Iris Florist and Restaurant

Value food and flowers to go!

It was back to Nimmanhaemin Road for lunch for the Dining Out Team this week. Really there are so many great places to eat on that one stretch from the Amari Rincome up to Chiang Mai University that you could eat there all the time and never get bored.

One of the newer restaurants is simply called Iris Florist and Restaurant and has taken over the space that was previously occupied by the Eat Me Restaurant, reviewed last year. To make it more confusing, Eat Me is still there, but now where the Eat Me Bakery used to be, so is next door to Iris Florist and Restaurant. Start looking out on the left side for the (small) Iris sign (after the Eat Me sign) before the traffic lights, coming from the Amari.

At the front there is a small florist shop, as the business venture initially began as just the florists. Walk past and then into the bright, white interior of the air-conditioned restaurant section. Go through this section and there is a small courtyard outside for those who like the more ‘pavement’ style of eating.

We chose the air-con! This section looks out to a garden area and the white floors and walls all add to the freshness and airiness of the ambience. The bright coloured tablecloths give it that ‘spring’ brightness touch.

There is a blackboard menu on the wall, and on our day was all in Thai with no English. The manageress Khun Sa said this will be changed, as the printed food menu is also in Thai. The emphasis is on healthy, vegetarian items, though fish, prawns, pork and ham items are also offered. Sa informed me that the preparation stations for vegetables and meats are kept quite separate. The menu items are all the same price - B. 55, and covers salads, some grilled items, curries and various items with rice.

There is also a drinks menu with 16 different coffee choices including Thai grown, 19 teas, 5 Thai herbal teas, 12 Fruit infusion teas, 2 flower teas and 16 fruit drinks. The majority of these items are B. 30 when served hot or B. 35 when served cold.

The main menu begins with salads and has both Caesar and Nicoise. There is also a potato salad, ham salad, egg salad and tuna. Still under the general heading of ‘salads’ are salmon salad, tempura prawns and deep fried fish. And I am assured these are all B. 55!

The next section of the menu is called ‘Mains’ and seems to include rice with each item. It begins with deep fried prawns in Japanese sauce with rice. Another is spicy BBQ pork with black pepper. Garlic and pepper pork and green curry pork are also in this section.

The final section was called Appetizers and included stir-fried mushrooms and a fried mushroom patty.

I had the herb-crusted salmon steak with garden greens and herb sauce. The salmon was correctly cooked and not dry, and was a hefty steak slice too. The herb sauce to go with it was beautiful, and I ended up dipping the hydroponic vegetables in it as well. This dish could have been served in any upper level restaurant. Excellent! The mixed fruit drink that came with our meal was also very refreshing.

The food at Iris Florist and Restaurant was well cooked and there was enough of it to make a meal. When I again checked on the price and was assured that yes, the salmon steak and vegetables was B. 55, making this the bargain of the year. Take a look at the photograph. If this restaurant can make a profit at that price, it is satang only! Go quickly, before they realise that their food is incredibly under-priced. And by the way, it is good healthy food too, with a range of medicinal drinks to go with it that will keep you healthy for weeks! Value, value, value!

Iris Florist and Restaurant, 95/1 Nimmanhaemin Road, Tambon Sutep, Chiang Mai, telephone 053 895 259, email irisflowershop”hotmail.com. Open Tuesday through till Sunday 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. Off-street parking outside.