Lan Su Garden
Today, be spontaneous and have lunch in China. Or, if your private jet’s in the shop, have lunch in the next best thing–Lan Su Chinese Garden, a beautiful oasis of serenity in the center of Old Town/Chinatown (a neighborhood that is generally not described as neither serene or an oasis).
Leave the Garden feeling rested, rejuvenated, and revived–as though you’ve just taken a mini-vacation to an exotic and tranquil land. That’s the power of a good cup of oolong tea and a few mooncakes.
Not only is the Garden an excellent spot to decompress from a harrowing morning at work or rest your weary traveler’s legs, but they have a marvelous two-story teahouse in the Tower of Cosmic Reflections, a secret dining getaway in the heart of NW Portland. Run by Portland’s own Tao of Tea, the teahouse’s traditional decor is as intricate and tranquilizing as the garden itself, and has an elaborate tea selection in addition to a surprisingly robust menu.
Snack on tea-friendly sweets and treats like mooncakes, Mang Gong and almond cookies, horsebeans, pressed plums, green tea pumpkin seeds, candied mango, or share small plates like the cleansing Daikon radish salad, steamed dumplings stuffed with glass noodles and chopped vegetables, turnip cakes sprinkled with scallions and goji berries, or the Taoist Delight Noodles, a bowl of thin transparent Chinese rice noodles tossed with “longevity mushroom and garlic sauce.”
I always leave feeling rested, rejuvenated, and revived–as though I’d just taken a mini-vacation to an exotic and tranquil land. That’s the power of a good cup of oolong tea and a few mooncakes.
Atmosphere: A beautiful oasis of serenity in the center of Old Town/Chinatown, with a sublime two story teahouse overlooking the gardens
Outdoor seating: No, but the open windows and proximity to the garden make most seats feel like they are outdoors
Best Seat: Second floor, garden-facing window seat
Noise Level: Normal to high depending on your proximity to the lute player, but if there's no music, it's normal to 'you can hear a lotus blossom drop'
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Yes
Bathrooms: Outside the tearoom, as well as in the SW corner of the garden
Parking: Street parking is metered (Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 1-7pm) and can be challenging to find during peak hours
Wine: One red and two whites by the glass ($7-$8)
Sake: A half dozen sakes ($3-$8)
Teetotalers: Mango Nectar, Sweet Winter Melon, Honey Grass Jelly, Soy Milk, Guava Juice
Tea: Well, yes, lots of it, by Tao of Tea
Ideal Meal: Turnip cakes, Taoist delight noodles, Daikon salad, mung bean mooncakes, Five Treasures Come Knocking
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Vegan Friendly: Yes
Gluten Free: Yes
Good for the following occasions: Teatime, Light Lunch with Friends, Solo Dining and Reflecting
Take-Out: Loose leaf teas can be purchased for takeaway
Deals: Lan Su Chinese Garden members receive 10% off their bill, just present your membership card to your server