If you are looking for a new and delightful dining experience here in Chiang Mai, then we highly recommend you make a reservation at Saiun Bistro Sake & Wine in Sanpatong, just a short 20 minute drive out of the city centre.
Saiun bistro is an intimate little diner surrounded by its chemical-free garden farm. It’s owner, dapper Japanese expatriate Osamu Wakayama, is a sake sommelier and chef who specialises in pairing his beloved beverage with a selection of ever-changing home cooked tapas.
On arrival at Saiun, Osamu will greet you warmly and introduce you to his menu of nearly THIRTY premium sakes and wines, all sold at very reasonable prices, by the glass. Treated like guests in his home, Osamu will happily spend time taking you on a lip-smacking journey of the tastes, or just leave you be and let you have fun with experimenting with different flavours.
Start with a special sparkling sake, all the rage with Japan’s hip and young, we are told, while nibbling on some freshly made organic tofu tapas. Take a break and wander the garden, where his very fat chicken roam happily while guarding their organic and highly prized eggs. Starting at a very reasonable – and generously portioned – 150 baht per glass, you can then order a delicious sake and perhaps a small plate of Uber umami anchovy and butter french fries.
Feel like switching from rice to grapes? Next, you can order a bright Pinot Grigio served with a small plate of roasted prawns with herb and bread crumbs. Or you can go big with a Malbec and a plate of mentaiko cream pasta, a subtle cream pasta with a burst of seasoned and spiced pollack roe topping.
Switch back to a sake and try it with a slice of terrine…or a Spanish omelette…or a few slithers of cured meat. There are plenty of tapas options, changing daily depending on Osamu’s inspiration and what is freshly available in his garden.
There is a full bar with craft beers and spirits for those wanting something other than wine or sake, though with such a premium selection of both, we highly recommend just enjoying the opportunity to try so many flavours.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to pair your drink with your food, Osamu is on hand to give you…well, a hand. Whether its savoury, or sweet, you will find the perfect tipple to accompany your home made burnt Basque cheesecake or your home made chocolate and raspberry mousse.
Food starts at a lovely 90 baht per dish and doesn’t get much more expensive than 250 baht. Which means you can go crazy and order as much as you want. Osamu is super flexible, so you can also call him up with a budget and he will create a special tasting menu for you. Or you can simply join their 800 baht Sunday special which includes four tapas and four glasses of sake.
Make sure you have a designated driver, because, done right, you are going to need one! But fear not, Osamu can arrange a Grab for you…as long as its not too late!
This is such a fun way to dine with a group of friends, experimenting with flavours and with lots and lots of glasses of wonderful nectar!
Saiun Bistro Sake & Wine
276 Moo1, Nam Bo Luang, San Pa Tong District, Chiang Mai
Open: 4 pm. – 10 pm. (closed on Monday)