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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3 comments:

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Ooooh, Alice! I would love to eat here!!!

foodbin said...

such lovely colored brown rice salad-like it!

Alice said...

@Ju - Let me know if you come to Chiang Mai. I'll take you there! : )

@foodbin - the rice salad was really lovely!

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