DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

Lilavadee Coffee Gallery

An avant-garde OTOP coffee shop

With our avowed intention to present somewhere ‘different’ each week, for this issue we went to a coffee shop. Not one presenting just meals (though food is on offer), or one that just presents coffee and snacks (though there are many coffees and teas) but one that has an internet facility, a discussion lounge, spa products and a huge range of OTOP certified goods.

The coffee shop is the Lilavadee Coffee Gallery. This is in the front of the Northern Park Emporium OTOP showrooms, and directly opposite the Chiang Mai Immigration Police headquarters, known to all the expats who go there for their 90 day visa stamps. (You must not forget, Immigration Inspector Kanokpun has already warned you!)

The building is very recent and the decor is in that clean, uncluttered, chrome and minimalist Euro style, complete with high ceilings and a mezzanine floor.

There is a dining area outside, with wood decking and potted shrubs, while inside there are five distinct areas. One is the coffee dispensary itself, along the far wall, then there is a sit down dining area, plus another on the mezzanine, whilst along another wall is an internet section and finally a stand-alone section that is used to display books, spa products, including their own ‘Plumeria’ brand of creams, soaps and lotions. The internet is interesting, working through an ADSL high speed connection, but the operation and timing is automatic, done through coin in the slot meters beside each computer. It costs B. 40 for the first 15 minutes and then B. 1 per minutes after that.

We went at lunchtime, but as the rain was coming, we opted for the indoor air-conditioned section, rather than the ‘promenade deck’ outside. After a brief perusal of the OTOP products on show (just a small portion of that available in the Northern Park Emporium) we settled with the menu.

It begins with coffee (after all, it really is a coffee shop) with the hot choices between B. 40-45 with all the usual espresso and cappuccino favourites and lattes. The cold coffees are next (B. 60-65), and if they are not cold enough, there is a section called “Frozen” coffees with all the choices at B. 65.

Teas are next, with Earl Grey, lemon tea and green tea choices, done in different ways (B. 40-55). Milk and milk shakes follow (B. 35-55) and then fruit juices with most at B. 45 (including carrot juice, more correctly a vegetable drink).

The final page begins with 16 appetizers, ranging from pineapple pie slices for B. 15 up to ham and cheese sandwiches at B. 45 to ham fry with butter at B. 65.

After these there are three breakfast sets (it opens at 6 a.m. for the early birds, or those going home late) based on waffle, omelet and ham, plus different drinks. These sets range in price between B. 79-99.

The final items are ice creams (B. 10-35) and beers with small Heineken available at B. 50, or a large one at B. 90.

We began with iced coffees, which came in tall glasses, complete with whipped cream and some triple decker sandwiches and a bacon fry (similar to the old style Angels on Horseback if there had been an oyster inside) which was very more-ish and tasty.

Some university style young people arrived for lunch as well and took themselves off to the mezzanine floor, and the design of the venue was such that we did not impinge upon each other in any way. Clever use of acoustics preclude interrupting each other’s trains of thought.

Lilavadee certainly is somewhere ‘different’ and would suit those who would like to do some OTOP shopping and finish with some OTOP chatting over a coffee or several! Worth a visit to have a look at the Plumeria products if nothing else. The clean ambience of the coffee shop will make you stay for a while anyway! And the prices are very reasonable.

Lilavadee Coffee Gallery, Northern Park Emporium, Highway 1141 (Om Mung - opposite Immigration office) telephone 053 202 571. Plenty of parking within the Northern Park Emporium complex. Open 6 a.m. till 10 p.m.