Cat House Restaurant, Chiang Mai:
- Burmese Tea Leaf Salad,
- Price: 90 baht
- Score: 7/10
- January 4th, 2017
Cat House is a great restaurant on the East of the Moat that offers really great food.
The Cat House menu is a fusion of Thai and Western foods. As well as traditional curries you can get things like a Laab Sandwich or Wrap. They have great quesadillas and burritos too, as well as breakfast foods like pancakes or muesli. They also have sweet potato, pumpkin or zucchini fries! Everything can be made vegetarian or vegan but they also serve meat for any non-vegan friends. Don’t forget to check out their cake selection too. They have vegan cookies, vegan brownies and also homemade bread. Their smoothies and lassi’s are good, as well as Kombucha and herbal iced tea’s.
Although not a Burmese restaurant, Cat House does an incredible Burmese tea leaf salad.
It’s always a difficult choice for me between the Tea Leaf Salad and their Hummus and Falafel dish, which is also a favourite there, usually found on their specials board.
The Tea Leaf Salad is made from fermented tea leaves, toasted nuts, beans, fresh cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. Thanks to the fermented tea leaves it has a tangy kick to it and is really tasty. The salad itself is pretty filling but combined with Cat House’s dense black rice it’s a hearty dish.
That being said, this time that I went, the black rice portion was a little smaller and seemed to have a little coconut milk mixed in. Another reason for a slightly lower rating this time was because my friend and I did find the salad pretty greasy on this particular day. I’ve never had that before though. It definitely wasn’t as good as usual but I am willing to put that down to one bad day as I’ve been there plenty of times before and absolutely loved it.
The Tea Leaf Salad cost 90 baht. At a Burmese street stall you may pay around 30 baht but this is usually for a smaller portion of tea leaf salad and no extras. For such a filling meal this is a really good price. In fact, most of the prices on the menu are really reasonable, more so than other popular cafe’s around Chiang Mai.
The Cat House is open all day, from 7am – 10pm, which makes it a great place to go in the evenings. I wouldn’t say Cat House is the best environment to work in, it’s definitely designed to be more of a restaurant to socialise with friends in than a work spot, but there are power outlets and decent tables.
The staff at Cat House cafe do have a little reputation for not being the most friendly or welcoming. The owner Jacky is very bubbly but it’s rare that she is there. Jacky takes on staff from Burma and helps them learn Thai and English, as well as teaching them management skills, cooking and mentorship. Even if a smile is lacking, it’s still a great place to spend your money, and with great food.
As a final side note, a friend of mine made the mistake of ordering the ‘Brown Rice Porridge with coconut milk, raisins, banana or mango’ thinking that it would be sweet. It’s actually salty! Aside from that it’s a pretty yummy, warming bowl of rice porridge but definitely doesn’t satisfy a sweet tooth!