Chiang Mai: The Olive Tree for Foodie Tuesday

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Destinations, Featured, Food, Thailand, Thailand - Chiang Mai | 13 comments

When I’m in Thailand I eat mostly Thai. However, living in Korea means that I miss out on a lot of other delicious ethnic food. Thialand is always my opportunity to sample other cuisines. The quality is usually good, and the prices are affordable. Can I really resist? 🙂 I love love love Middle Eastern food, and Chiang Mai has a few restaurants that serve delicious Middle Eastern fare. One of my favorites is the Olive Tree, formerly Jerusalem Falafel. My review of a while back is here. I prefer the latter, but the Olive Tree is a great option if you’re looking for a variety of well prepared mid eastern dishes.

Formerly Jerusalem Falafel, since 1991

Formerly Jerusalem Falafel, since 1991

The menu is extensive, so making a choice was not easy. I was dining with a friend, and we decided to share the baba ganoush. Bland for my tastebuds, but it was okay. (sorry, forgot the photo) 🙂 For a main course I chose the lamb kofta with olives. I was not disappointed. The lamb melted in my mouth, and they did not stint with the olives. Served with a generous portion of herbed rice. If you order this, you need to be hungry. This really is one of those dishes that “sticks to your ribs”!

Lamb Kofta at the Olive Tree

Lamb Kofta at the Olive Tree

Savory rice served with the lamb kofta.

Savory rice served with the lamb kofta.

The Olive Tree's atmosphere is warm and inviting.

The Olive Tree’s atmosphere is warm and inviting.

My friend didn’t have the same great experience. She ordered the moussaka, but unfortunately it was the one item that wasn’t available that evening. She opted of a couple of nondescript appetizers, which were okay, not great. I personally think that they do a better job with the main courses than the appetizer.

At approximately $15.00US (including wine), my meal was a little more than I usually spend. However, the lamb kofta was delicious, and I think a real bargain.

Don’t be put off by the older female server. She has been working there forever (before it was the Olive Tree). She runs the place like a drill sergeant, and is not shy to put you in your place (for whatever reason)!

Located at 29/7 MoonMuang Road, the restaurant is very easy to find. At Thapae Gate you will see the Black Canyon Coffee shop. Walk up MoonMuang (with Black Canyon on your right) for about two blocks. Closed on Friday. You can find them on Facebook

If you’d like to try cooking lamb kofta at home, this recipe looks good.

What’s your favorite Middle Eastern dish?

This is my contribution to Foodie Tuesday, hosted by Inside Journeys.

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  1. The lamb kofta with olives looks delicious 🙂

  2. I’m not a big fan of Mideastern food but those photos made my mouth water.

  3. I love stick to your ribs kinds of dishes and the lamb kofta looks amamzing — and I’m not even a big lamb fan. Maybe it’s the olives that make it look irresistable.

    • Hi Cathy, The olives really did make the dish, and I was surprised at how many they actually used.

  4. The food looks so yummy. I’m always afraid to make lamb, but this lamb kofta looks like a winner. I love the restaurant’s ceiling.

    • Hi Neva, It’s been a long time since I’ve cooked lamb. I have never even seen frozen lamb in the city where I live in Korea. I would have to go to Seoul, buy frozen and transport it home. As much as I like lamb, it’s just too much bother!

  5. Both the lamb and the savory rice look delicious! Would cost a lot more than $15 in the US… good deal!

  6. That certainly sounds like a great place for a meal and the I agree with Patti that the price is definitely right. I haven’t had this style of lamb so next time I have the opportunity I’ll have to try it.

  7. Looks delicious. Especially the herbed rice.

  8. These dishes look mouth-watering! Even before breakfast:-)

  9. That lamb looks delicious, Nancie. I can almost feel it melting in my mouth. That herbed rice looks appetizing. Will have to try that recipe.

    Thanks for linking up this week, Nancie. Looking forward to more foodie treats!

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