Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant Chiang Mai Thailand
I keep scratching my head and wondering how Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant is only ranked 6th out of 1,636 restaurants in Chiang Mai on TripAdvisor, and not number 1!
I could eat at this restaurant every day for the rest of my life and still be excited by the meals. This is probably helped in part by the weekly changes to the menu, with repeat appearances by my favourite dishes.
Anchan is owned by a Thai family in Chiang Mai, and named after the Anchan flower in their garden at home. Their catchphrase at the door is “vegetarian food so good, you won’t miss the meat”. Not that this vegan misses meat, but many of my meat-eating friends have commented on how delicious the food is at Anchan!
Rather than posting a review of one sitting at Anchan, I’ll share some of my favourite meals with you. I’ve been coming to this place on a weekly basis since we arrived in Chiang Mai. The service is always fantastic, friendly, and fast, and the food is without fail some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had.
Tofu in Tamarind Sauce
Somewhere between a stir fry and a salad, this tofu dish is to die for. The sweet tamarind sauce with fried garlic, and tomato, chilli, and onions works perfectly with the crispy tofu.
Thai Mushroom Salad
This mushroom salad is nit noy phet – a little spicy. If you like meat, I think you’ll enjoy this salad. The variety of plump, fresh mushrooms gives it a substantial, almost “meaty” texture. The spicy, garlicky dressing is fragrant and tasty.
Crispy Tofu Salad
This salad could convert anyone reluctant to eat tofu. The crispy thin outer shell contrasts perfectly against the slightly chewy, but tender tofu inside. The farm to table fresh ingredients are the perfect setting for the crispy tofu. Again, it’s nit noy phet, just enough to give it a nice bite.
Long Eggplant Thai Miso Stirfry
I love the saltiness of this miso stirfry. I usually have an aversion to eggplant, but I do enjoy the long, slender eggplant that is popular here in Chiang Mai. At Anchan, they stir fry it with a miso paste, and serve it with the signature Thai purple rice.
Fried Thai Flowers with Sweet Chilli Sauce
This appetizer really hits the spot. The tempura is vegan friendly, so it’s quite light on the stomach, particularly with the delicate Thai flowers inside. They’re a beautiful violet and blue colour, and go nicely with sweet chilli sauce.
Best things about Anchan:
- The food. I love the changing menu, with the cycle of my favourite dishes like the crispy tofu, deep fried Thai flowers, and tempeh. Anchan uses fresh ingredients, make all of their saurces from scratch, and their dishes lack the fake meat and squid which are prolific in Thai veggie and vegan venues.
- Aye and the family are lovely. They own, manage, and cook at their restaurant. They’re friendly and happy, and I feel like you can even taste this vibe in their food. They all speak excellent English, too, and hteir menus clearly mark out what is vegan and what is vegetarian.
- Vegan wine accompaniments! One of my frustrations in America was going to places that had vegan food, but couldn’t tell you whether their wine list was cruelty free. Today’s chenin blanc was a South African wine, from Overhex Cape Zebra.
Their weekly menu is posted on Facebook. Here’s this week’s as an example of what you can find:
– Tempeh Red Curry
– Massaman Curry
– Green Curry
– Omelet Clear Soup
– Fried Rice Tou/Mushroom
– Crispy Tofu Tamarind Sauce
– Green Asparagus Omelet
– Mixed Flower Tempura
– Mixed Vegetable Stirfry
– Long Eggplant Thai Miso Stirfry
– Pad Thai Mushroom
– Purple Eggplant Garlic/Black Pepper Stirfry
– Crispy Banana Flower Thai Salad
– Snowpea Egg Stirfry
– Pasta Panaeng Mushroom Curry
Aye also makes preserves and tea, with organic, pesticide free produce straight from the family’s garden. I’ve bought the anchan flower jam and the persimmon jam to give as presents for family and friends in Australia.
Now I just have to go another four weeks without visiting my new favourite restaurant while we’re away from Chiang Mai!
Contact: For reservations call Aye Chef/Owner on 083 581 1689 firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: Closed Sundays & Mondays, Open daily 11:30am to 8:30pm.
Location: soi 13 on Nimmanhaeminda Road (follow the soi down towards the end, and you’ll see a sign to Anchan on the second floor, next to Mana co work space.