For the Moms final day in Chiang Mai we had a lovely afternoon at Monsoon Tea. Pam had missed our first trip and Mom had been pretty tired the first time around so this was a much more enjoyable visit.
First though Mom and I needed to get our hair cut so we went to my favorite neighborhood barber. He was slammed, likely because he’d been closed for the New Years holiday, and we waited about an hour to get into the chair. He gave me a nice new mohawk and gave Mom a nice summery haircut, about 3 inches shorter than she wanted, but it looks great.
Then it was tea time. We timed our trip well and arrived at Monsoon Tea at lunch time, with our bellies ready for some fun tea themed foods. We ordered three dishes to share plus dessert. The dishes came out one at a time so we ate slowly and really got to enjoy (and dissect) each dish on its own.
First the fresh tea leaf salad with tofu. This was light and fresh, with loads of lemongrass, onion, and slightly tannic tea leaves. The vinaigrette was well balanced and my taste buds were impressed. We were off to a good start.
Next the chicken with creamy tea sauce arrived. I’m a big fan of creamy sauces and don’t eat them often in Thailand so my mouth was happy. The dish was rich, smooth, and delicious from the first bite. The tea flavor continued to develop and the sauce tasted even better about 30 minutes after it arrived at our table. I think we licked that banana leaf clean.
Then came the pork dumplings. These didn’t look how we expected them to, but they tasted so great it sure didn’t matter. These were steamed pork with a subtle celery flavor, light and not greasy at all. I didn’t try the sweet chili sauce with peanut that came with it, but both Pam and Mom were fans.
Lastly we had creme brulee. We’re guessing, we didn’t confirm, that the strange color is due to a tea infusion. The texture was a bit different from cream brulee that I’m used to, a little silkier, but that didn’t stop me from tucking away a whole one. We were really impressed by the food. We ordered a good combination of heavy and light dishes, the flavors were varied and well paired, the presentation was beautiful, and we fully enjoyed everything we ordered.
But what about the tea!?! On our last visit Mom and I had tried Oolong 17, Lanna black, and Lahu black teas all hot. This time Mom wanted to try some more oolongs so she picked the Jungle oolong and Frost oolong which we tried hot and we also had the Monsoon black blend as an iced tea. The Monsoon blend was fragrant and delicious, so delicious that none of us can remember what it was flavored with. The smile on Moms face says it all.
Mom and Pam loaded up on tea, and then loaded up some more after I went back in to get something for Tee. We easily could have spent another few hours sampling more tea, but we were pleasantly full and ready to head back to the guesthouse.
Lastly Mom had 3 more fruit on her list: mango, durian, and rose apple. We stopped at the market at Chiang Mai Gate and were able to pick up all three for her. The durian was not flavorful, but the mangoes sure were.
And this day was the perfect way to wrap up the Moms Tour of Thailand.