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.

Details

Cuisine: Chinese

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

Cocktails: No

Beer: No

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

Coffee: No

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

Reservations: No

Take-Out: Loose leaf teas can be purchased for takeaway

Delivery: No

Deals: Lan Su Chinese Garden members receive 10% off their bill, just present your membership card to your server