Known for its innovative nature-inspired menu, Cuisine de Garden has been dazzling diners with artfully crafted dishes since they opened their first restaurant in Chiang Mai back in 2011.
Combining French and Japanese cooking techniques, together with Thai wisdom and locally sourced ingredients, the award-winning culinary creations of Chef Leelawat ‘Nan’ Mankongtiphan and his team earned the restaurant a well-deserved reputation among local gourmands. In July of 2017 Cuisine de Garden opened a second branch in Bangkok, which garnered unanimous praise and was awarded a Michelin Plate in the 2019 edition of the Michelin Guide Thailand. Now Chef Nan returns to his roots in Chiang Mai, launching a new degustation lunch and dinner menu in the beautifully redesigned garden where it all began.
In 2003 Chef Nan was named one of the kingdom’s Top Ten Molecular Gastronomy Chefs by Iron Chef Thailand, and to this day his creations continue to be full of surprises, challenging all the senses. His dishes are inspired by his travels—both internationally, and to the remote forest villages of northern Thailand where he goes on foraging expeditions. These inspirations come to life in the new lunch and dinner tasting menus now available at the Chiang Mai Cuisine de Garden location. The original restaurant itself has also been remodeled to create a more intimate, chef’s table dining experience, with seating for just 12 persons at lunch and dinner.
The new 12-course lunch (THB 1,290) and 15-course dinner (THB 1,590) menus, which debuted on November 30th, 2018, feature several unique dishes available exclusively at the Chiang Mai location. Highlights from the new tasting menu include: Buttermilk sphere, with finger lime caviar and peppermint leaf; Surat Thani sweet prawn with herb-scented chili paste, pickled organic cucumber, and chive pesto; Clay-baked cremini mushrooms with fresh made tofu, green water meal, and mushroom dashi; Grilled local halloumi cheese with fermented gooseberry, dried mountain kale powder, and gooseberry jus; and Pan-seared smoked trout served with a burnt eggplant purée, seasonal local cress, dehydrated tomato, and green herbs
Chef Nan’s innovative cuisine is influenced in many ways by the journeys he makes into the small villages of Chiang Mai and the surrounding region.
“We always try to get into the forest and learn with the local people,” he explains “There are many tribes in the north and they do a lot of interesting things, which we can bring back to share with our customers.”
Sourcing ingredients so close to the kitchen is certainly something that’s easier to do in Chiang Mai than it is in Bangkok, which is just one of the reasons why this culinary mastermind has decided to return to where it all began and concentrate on the original Cuisine de Garden location.
“I moved to Bangkok to develop the restaurant there,” he says, “but afterwards some of our customers in Chiang Mai thought I’d moved to Bangkok permanently and was only focusing my attention there. It's hard for a chef to have more than one restaurant, because customers always want to know that you're the one in the kitchen making each meal. Now I’m living in Chiang Mai more, but I do still have to go back and forth from time to time.”
In addition to revamping the menu, the property itself has undergone a few alterations. The entryway, for instance, has been moved to the side, making parking easier and adding a bit of privacy. Overall the new emphasis is on luxury and fine dining, and there’s more greenery onsite as well. “We decide to make a new garden because we never really had one before,” Chef Nan admits.
The new look and feel also makes Cuisine de Garden, Chiang Mai perfect for private events and exclusive gatherings, including wedding parties and corporate functions. In addition, the extended grounds are also now home to a coffee shop, an art studio, and the beginnings of a community market. In short, there’s lots of things growing in this garden.
Open: 12.00-14.00, 18.00-22.00 (closed Monday)
T: +66(0)53 441 599 M: +66(0)81 774 1479