Taste From Heaven has to be among my top 5 vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai. Considering the number of vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai, that is definitely saying something. But there is good reason for favouring this place - the food is consistently a pleasure.
I have met those who haven't been impressed by what they have eaten here, but after a little questioning I realised that it was for the very reason that I love this place so much - the food is on the healthy side.
The Black Bean Sandwich complimented by thinly sliced capsicum
Now that might seem like a strange declaration to make, but even vegetarian food can be extraordinarily bad for you - but some people just prefer it that way. I like a little more of a balance - and like to think that a good dish can be made flavoursome by the clever combination of wholesome ingredients, rather than taking sub-par elements and merely covering them in flavourings.
Taste From Heaven has some skill in this regard, and doesn't sacrifice taste in favour of keeping it healthy, but the food definitely has a fresher quality and is not laden with fats and sauces. Nor does the food contain any MSG (monosodium glutamate) or preservatives.
When I first visited, I found it hard to know what to order. The menu is really diverse. Not only do they have a very generous and interesting selection of dishes, but they have also put a lot of thought into designing the menu so that many of its dishes can be altered to cater for vegans. Very impressive.
You can start off your meal gradually with a selection of entrees including mushroom kebabs, spring rolls, fried tofu and moneybags - all of which come with fresh raw side salads.
They have most of what you would hope for from an Asian-style vegetarian restaurant - stir fries, tofu dishes, Asian curries - but they also have some happy extras. There are multiple versions of vegetarian burgers (that can also be prepared in vegan form), two spaghetti dishes and even pumpkin soup.
You can order some extras on the side, like tempeh
They have a large selection of Thai dishes in vegetarian form - particularly notable the Vegetarian Kao Soi, with its well-balanced flavours. Kao Soi is Chiang Mai's signature dish - and is mostly found here in its traditional form containing meat - but Taste From Heaven provides as excellent alternative for vegetarians.
I definitely recommend the Kao Soi at Taste From Heaven, and for vegans, just request that the egg noodles be exchanged for rice noodles.
Some restaurants you visit have only one or two types of rice for you to choose from. Here they offer Jasmine rice - either plain, brown or black - and sticky rice. You can also order rice noodles separately.
There is an extensive drinks menu with fresh juices, smoothies, hot and cold teas, coffees, and even kombucha on offer. Unlike the majority of vegetarian restaurants, Taste From Heaven also serves not just beer and alcohol, but cocktails, as well.
This fact alone makes it a great location for dinner, as you can combine a few pre-dinner cocktails with some of the fantastic appetizers on the menu, then follow that with a great vegetarian dinner and perhaps coffees to complete the meal.
For those who enjoy the food at Taste From Heaven, there are cookery classes which teach you how to recreate some of the dishes on offer. The prices compare reasonably with other vegetarian cooking classes offered in Chiang Mai, but as stated on their website, booking is required ahead of time, so do call ahead, or notify them online via the booking page on their website.
The restaurant is conveniently located within the Old City of Chiang Mai and very easy to find, being only a stone throw from the well-known central landmark of Thapae Gate.