 hr 30 min to eat!

Lum Lum is again, highly recommended. Most of the time, lunch and dinner, the place is packed, and I see lots of Korean patrons - a good sign, I think! ...and this also means it's a good idea to book before you come.

The only downside is that it can take a while for the food to come out of the kitchen, especially when they are very busy, so you'll have to be patient. This doesn't apply to BBQ sets of course. These come out pretty quickly.

Lum Lum
206/5 M6, T Faham, A Muang, Chiang Mai
(Meechok Plaza, near Rimping Supermarket)
Tel: 053 853 481

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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

TianZi Teahouse

My French friend told me, "It's a charming organic restaurant". Ok, sounds good. I've always wanted to try more of Chiang Mai's many vegetarian restaurants, but it's hard for me to find people to go with! Most of my friends are meat eaters. : )

So of we went, and I discovered TianZi Teahouse, indeed, a charming little oasis opposite Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, just about 5 min walk from Chiang Mai's Night Bazaar. TianZi Teahouse is associated with the TianZi Biodiversity Research and Development Centre, based in Yunnan, China. The teahouse specialises in serving healthy food, and they say they only use ingredients that are not harmful to our bodies, so no MSG, dairy products, etc. The oils used are cold pressed, and grains used are all organic. If you're on a special diet, you can also let them know and they'll try to cater to your needs.

TianZi Teahouse is set in a small but beautiful garden. They say it contains "several hundred rare and beautiful species of the Golden Triangle". It's a very slow and tranquil place (including the service!) - so it's not the the place to go if you're starving and in a hurry. Dishes are prepared one at a time and can take a while to come out. Great for just relaxing, laying back on the cushions, and talking the afternoon or night away with your friends! It was a bit of a shame though that the music from the restaurant next door was quite loud, but it wasn't too bad. And the food? Glad to say I was quite impressed:

The Brown Rice Salad was lovely, made from organic brown rice, herbs, seeds, nuts, vegetables and seasoned with organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt and cold pressed sesame oil. The salad was served with a miso dressing. This was one of my favourite dishes. Who would have thought something so healthy and wholesome can be so full of flavour and so delicious? 180 baht (medium size).

Homemade Buckwheat noodles. The noodles (although they were more like chunky pieces of pasta) were made from organic buckwheat, and stir-fried with olive oil and mixed vegetables. This was our French friend's favourite dish. I thought it was quite tasty, and the vegies very fresh, but I found the "noodles" too starchy for my liking. 100 baht.

Tofu Steak - perhaps designed for people like me who never thought they'd feel full eating vegetarian food! (As an aside, I was already surprisingly very full by the time the tofu steak arrived.) This turned out to be my other favourite dish. The slabs of tofu were fried until golden brown, crispy on the outside, but still firm and softish on the inside. I think sea salt was then sprinkled over the "steaks", and the whole thing with stir-fried vegies in a gingery sauce. Simply delicious! 100 baht.

We also had another protein dish, Soju tofu "meat". It had tofu, burdock roots, sesame, onion, garlic and herbs. It was described in the menu as "simply beyond meat". It was quite a nice dish, but we didn't find it that special. 160 baht.

All in all TianZi Teahouse is a great place for relaxing and enjoying wholesome, healthy vegetarian food. A little pricey - our bill came to 620 baht for 3 people, although where was a lot of food left. Definitely worth a try, especially if you're looking for somewhere a bit different.

[I haven't mentioned their tea, as we didn't order any, but as it is a teahouse, they also have a variety of tea available, including an interesting sounding Orchid tea. I think that was around 220 baht/set.]

TianZi Teahouse
119/1 Kampangdin Rd
Chiang Mai
Opposite Imperial Mae Ping Hotel
Open for lunch & dinner
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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Salad Concept

After reading Chiang Mai Epicurean's review of Salad Concept, I just had to go check it out!

Salad Concept is a cute little salad restaurant on the corner of Nimanhaemin Soi 13. As you can tell from the name, they serve salads. You can design your own and choose from one of their amazing homemade dressings, which include Japanese Soy Sauce, Carrot, French, Pumpkin, Tofu and Tamarind Sesame, or you can choose a salad off the menu. They also serve healthy smoothies and delectable looking cakes.

I had the Grilled Beef Salad which comes with the Japanese Soy Sauce dressing. The dressing was gorgeously tasty and light. The beef was tasty and tender. Notice - no burnt bits - very healthy indeed, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! 90 baht

The Organic Tofu Salad looked fantastic too, and again, came with the Japanese Soy Sauce dressing. The tofu were fried with sesame oil. 85 baht.

The meal was nice and light, actually, too light for me, as I was still hungry afterwards. Our party of 5 for some reason, didn't feel like a dessert after the salads so we went off somewhere else for our second dinner.

On my second visit, I tried a design your own salad, and I noticed pasta is available as one of the additions. This made the salad a bit more filling. I also chose grilled chicken. I guess chicken is cheaper than beef, because I got a lot more of it! By the way, the Tamarind Sesame Dressing was great too - light and tangy.

One smoothie also caught my eyes - Banana Brand Smoothie, which contains banana, milk and peanut butter. I actually had this on my second visit. I was expecting a Western style smoothie - rich and creamy, but I was surprised that it was a Thai style smoothie - light and refreshing, blended with ice. I needn't feel guilty! I'm not sure if I can say the same for the dessert though! I didn't try any of the cakes, but I heard that the carrot cake is very good.

What I like about Salad Concept:
  • Lovely, fresh and healthy salads with amazing dressings
  • Dressings served on the side, but we ended up pouring the whole thing into the salad anyway!
  • Delicious and healthy drinks available, including an anti-cancer drink. I'd imagine you'd have to go back everyday and drink it though if you're after the anti-cancer effects!
  • Dynamic atmosphere & quick service
The only little thing I'd mention is that that the tables are very small seating only 2-4. We were a group of 5, and luckily we managed to get one of the bigger round tables. Even then, it was still quite tight - having to fit all the huge salad bowls/plates, napkin dispenser, etc.

Still, it's a great little restaurant to go to if you'd like a vegie fix or feels like something light. It's definitely very popular - Salad Concept was packed both times I was there.

Salad Concept
Nimanhaemin Soi 13
Opens: 11am-10pm
Tel: 053 894 455

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